NOM­I­NA­TIONS PARTY RE­AS­SURES IT HAS NO PRE­FERRED CAN­DI­DATES Kidero let­ter ex­poses rift in Raila party

NOM­I­NA­TIONS PARTY RE­AS­SURES IT HAS NO PRE­FERRED CAN­DI­DATES FOR ANY SEAT Nairobi Gover­nor writes protest let­ter to ODM sec­re­tary gen­eral after Raila Odinga ally Junet Mo­hamed al­legedly says Kidero won’t get party ticket for 2017 relec­tion

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - BY FELIX OLICK @TheS­tarKenya

Nairobi Gover­nor writes protest let­ter to ODM sec­re­tary gen­eral after Raila Odinga ally Junet Mo­hamed al­legedly says Kidero won’t get party ticket for 2017 relec­tion.

The protest by Nairobi Gover­nor Evans Kidero against a key ally of Raila Odinga has re­vealed in­trigues and loom­ing trou­ble over nom­i­na­tions threat­en­ing to split ODM.

In a bit­ter let­ter to ODM sec­re­tary gen­eral Agnes Zani on Septem­ber 7, Kidero said Suna East MP Junet Mo­hamed loudly swore in Nairobi’s crowded Trat­to­ria res­tau­rant that Kidero will not get the ODM ticket for re-elec­tion. Raila re­ceived a copy.

Con­tacted yes­ter­day, fire­brand law­maker Mo­hamed de­clined com­ment about the al­leged Septem­ber 5 in­ci­dent. He is ODM’s di­rec­tor of elec­tions and con­sid­ered key to Raila’s win­ning the Mus­lim vote.

ODM’S bun­gled nom­i­na­tions in 2013 have given rise to fears the pri­maries will not be free and fair this time around, and Mo­hamed’s al­leged com­ments add fuel to the fire.

ODM ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Oduor Ong’wen did is­sued a state­ment yes­ter­day, say­ing the party has no pre­ferred can­di­date for any seat. He sought to al­lay fears of bias tilt­ing the nom­i­na­tions.

“The nom­i­na­tion ex­er­cise is a sole re­spon­si­bil­ity of the Na­tional Elec­tions Board and it is the board that will give the timetable and the modus operandi of the nom­i­na­tions,” Ong’wen said

“Mem­bers of the NEC have no role what­so­ever in man­ag­ing party pri­maries and there­fore should de­sist from com­ment­ing on the same, as this cre­ates un­nec­es­sary panic and anx­i­ety among our mem­bers,” Ong’wen said.

The bit­ter com­plaint by the Nairobi county chief comes only days after Kwale Gover­nor Salim Mvurya de­camped to Ju­bilee, al­leg­ing an elab­o­rate strat­egy to deny him the ODM re-elec­tion ticket.

In Nyanza, Raila’s po­lit­i­cal bedrock, panic has gripped po­lit­i­cal lead­ers amid claims some ODM power bro­kers are openly threat­en­ing op­po­nents and claim­ing the party nom­i­na­tions are a done deal.

The fears have been height­ened after MPs unan­i­mously passed a law bar­ring party hop­ping by nom­i­na­tion losers. This clips their wings in ei­ther fair or foul nom­i­na­tion con­tests.

In his let­ter, Kidero protested that Mo­hamed “loudly swore to those who were seated with him” in the res­tau­rant that he would not be on the bal­lot be­cause ODM has de­cided to deny him the ticket.

“I have in­for­ma­tion that Hon Mo­hamed loudly swore to those who were seated with him and within the hear­ing of the en­tire res­tau­rant that I, Gover­nor Kidero, will not be a candi-

date for the Gover­nor of Nairobi since the Party has al­ready de­cided to deny me the Party ticket for 2017,” Kidero protested. He joins a list of ODM lead­ers seek­ing re­as­sur­ance the nom­i­na­tions will be free and fair.

Chaotic nom­i­na­tions in ODM strongholds in 2013 broke Raila’s cam­paign mo­men­tum and cost the party sev­eral seats.

“By this let­ter, I ask the party takes up this mat­ter with a view to re­as­sur­ing me and other mem­bers that the out­come of the Party’s nom­i­na­tions for Gov­er­nors and other elec­tive po­si­tions in the 2017 Gen­eral elec­tions have not been pre-de­ter­mined,” Kidero said.

Although Kidero has no known com­peti­tor in Cord, there are fears ANC leader Musalia Mu­davadi could be given the Nairobi gover­nor ticket if he joins Cord. How­ever, Mu­davadi in­sists he is gun­ning for the pres­i­dency.

In his let­ter, Kidero hit out at Junet, terming his be­hav­iour “most un­for­tu­nate” and said he should not among the party’s lead­ers.

“I find Hon Mo­hamed’s be­hav­iour not only most un­for­tu­nate but also care­less in the ex­treme. It does not in­spire con­fi­dence in his in­tegrity and fair­ness at all and makes un­ten- able his con­tin­ued stay as di­rec­tor of cam­paigns in ODM,” he stated.

Junet is a trusted Raila con­fi­dant and has been piv­otal in ODM as the op­po­si­tion supremo reaches out to the Mus­lim vote bloc.

Though muted, con­cerns about bun­gled pri­maries now are among the is­sues Raila will have to de­ci­sively ad­dress as he lays the ground for a do-or-die re­match with the Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta.

Si­aya Gover­nor Cor­nell Rasanga, who was cat­a­pulted to of­fice by a bloody fall­ing out in the party’s 2013 nom­i­na­tions, on Sun­day hit out at ODM. He warned that his party risked los­ing sup­port un­less it re­strained its lo­cal “power-bro­kers”.

Rasanga asked why the party was silently watch­ing while his op­po­nents tore into his lead­er­ship as they pre­pare to chal­lenge him next year. He ac­cused his ri­vals, who in­clude Rarieda MP Ni­cholas Gumbo and for­mer PS Carey Orege, of wag­ing a nasty cam­paign against his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In Kisumu, there is also anx­i­ety as Sen­a­tor Anyang’ Ny­ong’o, a for­mer ODM sec­re­tary gen­eral, bat­tles in­cum­bent Gover­nor Jack Ranguma and youth­ful ar­chi­tect Christo­pher Ondiek.

KHAL­WALE RUBISHES 6-PIECE VOTE

How­ever, the nom­i­na­tion headache dis­rupts the en­tire op­po­si­tion arith­metic.

Ford Kenya lead­ers, for in­stance, are strongly op­posed to Raila’s calls for six-suit vot­ing for his ODM.

Kakamega Sen­a­tor Boni Khal­wale rub­bished Raila’s calls, say­ing Western will vote for Ford Kenya.

“I want to tell your part­ner and my friend [Raila] he is talk­ing to him­self. Our peo­ple, es­pe­cially here in Kakamega, will vote for a Cord can­di­date in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion [but] for the gov­er­nor­ship, se­na­to­rial, par­lia­men­tary, and MCA po­si­tions, we will vote for Ford Kenya,” Khal­wale said.

He is chal­leng­ing Kakamega Gover­nor Wy­cliffe Oparanya.

In Mom­basa, Gover­nor Has­san Joho, ODM’s deputy party leader, is fight­ing Sen­a­tor Has­san Omar of Wiper.

ODM has an­nounced it will hold party pri­maries in Fe­bru­ary next year — six months to the Au­gust 8 polls.

Raila has as­sured sup­port­ers that ODM has learnt from its mis­takes and apol­o­gised for the botched 2013 nom­i­na­tions.

“To err is hu­man, but it is stupid to re­peat the same mis­take. That’s why the party has stream­lined the nom­i­na­tion process, to en­sure the ex­er­cise is cred­i­ble to re­duce squab­bles aris­ing from the pri­maries,” he said.

PHOTO / HEZRON NJOROGE

/ DEN­NIS KAVISU

In­te­rior Se­cu­rity CS Joseph Nkaissery, Cord lead­ers Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka dur­ing the burial of Wil­liam Ole Nti­mama at his farm in Motonyi, Narok county.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.