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Big names floored in ODM elections

Posted by Administrator on November 26, 2011

“There is a deliberate effort by politicians both within and outside the party to sabotage the elections. These are the same people who sit in offices and come up with lists and expect party members to rubber-stamp their decisions,” said Ms Shebesh (left). “We are highly disappointed with the party and the manner in which it has conducted these elections.” Photo/NATION

“There is a deliberate effort by politicians both within and outside the party to sabotage the elections. These are the same people who sit in offices and come up with lists and expect party members to rubber-stamp their decisions,” said Ms Shebesh (left). “We are highly disappointed with the party and the manner in which it has conducted these elections.” Photo/NATION

A series of upsets and surprises marked the second phase of the ODM elections as newcomers locked veterans out of the party leadership at constituency level.

In what appeared to be a sign of things to come in next year’s general elections, bigwigs in the party had a rough time fending off newcomers, most of whom are positioning themselves for county and parliamentary positions.

Among the big names who fell by the wayside were Cabinet minister Fred Gumo (MP, Westlands) who lost to city councillor Elias Onyango.

Also defeated on Saturday were nominated MP Rachel Shebesh and former Makadara legislator Reuben Ndolo whose political fortunes continued to dwindle after he was knocked out by Nairobi mayor George Aladwa in Makadara.

In Western province Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito failed to make it past party grassroots level.

The same fate befell his Bomachoge counterpart Simon Ogari who lost to city lawyer Joash Maangi.

In Nyanza, a bodyguard of  Rangwe MP Martin Ogindo was forced to shoot in the air as a section of angry ODM delegates turned against the legislator during the abortive sub-branch elections at the Homa Bay High School grounds.

A free for all ensued as delegates fought with stones and other missiles, some flying towards the MP.

Armed Administration Police who were present were forced to draw their guns before they led away the MP to his car.

The same competition is expected as the elections move to the county level today as the party prepares for the national delegates conference early next year to elect national officials.

The polls started on Thursday and several party big shots were elected unopposed at the sub-location level, among them Agriculture minister Sally Kosgei.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is the party leader and is widely expected to be the flag bearer next year.

Suspended Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey is the chairman while Medical Services minister Anyang’ Nyong’o is the secretary general.

On Saturday, Ms Shebesh said there is a deliberate effort by politicians both within and outside the party to sabotage the elections.

“These are the same people who sit in offices and come up with lists and expect party members to rubber-stamp their decisions,” said Ms Shebesh. “We are highly disappointed with the party and the manner in which it has conducted these elections.”

Mr Ndolo who addressed the Press from Orange House said that the party needs to change how it does its business.

“We must remain true to what we promised our party members; free and fair elections throughout the country,” Mr Ndolo said.

By some accounts, the contested elections saw Mr Ndolo elected as chairman, Jackson Swadi as the Vice Chairman, Ali Noor Ibrahim as the Secretary and Rachel Shebesh as the women’s leader among others.

In some parts, chaos over parallel lists yesterday dominated the third day of voting as rivalry between incumbent and former MPs were rekindled.

At the Coast, Tourism minister Najib Balala declared he would not take part in the elections.

Immigration and Registration of Persons minister Otieno Kajwang on Saturday announced his intention to contest the position of chairman, Homa Bay County.

Mr Kajwang is expected to face outgoing Nyanza ODM cordinator Mrs Monica Amolo of Ndhiwa, businessman Jeremia Achila Gogo from Karachuonyo and Ken Okoth from Kasipul Kabondo.

In Karachuonyo, local DC William Renalemo had to step in after a group of youths forced their way into the compound of Alaw Rachuonyo Hall where delegates had converged.

Trouble was triggered by the demand by former ODM chairman Jack Nduri and former Cabinet minister Dr Adhu Awiti that they be allowed to participate in the elections.

Mr Nduri had claimed that a fake list purporting to contain genuine delegates had been produced, an assertion that was vehemently denied by the presiding officer Billy Onyango Oduk.

The incident caused a delay in the commencement of the elections after all the delegates were ordered out and later ushered in afresh.

The elections in Gwasii and Mbita sub branches went on smoothly.

In Rongo, a section of delegates took to the streets of the town after their names were allegedly struck off the main list.

In Aldai constituency, Cabinet minister Sally Kosgei was elected branch chairman while Everline Okumu was elected the secretary and Samuel Maru was elected the branch treasurer even as a heavy downpour marred the elections and kept off some of the voters.

The minister appealed to party officials in Nandi County to maintain peace to ensure the polls were free and fair and elect leaders who are committed to serve the party.

“I am in ODM to stay because this is the party that sponsored me to Parliament and saw me become minister,” said the minister.

In Emgwen Constituency, former Kapsabet mayor, David Ng’etich was elected the branch chairman while John Songok becomes the secretary, Albert Indasia the treasurer, Sammy Maritim organising secretary and Milcah Keter women representative while Mr Daniel Saina becomes the vice chairman.

In Mosop constituency, Mr Wilbert Kipsang’ Choge was elected the ODM chairman while John Sum becomes the secretary, Omar Korum becomes the treasurer, Florence Too organising secretary and Mary Sum the women representative.

Elections in Tinderet branch were still going on at the time of filing this story.

Suspended minister Henry Kosgey was expected to be elected the branch chairman in absentia.

Voters interviewed said Mr Kosgey had personally not distanced himself from the party, though he was not available during the polls.

In Bomet, assistant minister Beatrice  Kones  sailed through and will this morning be going for the Bomet county chair.

Allies of PM

The Bomet MP who has been slotted in as one of the delegates  in her constituency will be battling it out with nominated councillor Ronald Ngeny from Konoin  district.

Both are close allies of the Prime Minister.

Sotik MP Dr Joyce Laboso  says she had already been listed as one of the delegates in her constituency and that she was not interested in any of the seats at the county level.

She, however, said she will participate in the process and contest a national position.

A career  civil servant Dr David Soo who had earlier declared his candidature for the Bomet county secretary seat has thrown in the towel leaving Mr Laitoriat Sirma so far as the sole candidate for the post, according to the party’s county coordinator Joseph Chirchir.

In Bomachoge elections were marred with violence after supporters allied to area MP Simon Ogari clashed with those of opponent, city lawyer Joash Maangi.

The two candidates who come from the same sub-location produced a parallel list of delegates from their location.

In Nyeri County continued peacefully with fracas only reported in Othaya after two rival factions clashed over claims of vote rigging.

ODM Central Kenya coordinator Peter Kuguru said that the turnout had exceeded expectations.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Big+names+floored+in+ODM+elections/-/1064/1279968/-/au6rg0/-/index.html

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