Inside Politics

Confusion defines ODM polls amid talk of unfair selections

Friday, April 8th, 2022 04:50 | By
ODM nominations clerks verify a party member’s details at Daraja Mbili Primary School polling station. PHOTO/Robert Ochoro

Confusion marred ODM primaries in Nyanza amid complaints that undeserving candidates had been handed direct tickets.

While the party announced that it had cancelled the primaries for parliamentary seats, and summoned aspirants for a meeting in Nairobi, voters in parts of the region went ahead to vote.

Candidates for governorship and senate seats in Nyamira, Kisii, Migori and Kisumu counties could be given direct tickets. Those poised to receive direct tickets are aspirants Simba Arati (Kisii), Timothy Bosire (Nyamira) and Senator Okong’o Omog’eni.

Kisii party chairman Okerosi Ondieki said yesterday that only South Mugirango parliamentary aspirant Dennis Makori was exempted and would be given a direct ticket since he has no competitor.

The official said nomination was being conducted in 13 out of 45 wards, adding that in some wards the aspirants had no competitors while others agreed to rally behind one candidate.

“ A total of 11 aspirants agreed to support one candidate while 21 seats were not contested” Okerosi said at Kenya Institute of Highway and Building Technology tallying centre yesterday.

He said the party had recalled polling clerks and election materials in the wards where polls would not be done, adding that only ODM registered members were voting. Earlier, Kisii Central Ward Representative aspirant Wilfred Monyenye, rivalling Frank Mirina, protested after the exercise failed to take off at Kisii Primary School grounds and Nyaura, claiming there was sabotage.

Kerosi said the ballot materials were sent to far-flung polling stations. He pledged to address the matter but some voters got impatient and left. A number braved the scorching sun and waited.

Voting at Kisii Primary School started at 2pm after residents protested and declined to be shifted to Menyinkwa centre, Gekomu and Nyaura polling stations where voting was going on smoothly.

Returning Officer Mark Oremo apologised for the delay, saying there were supposed to be three polling stations — Menyinkwa centre, Gekomu and Nyaura — hence the confusion.

“We have set up two polling stations at Kisii Primary School to hasten the process. Voting will be done digitally,” Oremo told voters after consultations with Monyenye.

Bosire was yesterday nominated unopposed as the Nyamira county governorship aspirant after his sole competitor in the party, James Kemoni, withdrew from the race.

Dr Emily Kwamboka will also run for the Nyamira Woman Rep on an ODM ticket.

Bosire will most likely battle for the seat with Walter Nyambati (UDA), Joseph Kiangoi (ANC), Reuben Marwanga (Kanu), Mwancha Okioma (Jubilee), Borabu MP Ben Momanyi (Wiper) and Governor Amos Nyaribo (UPA).

In Kitutu Masaba constituency, Cliff Ombane Gisairo will now carry the ODM flag after being given a direct nomination ticket whereas in West Mugirango and North Mugirango constituencies, Rogers Moturi and John Ongwae Mosongo were also given direct tickets, respectively .

In Borabu constituency, two candidates — Patrick Osero and advocate Yabesh Kambi Nyandoro — were subjected to nominations. By the time of going to press, voting was still going on. Out of the 20 wards in Nyamira County, only three were subjected to nomination contest, namely Nyamaiya, Bonyamatuta and Gesima.

In Nyanza, People Daily established that Suna East MP Junet Mohammed was given a direct ODM ticket, as was Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.

Others expected to get direct tickets include Rongo MP Paul Abuor, whose only opponent quit ODM, Suna West MP Peter Masara, an independent who recently joined the party, Mark Nyamita (Uriri) and Walter Owino (Awendo).

Bob Awiti, an aspirant for the Uriri seat, protested the move, wondering why MPs should be given direct tickets if they are popular. The same applied to Jared Kwaga of ODM.

“I have been in the party vying for the past 15 years. We dismiss the opinion poll as a sham. I am ODM number 310.’’

In Migori, Senate aspirant Eddy Oketch secured a direct ticket, as he was said to be stronger for the race than the rivals.

Former Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura is said to have refused to step down for Governor Anyang Nyong’o.

Obura claimed that former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, Senator Fred Outa and former Speaker dropped their bids in his favour. “Why would I be the one to step down when it’s obvious aspirants shelved their interests for me,’’ he said.

Sources revealed that he was offered the position of deputy governor, held by Mathews Owili, but he declined.

Owili said he was unhappy with negotiations that targeted his seat. “Why would my seat be seen as the only option to strike a compromise deal?’’ he posed.

He has paid the nomination fees of Sh250,000, alongside Nyong’o, who still prefers him as the deputy governor.

In the race for the Migori County governor slot, Senator Ochillo Ayacko, who is tipped to get the ticket, is yet to get a direct nomination. This is after Pamela Odhiambo, Migori Woman Rep and business elite Philip Mwabe failed to agree to the share seats.

More on Inside Politics