ODM aspirant alleges plot to impose Raila’s daughter on Kibra voters
A former aide of Cord leader Raila Odinga has petitioned him over what he claims to be a plot by the Orange party to favour his daughter Rosemary Odinga in the forthcoming party primaries for Kibra parliamentary seat.
Mr Eliud Owalo, in his letter to the ODM leader on Thursday, said he had verifiable information of plans to impose Ms Odinga as the ODM candidate in the 2017 elections.
He hopes to run for the seat on DOM ticket.
In the missive titled Scheme to Impose Ms Rosemary Odinga on the People of Kibra Constituency, Mr Owalo warns that if his fears are confirmed, the party stands to lose moral ground to continue pushing impartial elections by the IEBC at the national level.
“I am perturbed at objectively verifiable reports that there is an elaborate scheme to impose Ms Rosemary Odinga on the good people of Kibra Constituency as the ODM parliamentary candidate for purposes of the 2017 General Elections,” Mr Owalo writes.
“If indeed there are such plans, then, with a lot of disdain, one is left wondering the rationale behind the recent invitation by the party for prospective candidates for all elective positions to submit their applications, if the party nominees for certain positions, including but not limited to Kibra Constituency, have already been arbitrarily decided beforehand.”
The aspirant asked Mr Odinga to ensure proper and credible primaries are held in Kibra, citing the bitter lessons that party learned from shambolic nominations in the past.
“With all the pre-requisite humility, and based on the catastrophic consequences of botched ODM nominations in the past which are well within your knowledge, my plea to the party is to accord the people of Kibra Constituency and anywhere else… their inalienable democratic right to elect leaders of their choice for all elective positions as per the dictates of the Constitution of Kenya 2010,” said Mr Owalo.
In addition to the letter, Mr Owalo on Thiursday told Nation.co.ke that he had reliable information some of Ms Odinga’s family members and some ODM officials have directed local MCAs in Kibra to support her if they wanted to secure their seats.
“This is blackmail and against what ODM stands for as a party,” he said.
Ms Odinga did not respond to text messages from the Nation.co.ke over the claims.
But ODM youth official Charles Onguko accused Mr Owalo of sensing defeat.
“It is not the first time Owalo is writing such letters to the party leader. For avoidance of doubt, Rosemary Akeyo Odinga will be seeking the party ticket during the primaries to contest for the Kibra seat. She expects no favours and will, just like other aspirants, meet the people of Kibra, asking for their support,” Mr Onguko said.
“Many candidates have shown interest to fly the party’s flag and as such, it’s petty for the self-proclaimed consultant to pick on Akeyo. What does he fear? Why are the other candidates, who are even better than him, not complaining about Akeyo’s candidature?”
He told Mr Owalo to address his concerns with the party’s National Elections Board and not Mr Odinga.
“If he has sufficient information to support his claims, he should petition NEB chair Mrs Judy Pareno,” added Mr Onguko.
“I hereby demand that the Electoral Board summons Eliud Owalo to verify and prove his allegations, failure to which we demand that the board or the party take action,” he said and accused Mr Owalo of “carelessly circulating his petition” in social media.
ODM Chairman John Mbadi, however, assured all aspirants of free and fair nominations next year.
“We have stated this and our party leader has repeated several times that never again shall we allow flawed nominations,” Mr Mbadi said.
He pointed out that the party had laid down adequate measures to ensure free, fair, credible and verifiable primaries.