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ODM dismisses appointment of Kakamega Governor as county chair

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has found itself in a leadership crisis in Kakamega County as the party’s National Elections Board (NEB) denies any knowledge of Governor Fernandes Barasa’s appointment as county chairperson.

In a statement, ODM NEB National Chairperson Catherine Mumma reiterated that no election or replacement of officials would take place.

“As the Party organ mandated to carryout elections within the party, including the election of party officials, we wish to remind our party members, supporters and the public in general that no election or replacement of officials will take place without the express approval of the NEB as provided for in law,” ODM NEB National Chairperson Catherine Mumma said in a statement on Monday 10.

Also read: Babu Owino: I’m ready to succeed Mbadi as ODM chair

This comes after Governor Barasa claimed on Saturday during a burial ceremony in Matungu Constituency that he had been given leadership roles at the county level.

“This is one of the biggest and oldest parties around and I promise to steer it to greater heights in terms of pushing for massive membership in Kakamega,” Governor Barasa said.

He even alleged that ODM leader Raila Odinga had called him to congratulate him on his new role.

The governor added, “Baba called me to congratulate me and I pledged my loyalty and full backing to the former Prime Minister in his quest to continue advocating for the reformation agenda.”

Also read: Governor Nyong’o lectures ODM ‘rebels’ who met President Ruto

However, the ODM clarified that during the party’s National Delegates Convention held on February 26, 2022, a resolution was passed to defer the party’s grassroots elections to a date later this year.

According to the chairperson, officials are validly in office until the said elections are held, and should any party official wish to resign or relinquish their position, they must follow the laid-down procedure by formally writing to the NEB.

The board will then advise on how the position(s) should be filled.

NEB has urged party members who intend to vie for any party position to start acquainting themselves with rules that govern the grassroots elections pending the announcement of the date of elections.

With the confusion rocking the party’s leadership in Kakamega County, it remains to be seen how the matter will be resolved and whether Governor Barasa’s alleged appointment will be recognized or not.

Also read: Why I met President Ruto in State House with ODM MPs – Jalango