December 18th 2017

Top Stories / National

Oburu's endorsement of Mbadi could cost Raila votes, warn Suba elders

But in a swift rejoinder, Mr Mbadi dismissed the elders as supporters of Mr Omondi who should stop pretending that they are speaking on behalf of the Suba community thereby challenging them to go on the ground and instead campaign for their candidate.

By Samuel OwidaTuesday, 28 Mar 2017 09:47 EAT

Suba elders have hit out at ODM Nominated MP Oburu Oginga for endorsing their representative John Mbadi ahead of ODM primaries slated for April 19. Addressing press in Homa Bay Town, the tough talking elders led by Simon Kayako, Jacob Mang’ira and Clement Akondo took issue with statements Dr Oburu made last week during the launch of Mr Mbadi’s re-election bid at Magunga Trading Centre that the MP should be elected for the third time to help the party in the National Assembly, terming the position “reckless and unwarranted”.

The elders told Dr Oburu to keep off Suba issues saying his utterances could jeopardize his brother Raila Odinga’s dream of ascending to the presidency due to voter apathy once such endorsements are used as a license to issue party certificate. They urged Dr Oburu to engage in national campaigns to push for Raila’s presidential bid “instead of causing political jitters in Nyanza by endorsing candidates here and there”.

Mr Mbadi is facing a strong cast of candidates who include Caroli Omondi, a former Chief of Staff in Prime Minister Raila Odinga's office and management consultant Jackline Nyandeje. But in a swift rejoinder, Mr Mbadi dismissed the elders as supporters of Mr Omondi who should stop pretending that they are speaking on behalf of the Suba community thereby challenging them to go on the ground and instead campaign for their candidate.

“These are Caroli supporters who cannot speak on behalf of the community. Instead of wasting time in boardroom meetings, they should fold their sleeves and go on the ground and support Caroli,” he said, declaring that he has beaten Mr Omondi before with a big margin and was only focusing on how to widen the margin.

During the launch on March 20, Dr Oburu asked Mr Omondi to shelve his ambitions in favour of the incumbent whom he described as an asset to the party who should be re-elected. “We know ODM practices and embraces democracy but it would be good if Caroli leaves for Mbadi to get re-elected unopposed. He (Caroli) is a friend and Raila will issue him with a state job if he becomes President. I’m ready to hold negotiations with him to drop his bid”.

But in a statement to press, the elders said they are worried of Dr Oburu’s utterances which could be perceived as a message from Raila. “The move by Dr Oburu can favour Mbadi who is facing a stiff competition from Mr Omondi unfairly and cause voter apathy adding that what mattered to them is free and fair nomination” said Mzee Kayako.

The writer is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Homa Bay County





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