Top Stories / National
Thursday, 06 Apr 2017 14:45 EAT
Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has postponed party primaries scheduled for tomorrow by one day to put its house in order in the face of chaotic nominations in different parts of the country. In a statement, ODM National Election Board (NEC) chairperson Judith Pareno avoided touching on expected clashes between supporters of rival candidates during the exercise and instead said the postponement has been occasion to give room for closure of schools tomorrow.
Mr Odinga yesterday condemned the violence witnessed in Migori on Monday, unaware that party executive director Oduor Ong'wen was under siege at Orange House where he was wrestled downs by angry supporters of Nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro who bitterly claimed Mr Ong'wen and Ms Pareno were compromised by her competitor, Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang, to block her from nomination.
In part of damage control measures after the chaotic scenes, Mr Odinga met and reconciled Migori Governor and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho following the violence in Migori. He said the party will not tolerate political hooliganism or thuggery. Yesterday’s clash at Orange House that saw Mr Ong'wen roughed up, rekindling last month's incident where one person was killed and seven injured in a fight between supporters of Mr Kajwang and those of Ms Ongoro in Mathare slums, Nairobi.
The assault on Mr Ong’wen at Orange House is also a reminder of a similar incident meted on former ODM Executive Director, Mr Magerer Lang’at who was roughed up and ejected from the Cord Parliamentary Group meeting in full view of the coalition leadership on Thursday October 30, 2014. He has since left ODM for Jubilee.
Mr Odinga, without giving names, accused a section of leaders from the area of inciting supporters to cause mayhem. "Whoever is responsible for the incident will be severely dealt with by the party," he said in Nairobi in reference to Migori chaos. In pushing the ODM nomination ahead by one day Pareno said the party was not contravening Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) program by starting its primaries as scheduled.
Ms Pareno said the party set its program after consulting IEBC which on 31 January, wrote to the party giving it the go ahead to hold the nominations as per the proposal ODM had forwarded to the commission. “In view of the above the board wishes to advise all the party aspirants and members that the nominations shall proceed as scheduled save for Busia, Bungoma and Machakos Counties whose date has been pushed forward by a day from Friday 7 April to Saturday 8 April to give room for closure of schools”, she said.