Friday, 17 January 2014


CORD luminaries led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula have pledged to remain united and form a formidable coalition ahead of the 2017 general election. The trio who spoke at the homecoming party of Wetangula in Bungoma also sensationally claimed that the Jubilee government had hatched a plot to eliminate Wetangula. CORD termed Wetangula's win in the recent senatorial by-election as an indicator of their dominance in western Kenya politics.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is facing an acid test in how he contains building political tension ahead of his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party’s National Delegates Conference (NDC) in February. It is during the NDC that elections for national office bearers will be held.Reports that there is an already prepared list of party officials — widely circulated earlier in the week — just waiting to be rubberstamped by delegates come February 28, have caused unease with some members threatening to boycott.Even in the ODM leader’s own Nyanza backyard, there is strong opposition to allegations that the secretary general’s position is reserved for Nominated Senator Agnes Zani.Mild signs of an underground elbowing of each other in Mr Odinga’s inner circle in anticipation of his succession has also been on-going.The fallout involving key ODM leaders mainly from Siaya — Mr Odinga’s home county — is being talked about even as local politicians differ over key ODM positions.While Mr Odinga has played down any tension over the alleged line-up said to have been prepared in his office, he is yet to convince critics.On Saturday, Sunday Nation learnt that Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho who has been suggested as a candidate for deputy party leader, is in fact targeting the chairmanship.

Mr Joho last week met Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura in Nairobi to discuss the elections. Mr Obura wants to be secretary general.There is a state of unease in the party with some members who feel that the party leader is being overbearing, choosing to complain quietly.Butere MP Andrew Toboso says the western region will reconsider its support for the party if the elections are not free and fair. “...and should it turn out that this is what is happening then we can walk out and form our own party as western bloc” he warnsed.As various candidates embark on campaigns before delegates converge at Kasarani next month, the confusion that characterised ODM nominations ahead of the General Election last year hang heavily over the upcoming party elections and to a great extent also inform the positions being taken by various players.
At a recent party retreat in Nakuru with grassroots leaders, the party resolved that future nominations in ODM will see commitment and loyalty rewarded as a way of ensuring elected leaders pursue its agenda both in and outside government.
The party elections come at a time ODM is putting a premium on loyalty and implementation of its manifesto as conditions for nomination to elective positions in future.

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