By Mwaniki Munene
Disquiet has rocked ODM party with aspirants alleging ministers eyeing positions of governor and senator were pushing for a nomination system that would give them an edge over popular opponents.
Some ODM ministers are supporting the system where county delegates will select party candidates instead party members.
Aspirants fear the delegates system is prone to manipulation, claiming the ministers as senior party officials, had handpicked the delegates.
Although Prime Minister Raila Odinga earlier this week assured all ODM aspirants he would not interfere with the nominations, suspicion is rife that powerful political leaders close to the PM are behind the delegates system.
Prime Minister’s sister Ruth Adhiambo Odinga, who has declared interest in the post of governor for Kisumu County, told The Standard On Sunday that some Cabinet ministers and MPs close to Raila were insisting on a delegate system which could divide the party. Equally, multiple sources intimated that new entrants also feel the system is flawed.
“There is a scheme to interfere with the nominations by some senior people in ODM close to the Prime Minister. They include ministers and MPs. Most of us have no confidence in that list of delegates at Orange House because it is flawed. We want people to choose leaders not a clique sititng and making a list,” said Ms Odinga.
She added: “If they do not want us in ODM they should tell us so that we can go look for other parties. Things have changed and ODM has to accept this. We must be transparent and accountable to our people.”
But ODM Secretary General Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o denied the allegations. Nyong’o said: “The decision of the governing council was that in places like Nyanza universal primaries would be held and candidates would bear the costs.” Traditionally, although positions of senators and governors did not exist, only presidential nomination among parties was done by the delegates system while MPs conducted grassroot nominations.
According to Ms Odinga, the alleged scheme to use delegates systems was aimed at protecting prominent personalities in ODM.
“What are they threatened about. Let’s go to the people and let them decide. The problem is these ministers and MPs allocated certain seats to certain people. It is an unacceptable that some people want to sit in a boardroom and allocate positions on behalf of Kenyans,” she added.
The ODM Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo said the appropriate party organ had already made decision and that the party would abide by it.