What's in a name? Murkomen row with Kalonzo over party name

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]
Senate Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen (pictured) has asked the Registrar of Political Parties to reject an acronym Kalonzo Musyoka’s party wants to use in its re-branding.

The senator said the abbreviation OKM was lawfully held by him, denoting his full names - Onesmus Kipchumba Murkomen. He said he had used it since 2010 to brand his political career.

Kalonzo on Tuesday announced that Wiper party would re-brand to One Kenya Movement (OKM).

And in the letter dated April 3, Mr Murkomen’s lawyer, Hilary Sigei, told the registrar any attempt to register OKM would be a violation of the Political Parties Act on an abbreviation of a name resembling that of another legal entity.

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Sing'oei Murkomen and Sigei Advocates said the use of OKM was also protected by the Trade Marks Act. They said OKM was a well-known mark used exclusively by their client in the country. 

“We therefore object to attempts to register OKM as an abbreviation for any political party and especially by WDM-K (Wiper Democratic Movement-Kenya). We therefore urge your office to caution and restrain WDM-K against use of OKM,” read the letter.

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