No zoning in Western, affiliate parties tell ODM

Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya affiliate parties have accused the ODM leadership of pushing for zoning in Western region and sidelining them.

Speaking yesterday during a press briefing in Kakamega town, Jubilee, Kanu, Democratic Action Party - Kenya (DAP-K) and UDP leaders accused Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya of bullying and sidelining the parties during Azimio campaigns in the region.

“We are petitioning our presidential candidate Raila Odinga to quickly intervene into this matter of zoning, otherwise bullying by ODM will cost him presidential votes,” said Sammy Aina, Kakamega Jubilee Senate aspirant.

The leaders accused Mr Oparanya of using county and Azimio resources to campaign for ODM aspirants, despite him being Azimio Western Nyanza campaign coordinator. They threatened to abandon Azimio campaigns and conduct their activities as affiliate parties.

The affiliate parties further claimed that the governor duped the Azimio leadership that Kakamega was an ODM zone yet Mr Odinga embraces all outfits in the region.

“Recently he (Oparanya) organised a rally in Khwisero Constituency that was attended by our presidential candidate's wife Ida Odinga. He said it was Azimio rally, only for it to turn into an ODM affair where all party aspirants were endorsed and those from other Azimio constituent parties sidelined,” said Mr Aina.

Kanu Kakamega governor candidate Suleiman Sumba said the move is threatening the support of the coalition in Western.

“We are worried that what Oparanya is doing in the region will cost our coalition more votes if they continue to sideline other parties and therefore we call upon our leader Raila to intervene,” said Mr Sumba.

He said Kanu has invested heavily in Azimio and it was not going to sit and watch the candidates being mistreated in the name of zoning.

DAP-K youth leader Victoria Zing’au claimed the party candidates have been mistreated and one of them was attacked during the Azimio rally.

“Our DAP-K candidate for Mumias East Peter Salasyia was attacked by goons while attending the Azimio rally,” said Zing’au.