Orange Democratic Movement party disowns candidate

(Photo: Courtesy)

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has disowned a letter by former parliamentary aspirant seeking to overturn the nomination of Nyando Parliamentary candidate Jared Okelo.

Party's Secretary of Election Board Dr Robert Arunga distanced himself from a letter he purportedly authored, which had directed that Jared Sala be cleared as the party's Nyando parliamentary candidate as opposed to Okelo whose name had been gazetted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Mr Sala had on Monday last week, armed with the letter which had been addressed to IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, sought to be cleared by the electoral body as the party's Nyando Parliamentary candidate.

He allegedly attached decisions from the ODM party tribunal and high court, both of which gave the party powers to arrive at a candidate, when they found that the nomination wasn't done according to laid down party rules.

"The National Executive Committee of the Orange Democratic Movement resolved that one Jared Sala be nominated as the party candidate for the Member of National Assembly, Nyando Constituency, in line with the respective judgments of both the tribunal and the High Court," read the letter in part.

The two documents had however been invalidated by the court of appeal verdict that affirmed the candidature of Okelo.

Even though Sala later denied seeking clearance, terming the information as rumours peddled by his political opponents, both Nyando Returning Officer Carol Okky and ODM Party Lawyer Tony Muturi confirmed that Sala had sought to be cleared by the commission.

In his response to inquiry over the allegations against him, Sala responded that; "The reports are not true. They are based on rumours from opponents."

"I was not in the office but I got the information. However that is gone because we have two candidates in Nyando for the forthcoming elections, and those are; Jared Okelo of ODM and Joseph Sidigu of Jubilee," said Okky.

ODM party says that all their correspondences are made to the chairman of the commission and not the CEO as the letter purports.

Muturi said they got information about Sala's letter to the IEBC, but the party had already sent another letter to the commission to clarify on its position.

"We got the communication and we have already written to IEBC to distance ourselves from the purported letter from the party. We have a channel of communication and it is unfortunate that the purported letter could not be traced through the channel," said Muturi, confirming that Okelo was the party's valid candidate for Nyando parliamentary seat.

Okelo however wanted the party to take action against Sala, claiming that he could be working with forces from the party to scuttle his candidature.

"Forgery is criminal, and if found that Mr Sala forged the letter and used it to approach IEBC then he should face the law," said Okelo.