Aspirants warn ODM against issuing direct tickets

Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ongera. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

At least 103 aspirants for National Assembly and County Assembly seats in Kisii County have cautioned ODM against conducting direct nominations.

Speaking in Kisii Town yesterday, the aspirants said the party appears to “repeat the same mistake that it made in 2017 which led to the party not having a single Member of National Assembly elected on its ticket despite its popularity.”

County Assembly Deputy Speaker Davins Onuso, who is contesting for the Bobasi constituency seat, said there is nothing on the ground to show preparations for the party nomination exercise slated for Thursday.

 “We do not have a party register. We have no polling station set aside for the nominations and the candidates for the various seats have not been briefed on what is expected of them on the said date. If the party is not putting things in order, we are going to defect,” said Onuso.

Onuso said ODM members are okay with Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati being given a direct ticket for the governor seat and Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka being given a direct ticket for the Senate seat since they do not have competitors.

Former Nyaribari Chache MP Chris Bichage accused powerful individuals of being out to sabotage the party, saying he has worked closely with ODM leader Raila Odinga since their days at the National Development Party and would not sit and watch him being misled.

Bichage called on Raila to act on individuals out to mess the party, saying if they were left unchecked, ODM might end up having few MPs leaving him with very few foot soldiers in Parliament to push his agenda.

“It is a known fact that I am a close friend to Raila Odinga. I am kindly asking him to allow the people of Kisii to choose a Woman Representative candidate from the five aspirants who have shown interest in the ODM ticket. Whoever wins we are going to support her,” said Bichage.

Nominated MCA Betty Obiri said Arati had revived ODM in Kisii and that he should be given a free hand to spearhead the party campaigns both for the presidential and other seats to ensure they have majority seats in Parliament and the County Assembly.

On Thursday,  supporters of Woman Rep Janet Ongera (pictured) led by Nominated MCAs Josephine Ombati and Jane Justine lauded the decision to give her a direct ticket.

They said she was the most popular and has been a loyal party member and strong Raila campaigner in the 2013 and 2017 general elections.