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ODM Kisumu County election panel disbanded
By Kepher Otieno
Updated Friday, April 21st 2017 at 18:21 GMT +3
The Political Parties Disputes Tribunal has disbanded the Kisumu County Elections Board formed by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) National Elections Board (NEB) to conduct party primaries.
The Tribunal mandated to adjudicate on the disputes between the members of a political party qualified claims that the teams selected to oversee the elections in the county were biased
Two ODM members Hezron Opiyo and John Ongere lodged complaints claiming that board was biased and filled with Kisumu senator Prof Anyag Nyongo and Nyando MP Fred Outa's allies.
On Thursday, the Tribunal, the panel chaired by Kyalo Mbobu, and assisted by Dr Adeleid Mbithi, and Mrs Desma Atieno Nungo issued the directive to ODM NEB to reconstitute the board a fresh.
Friday, Mbonu panel disbanded the ODM elections making the party to be the first casuality of its punishment after it ordered that the board be reconstituted right from the wards to the County.
This means that unless ODM moves first to comply with the Political Parties Truibunal decree in time, it could derail or jeopardise the primaries slated for Monday.
Already, preparations for the party activities was in top gear with most of the aspirants eye set on Monday primaries and the Tribunal jury could alter the ensuing political equation.
Under Section 40 of the Political Parties Act 2011, the Tribunal is mandated to adjudicate on the disputes between the members of a political party.
Consequently, Opiyo and Ongere had sought an immediate injunction to stop the elections slated for 24 April, demanding that NEB reconstitutes the Kisumu county elections board.
The Complainants aver that, Mr. Kennedy Ajwang who is currently acting as the Chairman of Kisumu County ODM Party has been appointed as a member of the elections Board.
Yet as the acting ODM chair at the County level he is the ultimate overseer of free and fair election process.
Making him a member of the elections Board will automatically compromise his neutrality, they told the Tribunal.
The two claimants were represented Isaiah Munje advocates while Makori Onuonga stood for ODM NEB which sought for more time to put their house in order.
Pareno's team cited crowded diary and thus could not be able to promptly appear in person before the Tribunal to respond to the complaints raised by sections of its members.
They specifically, demanded that the purported Kisumu ODM election board be disbanded and fresh appointment based on transparency and public participation be formed.
It is the Claimants' case that ODM, being a democratic party, has the mandate to conduct free and fair nominations.
In their plea before the Tribunal, they want the forthcoming nominations in Kisumu County be overseen by officials from neighboring Counties to avoid conflict of interest.
The Tribunal ordered the parties to appear the ODM NEB reconstitutes the election referees before it lifts up the verdict.