Battle for Orange Democratic Movement top position

By Allan Kisia

NAIROBI, KENYA: As the fight for the control of ODM intensifies, members are now urging the top leadership to ensure the most qualified candidate gets the post of Executive Director.
Some officials are claiming that some candidates do not have the interests of the party at heart but are only interested in the money ODM will get from the Government.
Under the Political Party’s Act, ODM is to get close to Sh700 million from the government due to the seats it garnered in the March 4 elections.
Over 40 people applied for the ODM executive director’s post, in an exercise that was conducted by consulting firm, KPMG.
National youth coordinator Ben Ombima says the party should appoint a person who has contributed to the growth and development of the party. “All those who have applied should be asked to state their contributions and vision for the party. There are those who applied just for the money,” he stated.
Among those said to have sought the post are former ODM deputy chief whip Magerer Langat, ex-National Social Security Fund boss Naftali Mogere, politicians Ken Butiko, John Kiema, Nabii Nabwera, Beth Syengo, Ceasar Asiyo and Monica Amolo.
A panel of MPs led by Butere’s Andrew Toboso is to interview the shortlisted candidates.
The manner in which a new ODM Executive Director will be appointed will determine whether the party will regain its status as the strongest political party in the country.
The national vice chair of Women League Minishi Zamzam said the party needs youthful leaders who have the interests of ODM at heart. She said ODM needs a person who will restructure and strengthen it.
“The person to be given the job should have what it takes to turn around the party,” she added.
She said women want someone who will deliver and make the party strong once again. She expressed hopes that ODM will bounce back if the right person is given the job.
Kisii County youth leader Ochuan’gi Mango, who announced his support for Butiko, said the seat should be given to a person with a development track record within the party.
“We want someone who has demonstrated that he is able to deliver. That person should have played a role in the growth of the party,” he added.
ODM Kisumu Central chairman Seth Ochieng’, who also declared his support for Butiko, said candidates should not campaign on the social media but go on the ground to meet supporters.
“Candidates should go to the grassroots instead of spending too much time on social media,” he advised.
The seat fell vacant following the nomination of Janet Ongera, who was the party’s executive director to the Senate.