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TNA to recruit members in Nyanza

By Evelyn Kwamboka and Rushdie Oudia

The National Alliance Party is set to embark on a massive recruitment exercise in Nyanza province.

The political party, which is mainly targeting the Luo Nyanza, started by reaching out to residents through key appointments in the Government in a bid to reconcile with the region that denied President Uhuru Kenyatta votes in the March 4 polls.

The party is planning to open more offices and recruit members in the region.

The move is likely to send the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)  back to the drawing board since some of its party leaders at the grassroots level defected after the flawed nominations and have not been replaced to date.

TNA Secretary General Onyango Oloo told The County Weekly that his party plans to strengthen itself at the grassroots level by first targeting popular leaders who will help sell its policies.

 Ethnic inclination 

“We plan to reach out to locals through practical development activities that will demonstrate to them what the government is capable of doing,” he said.

Those appointed by President Uhuru include Senator Joy Adhiambo Gwendo, Defence Cabinet secretary Rachael Omamo, Fred Matiangi, Cabinet secretary Information and Communication Technology, Principal Secretary Colletta Suda and Eng Peter Oganga.

Onyango, who is to work with Gwendo, claimed that the youth in ODM were there due to ethnic inclination and it is high time they moved to TNA.

The two are set to face an uphill task in fighting the ODM wave and changing the residents’ mindset to support TNA along with the Jubilee alliance policies.

“Nyanza has been historically in the opposition and voted as a block for a very long time with the past decade being entirely ODM,” Gwendo said. He suggested that the region needs a different kind of leadership and youths should come out and fight for positions.

She said there is need for residents to support the current government especially the youth since her appointment  was a clear indication that the President is fulfilling his agenda for youth and women.

In her view, the youth’s shying away from leadership has given the old guards in the region a lee way to control them for ages using ‘archaic’ ideas.

“We should not go to a shamba without manure. The people of Nyanza should exploit the opportunities presented to them and not think towards one direction only,” she said.

 Under pressure

The nominated senator is now under pressure to open TNA office in Kisumu as a big number of people around her area, Kolwa in Kisumu East want to register with the party.

“I am being encouraged by my people to open up an office in Kisumu since they appreciate the fact that the party recognised one of their own,” said Gwendo.

She laments that Nyanza people have been blind for a very long time and their time to wake up from slumber is now.

“The leadership in Nyanza has failed us and I will not sit back and watch them continue being in the dark,” asserted Gwendo, adding that she is a ‘gift from God’ to the region.

However, a section of ODM MPs have welcomed TNA to the region but wonder as to whether their rival would make any inroads in the region that voted as a bloc in the March polls.

Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura said there is a difference in selling policies or opening offices and getting followers to support the agenda. “TNA should first ask itself how many votes Oloo got for the party in the election,” he said. Homa Bay Town MP Opondo Kaluma said TNA has a right under the Political Parties Act to recruit more members across the country, adding that ODM should now work on maintaining its strongholds.

“There is need for ODM to conduct elections in a bid to replace officials who defected during the General Election. The party should also move fast in opening offices across the county and recruit more members,” he said.

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