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ODM promises fair polls as lobbying intensifies

POLITICS
By STANDARD TEAM | January 14th 2014
            Nominated Senator Agnes Zani, who is eyeing the secretary general post, during a funds drive in Kwale County, yesterday. [PHOTO: TOBIAS CHANJI/STANDARD]

By STANDARD TEAM

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has promised aspirants free and fair elections at next month’s National Delegates Conference (NDC).

ODM Executive Director Magarer Langat allayed fears that the party had endorsed certain candidates to run for specific seats during the elections.

Speaking to The Standard, Langat said the party was determined to go an extra mile to ensure credible polls that reflect the will of members.

“I wish to state that there is no preference whatsoever for any candidate. Those claiming that some aspirants have received endorsement from the party are just spreading propaganda,” he said.

Some aspirants have maintained that the outgoing leadership gave preference to some candidates to resist change. But ODM has insisted on using secret ballot to deliver credible polls. The assurance came as the party put a public notice and invited applications for 24 vacant positions to be vied for at the February 28 and March1 NDC.

Aspirants have until January 27 to submit their applications to the party’s National Elections Board (NEB).

According to the notice appearing in the local dailies and signed by NEB Secretary Judith Pareno, applicants must meet the requirements as per the party election and nomination rules.

Loyal member

These include having participated in party activities for at least one year prior to the application of election, being a paid up life member of the party and committed to the ideals and core values of the party.

In Nyamira County, branch executive committee endorsed Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire’s bid for the position of national treasurer.

Led by West Mugirango MP James Gesami and branch chairman Stephen Nyakeriga, the members unanimously agreed to put their weight behind Bosire, arguing he has been a loyal member of the party for several years. “We have faith in his leadership abilities. He has been steadfast in party affairs and we believe he can take ODM party to the next level,” pronounced Dr Gesami.

Nominated Senator Agnes Zani, who has also expressed interest in the secretary general seat, exuded confidence she would win.

Taking the campaign to her home county-Kwale over the weekend, Zani said she would use her authority to bring development, especially on education, to the area.

“I want to be the Secretary General of ODM so that we can bring wealth to our people,” Zani said at Vuga. “Apart from being the only woman I also come from Coast region. This will be favourable for gender and regional balance,” she added.

In Western, delegates from Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia and Bungoma counties are seeking to ensure that they head into the ODM national polls with a common stand to ensure the region bags top slots as lobbying intensifies. A strategic meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow in Kakamega town which is expected to bring on board all top delegates from the region.

Leading the onslaught for positions, are former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende set to vie for the chairmanship and Budalangi lawmaker Ababu Namwamba eyeing the secretary general post.

Rebranding party

Sources indicate that Funyula MP Paul Otuoma could also be gunning for the post of deputy party leader previously held by William Ruto and Musalia Mudavadi. A former student leader at Moi University is among those gunning for the top posts in the upcoming elections.

Seth Odongo, a former communications student, will be vying for the position of Secretary for Publicity and Information.

Odongo said he was optimistic of getting the backing of the delegates and winning the top post, where he will be tasked with rebranding the political party in the country.

And an ODM official, Nabii Nabwera, has lobbied for Kakamega County to be accorded the second most senior position in the party.

–Reports by James Mbaka, Francis Ontomwa, Eric Abuga, Eric Lungai, Bryan Tumwa, Tobias Chanji and Benard Sanga

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