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Orange party supporters turn out in large numbers to mark tenth anniversary

By Willis Oketch and Kelvin Karani | September 11th 2016
.MOMBASA-ODM-CELEBRATIONS;Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu (2nd right), flanked by other ODM delegates follows proceedings at Mama Ngina Drive in Mombasa County on Saturday,010th September,2016. This was during the Party's 10th Anniversary celebrations.PHOTO BY MAARUFU MOHAMED/STANDARD

ODM supporters began gathering at Mombasa’s Mama Ngina Drive Gardens as early as 7am yesterday, for the party’s tenth anniversary celebrations.

Donning party colours, the supporters joined in song and dance as they waited for ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Some youths spent the night at the venue to secure tents, music and public address equipment.

Women, men and youth lined streets dancing and singing in praise of Raila and Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho who was the host.

Security was tight at the venue with armed GSU manning strategic positions. Party security officials, assisted by County askaris, manned all entrances.

Supporters arrived from far and wide, on foot and by car or branded buses; they had placards with photographs of Raila and deputy party leader Joho.

Organisers said that besides delegates from 47 counties, there were representatives of certain political parties from Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Local artistes entertained the crowd as traders cashed in on ODM memorabilia and the party’s newspaper –The Kenyan Weekly.

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Raila and ODM leaders arrived in Mombasa on Friday evening for the celebrations.

Suna East MP and ODM’s director of elections and campaigns Junet Mohamed said about 100 MPs and 15 governors were in Mombasa on Friday.

“We have 15 governors and over 100 MPs in Mombasa. They arrived yesterday,” Junet said yesterday as Raila met party top officials at the Wild Waters Resort in Nyali.

The Standard on Sunday spoke to some delegates who said they had arrived from Nairobi and Kakamega to show their commitment to ODM.

An MCA from Kakamega Said Hussein said he arrived  yesterday. “We are here to celebrate 10 years of our party and we expect many defectors from the URP and TNA to join us today,” Said said.

Ken Maina, a youth from Nairobi said ODM has a lot to celebrate after ten years. “It is the only party that has consistently fought for good governance and equal rights including protecting minorities."

He said that despite it challenges “ODM remains the only party with a national outlook” and claimed that the parties allied to the ruling coalition were frantically trying to acquire the same credential.

He said that he has supported ODM for years  because ODM supports the youth and works towards empowering the marginalised.

On Friday, Raila addressed rallies at Changamwe, Saba Saba and Kengeleni before being hosted to a dinner to mark ODM’s anniversary.

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