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ODM Leaders who fought in Homa Bay to be disqualified before 2017 elections

By JOHN OYWA, KEVIN OGUTU AND KEVINE OMOLLO | Nov 29th 2016 | 2 min read
Homa Bay MP Opondo Kaluma wrestles aspiring candidate Washington Ogaga (in kitenge) after they disagreed during a political rally in Homa Bay town on 27th November, 2016. The two who had earlier attended a memorial service at the late Otieno Kajwang's home in Mbita, where Governor Cyprian Awiti's car was allegedly pelted with stones, came face to face and square it out physically to the surprise of other Nyanza leaders. [Photo:Jacob Owiti/Standard]

Homa Bay Town MP Opondo Kaluma and his opponent Washington Ogaga may be disqualified from participating in ODM party primaries ahead of 2017 general election for fighting in public.

ODM national Chairman John Mbadi has announced that the party has launched investigations into the alleged misconduct by the duo, which saw them resort to a fist fight during a campaign rally in Homa Bay on Sunday.

Even though the two are yet to be summoned by the party's disciplinary organ, Mbadi told The Standard that the party was still investigating the matter.

He said the investigation was not limited to the two, as there are chances that other individuals might have been responsible as well for the melee that was witnessed.

"Any leader who will be found to have been involved in the ugly incident, whether elected or aspiring, will have to face disciplinary action as that was a total embarrassment to party leader Raila Amolo Odinga," said Mbadi.

Both Kaluma and Ogaga have however defended themselves, saying they were acting in self defense.

Kaluma said the party had intelligence that some people were planning to cause chaos at the event, prompting a decision to bar the display of any banner carrying the portraits of any politician.

"After we discovered some ill motives, we decided that only the portraits of Raila and that of the late Kajwang were to be displayed at the rally, because the rally had a mixture of elected and aspiring leaders, hence carrying portraits of any of them was tantamount to fueling tension," said Kaluma.

He however said when he stood up to announce the decision at Homa Bay County Stadium, Mr Ogaga pounced on him, sending him to the ground.

"I was surprised because I did not know Mr Ogaga and had never shared a podium with him. So I just battled my way out, only to realize later that he was not happy with my pronouncements," said Kaluma.

Ogaga however accused Kaluma of starting the fight by throwing a kick at him and insulting him at the podium.

"Mr Kaluma did not want my supporters to surge towards the dais and he ordered me to tell them to go away so that his supporters would come closer. Before I could respond he threw a kick at me and in self defense I held him back and he fell," said Ogaga.

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