Controversies surrounding attempts by the Orange Democratic Movement to impeach Migori Governor Okoth Obado have taken a fresh twist after several Members of County Assembly (MCAs) allegedly fled the county as tension continued to rise.
This comes as a number of MCAs claimed the mission to kick out Obado may fail because of sharp divisions among Orange party MCAs, threats and intimidation as well as fears of a backlash from the residents.
The Jubilee brigade are also torn over the ouster bid, with MCAs skipping a meeting organised in Kuria to rally them behind the ouster bid.
A number of MCAs travelled out of Migori, with some claiming they were holding strategy meetings in Kisii, Kisumu and Nairobi in the wake of the developments.
Although a majority of them asked not to be named for fear of reprisals from the party and also to avoid a backlash from residents, they claimed a lot is at stake.
Yesterday, the Assembly’s minority whip Joseph Oyoo of Jubilee party dismissed attempts by the party to compel them to join ODM to oust Obado.
The Makario Ward MCA dismissed the party’s coordinator Mwita Nyangi who convened a meeting with other party officials from the county and said they would not support Obado ouster.
He is among the MCAs who skipped a meeting held in Kuria by Migori Jubilee officials to rally support for the ouster bid.
Mr Oyoo claimed that they were in the assembly as an opposition and as a result cannot support plans by ODM to impeach Obado.
“We are in the county Assembly as an opposition and as a result we will not support anything that the ODM team tables before the House,” said Oyoo.
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Several other MCAs claimed anonymously that the push to oust Obado was ill-informed and would not succeed.
There are fears that violence may erupt in the county should the leaders fronting for Obado’s ouster proceed with the move and table an impeachment motion against him.
Some MCAs claimed that the fear of violence erupting as a result of the planned exercise exceeds the wrath of the party should they fail to go against the party’s wishes.
An ODM MCA who asked not to be named said he had moved to Kisii to escape intense pressure at the county.
“The mission the party has given us is not easy because the governor enjoys a lot of support and has a good track development record and most of us are cagey about supporting his ouster,” said the ward rep.
Muhuru MCA Hevron Mahira, who reported threats on his life on Wednesday, told The Standard that he has moved to a safe place within the county.
He alleged that a few hours after reporting about threat on his life, he received more threats from a strange number for supporting the position of his party over Obado’s fate.
“I haven’t left the county but I am currently in a safe place,” said Mahira.
And with the rising tension, senior police officers in the county held an emergency security meeting to plan how to deal with the situation.
A senior officer who sought anonymity said the meeting was in response to the developments taking place and also part of the efforts to ensure that peace is maintained in Migori.
Questions, however, are still being asked whether the mission will succeed even though ODM chairperson John Mbadi said that the MCAs do not have an option but to impeach Obado.
Majority leader Ken Ouma described the mission as a difficult one because of the development projects that several wards have benefited from Obado’s regime.
“We have not met as an Assembly to begin the process because of the recess. Migori is also a bit difficult but MCAs will decide,” said Mr Ouma.
He dismissed claims that some MCAs had fled, but admitted that some MCAs had been meeting in lobby groups in various places.
Ouma is among the ward reps from the ODM party who claimed that the party should also explore another route which may include de-whipping Obado from the party should impeachment fails.
He added that although the party had directed them to impeach Obado, the MCAs would have the last word.
“There are several projects that are going on in the wards and the ward reps may be reluctant because there is one year before the next polls,” said the majority leader.
Yesterday, however, Mbadi told The Standard that MCAs who don’t support the ouster bid would be signing “their divorce paper” with the party.