The defection of Kakamega Deputy Governor Philip Kutima and Nominated Senator Naomi Shiyonga to the Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) is causing jitters among Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party luminaries.
They accuse Prof Kutima of betrayal and running down the party while serving as the ODM county chairman.
“The defection of Prof Kutima is a cowardly act precipitated by the fear of losing in party primaries,” said Moffat Mandela, ODM county youth leader.
Kutima was expected to battle it out for the ODM ticket with former Ketraco CEO Fernandes Barasa and Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito.
Mandela and some ODM officials from the county who accompanied him said they had the blessings of Kizito, the ODM county chairman.
According to Mandela, Kutima ran down the party before he was replaced last year. “ODM has become a formidable force and ready to reclaim its past glory by winning many elective seats.
“Prof Kutima did not only fail to endear himself to the party ranks but presided over the near-collapse of the party in the county and therefore least qualifies to claim unfair treatment by a party he has led in the county for four years,” said Mandela.
ODM insists that Kutima’s defection is inconsequential but they want him to resign as the deputy governor to pave way for someone else.