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CORD’s Okoa Kenya initiative woes URP defectors

By Graham Kajilwa | November 10th 2015

Over 300 delegates from the United Republican Party (URP) in Elgeyo Marakwet have defected to the opposition.
The delegates have joined the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as their principle party in a bid to have the issues of their community addressed.
They claimed the Jubilee government has marginalized them despite their loyalty during the 2013 general election that came with hefty promises not yet delivered.
This, they said has forced them to review their political affiliation resulting from the failure of government leaders whom they accused of paradoxically working to derail the strides made by previous administrations.
They expressed their displeasure in the 'looting spree kind of governance' of public resources and positions which allegedly has left out members of their community.
"None of our community member is a cabinet secretary, principal secretary, Ambassador, Commissioner or in any other high calibre civil servant position. We expect our community to have senior positions in the Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) government," said the delegates chair Hosea Kilimo in a petition presented to CORD Principal Raila Odinga yesterday at Orange House.
Kilimo said the Jubilee administration had neglected their area in provision of infrastructure which has dwindled the area economically despite its huge potential in agriculture: "We believe that the CORD government will establish efficient road networks and that will facilitate transportation of farm produce to help stop dependence on grants."
Addressing the delegates, CORD Principal Raila Odinga said such agonies from Kenyans is what ignited him to have a referendum in order to address the contentious issues: "During my time in government I made sure marginalized areas like Elgeyo Marakwet had the basic essentials like electricity to spearhead development. However, when this government took over these projects have been stalled."
On Monday CORD had presented a draft Constitution Amendment Bill with 1.4 million signatures to the Independent Electoral Boundary Commission (IEBC) that they anticipate will change the political platform of the country.
Among the proposals, leaders with community influence mainly Ward Representatives and Senators have been prioritized. If it sails through as it is, the Senate will have powers to assess appointments to constitutional commissions. Governors will also have powers to handle security docket.
Similarly, the Bill also proposes a Ward Fund for Ward Representatives.
ODM Secretary General Ababu Namwamba said the defection is just the exodus of many that are yet to come before the coming 2017 election as Kenyans have grown tired of the impunity and corruption cases in the country.
"A cocktail of propaganda, lies and misinformation was used to sway our supporters back then but there will be no repeat of this. There is no party that can claim to have at heart interest of Kenyans than ODM," said the Budalangi legislature.

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