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KISUMU: ODM warn aspirants against 'importing' voters

UREPORT
By Kevin Ogutu | January 20th 2017
 ODM leadership in Kisumu County now wants all the aspirants to stop importing voters their constituencies of interest saying that would lead to voter apathy in the forthcoming general elections.

They say imported voters may not vote for the Presidential aspirant, a move that will work against the opposition.

Addressing journalists today at the end of a meeting that brought together both the incumbents and aspiring candidates, ODM County Chairman Prof Ayiecho Olweny said aspirants should not be guided by greed to get party nominations at the expense of the party's interests.

"As ODM party we want the former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga to become Kenya's fifth president. So if say an aspirant eyeing Kisumu Central seat imports voters from Kajulu, and he fails in the nominations, the truth is that he will not transport them to the various polling stations where he had them register to vote on August 8," he said, adding that such votes would be lost.

He said to avoid such tactics that would, in the long run, prove to be detrimental to the dreams and aspirations of ODM party, aspirants should popularize themselves while at the same time sensitizing and mobilizing people to register as voters.

"If one is not sure about the possibility of winning at a particular ward or constituency, then you should drop your ambitions rather than engaging in tactics that would lead to lower voter turnout at a time we want to have all registered voters voting for the various political seat on August 8," said Olweny.

Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura, speaking on phone, urged aspirants and the incumbents to stay clear of such practices as that was tantamount to scoring an own-goal.

"The truth of the matter is that after such people fail in the nominations, voter apathy in August would be the least of their concerns. That must be condemned," said Obura.

He, however, urged the aspirants and the incumbents to step up their campaigns while avoiding panic which would make people resort to such underhand tactics.

The consultative meeting brought together Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, Senator Anyang Nyongo and MPs Shakeel Shabbir (Kisumu East), Aduma Awuor (Nyakach), James Nyikal (Seme) and several elected MCAs and aspirants seeking various political seats in the county.

The meeting was aimed at exploring ways of maximizing their effort in ensuring more people register as voters in the coming elections.

One leader after another, the aspirants and the incumbents made their commitment to steer the voter registration drive in their various wards and constituencies.

"We have decided on 'adopt a polling station' strategy, where we have asked all the aspirants to ensure that all adults with IDs within a given polling station register as voters," said Olweny.
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