Matungu direct ticket to Were threatens ODM
Dennis Lumiti and Noven Owiti
Trouble is brewing in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) after some of the party aspirants and supporters protested the handing of a direct party ticket to former Matungu MP David Were for the March 4 by-election.
An exchange of harsh words characterised the start of the campaigns by the Orange party in the constituency yesterday with a section of MCAs threatening to “deal with any county employee who will vote against Were”.
Two of the aspirants who had sought the party ticket announced they had withdrawn from the party.
Paul Posho, an adviser to Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, said he would vie for the seat as an Independent candidate while businessman Benjamin Achayo said he would contest on the MDG Party ticket associated with Ugenya MP David Ochieng’.
A meeting held at Kholera Shopping Centre and attended by Oparanya turned into name-calling session.
“I am told some of the county employees from Matungu are saying they will feed from Oparanya but vote for our opponents.
Let them try because we shall ensure we have our agents in all the polling stations who will discreetly take photos showing how they vote (sic),” warned Mayoni MCA Libinus Oduori.
“If we discover that you voted for our opponents you will lose your job in the county then go and get hired by the person you voted for,” he added amid grunts from a section of the crowd.
He said that the race for Matungu was a contest between Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Oparanya and Deputy President William Ruto. He claimed that Ruto was behind the candidature of Posho.
“Some of you have come here clad in t-shirts and caps with the word ‘hustler nation’.
How can you compare yourself to somebody who owns seven choppers? You are an embarrassment to the Luhya Nation,” Oduori told the crowds.
“Posho was supposed to pay Sh250,000 as nomination fees and another Sh20,000 as registration fees because he had left ODM when he lost the party primaries in 2017.
Now instead he turned to Oparanya to pay for him yet he earns Sh380,000 per month excluding allowances as the governor’s advisor in the county government,” claimed MCA Boniface Osanga of Namamali Ward.
ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said they issued nomination forms to both Posho and Achayo but they never returned them.
Oparanya did not comment on the claims but only exuded confidence that ODM would carry the day.
But Posho dismissed the claims saying he was in a position to pay the Sh 270,000 but was reliably informed that a direct nomination certificate had already been prepared for Were.
“ODM has a bunch of jokers and rascals because they wanted to con us then issue a direct nomination certificate to Were,” he said.
To be humiliated
Achayo said if ODM does not evolve with the current political trends it will once again be humiliated the way it happened in Ugenya where it lost to David Ochieng and to Faisal Bader in Msambweni.
The ANC Western Regional Coordinator David Major Malalah reveled at the infighting in ODM saying it was a big advantage to their candidate Peter Oscar Nabulindo.
“Matungu belongs to ANC. Let them fight while we wait for victory on March 4. We are on the ground,” said Malalah.
Desterio Okumu, a political analyst from Matungu, said the seat was Nabulindo’s to lose.
“ANC picked Nabulindo because various opinion polls on the ground showed he was the favourite with support of over 60 per cent.
But in the event that he loses, 98 per cent of the blame should squarely be directed at ANC because the party has very little work in selling their candidate due to his popularity, compared to ODM,” he said.
Okumu added that Were lost the seat in 2017 after serving for three terms due a slur that “whoever would defeat him was not yet born.
He said the “insult” is still a major thorn in his flesh because the residents felt he had belittled them and their spouses and children.
Elsewhere, the party has filled all positions in Karachuonyo constituency as it seeks to strengthen its support at the grassroot.
Delegates in Karachuonyo held a meeting at the constituency office at Pala Trading Centre yesterday where they picked George Maigo as the constituency chairman.
The new official who previously held the seat in an acting capacity will steer the party alongside Walter Nyakinda (deputy chairman) and Zedekiah Oduya (constituency delegate).
Nyakinda doubles up as the representative of persons with disability in the party within the constituency.
In a resolution read by Homa Bay county ODM woman leader Ruth Ojuka on behalf of other delegates, the party officials said their aim is to ensure the party does not lose its popularity in the constituency.