Siaya: Chaos as ODM delegates clash during election of county chairperson
A meeting convened by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) at a hotel in Bondo town ended in disarray after chaos erupted among ODM officials over the person to fill Siaya County ODM chair position that was reserved for Bondo.
The chaos erupted on Monday, November 9 after officials from Ugenya, Ugunja, Alego/Usonga and Gem forwarded lists of persons that would fill the said positions.
Bondo organizing secretary George Mawere who was eying the County chair position took the microphone from the speaker and declared that ODM's Bondo branch had not settled on the Sub-County secretary Carey Orege as the chairman.
"As Bondo constituency, we have been given chance to produce three delegates and person to fill County chairman slot,” Mawere said on adding that one of the three delegate seats will go to Rarieda sub-County.
Mawere argued that the delegates must be allowed to democratically choose whom they trust with the ODM Siaya county chairperson position.
"We will not accept those imposed on us that’s why we must go out and decide as delegates whom we see fit to hold that position," Mawere said.
Sources close to People Daily Digital say the Siaya County ODM secretary-general Carey Orege was proposed to take over the position by Dr Oburu Odinga and other party members to lobby delegates to confirm him for the post.
"I would like the Bondo delegates to organize themselves and pick one of them to fill the position,” Ochieng said amid claps and cheers from non-delegates.
His remarks were however rejected by Bondo Secretary and MP Dr Gideon Ochanda as Orege declined to step aside as directed by Mawere.
The move saw supporters of the two ODM party officials clashing forcing County MP Christine Ombaka, Ochanda and Orege to dash out of the meeting under the protection of their bodyguards.
“Mawere has indeed messed up the meeting while it was coming to an end. In case there was a dispute we ought to have resolved it in a branch meeting and not a County meeting since that was not their business,” Orege said.
Ochanda on his part argued that for one to rise to the county chairman position one must be a delegate at the County level and previously endorsed by delegates right from the village, Ward, Sub-County and County levels.
He accused Mawere of trying to use short-cuts to get to the seat which is contrary to the party structure.
According to County Organising secretary Walter Okello, The meeting was meant to harmonise positions and so far five sub-counties have agreed with their proposals and it is now up to the Bondo party branch to seat, iron out their issues before choosing a candidate to take up the county chairperson post reserved for Bondo.
“It’s the Bondo branch that messed up the peaceful meeting. Even after reserving the post of the chair for them, they failed to agree among themselves who to fill it,” Okello said adding that he was in agreement with Ochanda that harmonization was done well in all levels except at Bondo Branch.
It is at Bondo branch levels that we have a bit of discomfort and that’s what has pilled over to harmonization of County chair and as we are now, we have unexclusive officials.
“We will consult party structures to convene so that Bondo delegates organize themselves in an acceptable manner for conflicting and competing for views to be accommodated for us to move forward together with one voice as families in Bondo and Siaya.
He asked the MP and aspirants to harmonize and give them candidates who will fill the slot of the chairperson in the County.
“In filling the 20 slots, we agreed to distribute the positions in a certain way and Ugunja sub-county gave us the Women leader while Ugenya gave us Debra Otieno as Secretary,” Okello said adding that Gem and Rarieda proposed Treasurer and Organising secretary who was Christine Ombaka and Walter Okello respectively.
Alego Usonga had a vice-chairperson post that was filled by Jaqcline Oduol while the ODM youth leader is Alfayo Abuje.
Okello said they were in compliance with the ODM elections board to harmonize grassroots party officials and had directed our people to harmonize them right from polling stations to sub-county branches.