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Tuesday, March 22, 2022 – Raila Odinga’s party, the Orange Democratic Movement, has been hit with a wave of defections ahead of party preliminaries.

Senior political figures are abandoning the Raila-led party out of fear that the nomination exercise will be prone to manipulation.

Some aspirants have accused the party of not being clear on which mode of nomination they will adopt with only five days remaining to the deadline of moving parties.

In Kisii County, Senator Sam Ongeri defected to DAP-K associated with Eugune Wamalwa saying his aspirations will not be met through ODM.

It is suspected that Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati is the most-preferred aspirant within the party’s inner circles, triggering jitters among other contestants who are scampering for refuge elsewhere.

The Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi also decamped from ODM to UDA of William Ruto where he is expected to contest for the senatorial seat.

“In ODM, the word democracy does not have space because the party leader makes all decisions without involving other members,” Maangi said while defecting.In Kajiado County,  former Kajiado Governor David Nkedianye also abandoned the orange party for Jubilee where he will face off with incumbent Joseph ole Lenku in the party’s primaries.

In Kakamega County, Deputy Governor Philip Kutima defected to DAP-K accusing the ODM deputy party leader, Wycliffe Oparanya, of planning to rig him out during the nomination.

“I knew they wanted to humiliate me in ODM and that is why I moved to DAP-K,” said Kutima.

The fear of bungled nomination is not new in the Orange Party as the past nominations have been tainted with violence and rigging in favor of those with more say within party ranks.

John Mbadi, the ODM chairman sought to dispel fears of bungled nominations, urging loyal aspirants to be calm and promising credible primaries.

“Everyone will have to go through the party primaries. We have repeatedly said so and I shudder why some people want to think otherwise. ODM will go for universal suffrage,” Mbadi said in an interview with The People Daily.

“It is not going to be a race of the chosen few but a democratic-driven process with the veto power derived from the electorates,” Mbadi added.

The Kenyan DAILY POST

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