Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba will defend his seat in 2017 on a ticket of Labour Party of Kenya, which he will unveil on Thursday.
Ababu quit his position as ODM secretary general two months ago, saying he was keener on an outfit that would effectively represent Luhyas.
Ababu has rebranded LPK which was initially headed by former Butula MP Julia Ojiambo in Nairobi. The party first gained parliamentary representation in 2004 when Anania Mwaboza won the Kisauni constituency by-election.
A letter seen by the Star, inviting party members for the launch at Mamba Village in Karen, Nairobi, said the event will also be a celebration of the party’s 18th anniversary.
“The Labour Party of Kenya has completed a historic three-month process of rebranding and strengthening of its leadership,” read the letter signed by party secretary general Peter Kubebea.
Kubea said LPK will be launched at a dinner event bringing together hundreds of party leaders and delegates from across the country.
“We will soon be inviting expressionz of interest from potential aspirants for all elective positions in the 2017 general elections,” he said.
The evening event will be preceded by a meeting of the new National Executive Committee (NEC) which will be held in the morning.
ODM on Tuesday threatened to expel Ababu if he registers or gets directly involved with the activities of another party.
National chairman John Mbadi said the move to de-register party rebels was in line with Political parties Act Section 14 (5),.
It states that a person who, while being a member of a political party joins in the formation of another political party, or joins another political party will be deemed to have resigned from the previous one.
Mbadi said ODM was confident about retaining the Budalang’i parliamentary seat.
“We are confident that these are ODM zones and we will still win the election. In fact, the by-election will provide a platform for starting the 2017 campaigns,” he said.
ODM sent 13 letters to members who declared their defection to Jubilee Party, demanding an explanation on why they should not be de-registered after seven days.
“It is public knowledge that these people have been bought and are not ready to serve Kenyans but their personal interests. We will expel them and ensure they lose their seats,” Mbadi said in a phone interview.ODM officials from Busia county will meet on Friday to strategise on how to select the best candidate to challenge Ababu in 2017.
The meeting set for Ruambua ward will be chaired by Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong.
More than 10 aspirants have declared interest in vying for the seat on ODM ticket.