REBEL LUO MPs SHOP FOR PARTY
REBEL Luo Nyanza MPs are now considering registering their own party.
They are apparently unhappy with the way former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is running ODM.
The MPs had initially toyed with the idea of taking over the Liberal Democratic Party, founded by Raila in 2002, but they abandoned the idea because its present officials are still Odinga-ists.
The MPs have now resolved to register a new party and build it up before decamping en masse in case Raila fails to address their their concerns, according to insiders.
MPs from Luo Nyanza have threatened to desert ODM after Raila told them not to contest any national positions in the upcoming party polls.
Yesterday the Star learnt that the legislators have been engaged in secret consultative meetings aimed at building a consensus for a new party.
They have already floated the name of Movement for Democratic Change for their political vehicle.
“We have been misled by the Odingas for along time. Time has come for us to break their hold on the people of Nyanza,” said an MP from South Nyanza.
If the MPs succeed in their plan, it will not be the first time Luo leaders have challenged the Odingas.
Previous attempts by the late Tom Mboya, Odongo Omamo, Shem Ochuodho, James Orengo and former Minister Raphael Tuju to challenge them in Nyanza were unsuccessful.
Those involved in the latest attempt are trying to involve as many leaders as possible from the region to increase their chances of wrestling support from Raila.
In the past two weeks there have been several secret meetings, mainly in Nairobi, where it was resolved that a new party be duly registered.
It was also resolved that no MP would decamp for the time being as that would precipitate a by-election in their constituencies.
They will however quietly develop the party and only quit ODM at an opportune time before the 2017 elections.
Those unhappy with Raila are mainly from South Nyanza and reportedly disgruntled on the leadership provided by Central Nyanza.
The South Nyanza comprises Homa Bay and Migori counties while Central Nyanza comprises Kisumu and Siaya counties.
Raila comes from Central Nyanza where some elected leaders have also voiced concerns on his leadership style.
Yesterday at Orange house, ODM Elections Board chairperson Judith Pareno released a list of members who will contest for various party positions between February 28 to March 1.
“We have been hearing a song that the party has a secret list of preferred candidates. We assure all the stakeholders that there are no preferred candidates. The only candidates we have are in the list released today by this elections board,” Pareno said yesterday.
“We wish to confirm that we are professional, impartial and dedicated to ensure that we have free and fair elections,” she added.
She said the board was not responsible for the mess during the last general elections.
Dagoretti MP Paul Simba Arati will challenge Raila for the position of party leader. Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and David Songok Langat will compete for deputy party leader.
Funyula MP Paul Otuoma, Manson Nyamweya, Lawrence Mpuru Aburi, Josphat Koli Nanok and Isaac Musau Mwilu are gunning for the post of national chairperson.
Eldas MP Adan Keynan and Homa Bay senator Otieno Kajwang will stand for deputy chairperson after nominated senator Janet Ong’era pulled out of the race.
Kisumu senator Anyang’ Nyong’o has retired as ODM Secretary General and the post will be contested by Senator Agnes Zani, Nicholas Gumbo, nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro and Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba.
The ODM elections chairperson said her board had received 89 forms by the deadline of January 31.
Pareno said a final list will be released after it is confirmed that all the candidates have complied with terms set out in election and nomination rules. She said a complete delegates register will be released soon.
ODM executive director Magerer Langat urged party members from claims that the party has a secret list of preferred candidates.
“The list we know is the one we have released today and any other should be treated with contempt it deserves,” he said.