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Interesting:My Changing Over From ODM to KANU

Over the last week I went through the process of leaving one political party and joining another one. I would like to share the process of such transition for anyone contemplating the same.

But let me start with some clarification. After I declared I was resigning from ODM last week some have tried to argue that I actually quit ODM immediately after we lost the last elections. They argue that my positions on this column have been different from what were clearly pro-ODM ones before the elections. What they do not understand is that once elections are over a party is better served by members challenging its leaders to up their game, rather than singing the leader’s praises, which happens during campaigns. Unfortunately in ODM this is interpreted as being ‘a mole sent to destroy the party’; an interpretation that not only led to my parting of ways with the party, but the ODM Elections Fiasco a week ago.

As I was ‘swimming upstream’ in ODM over the last few months, and hoping that my columns would make the party better during and after its own party elections, I also started contemplating what other party I would join if ODM did not get its house in order. The decision I ended up surprised not only close friends and associates; it surprised even me. I realized that if I ever resigned from ODM, KANU would be my alternative party of choice!

Back to processes; according to the Political Parties Act, 2011 a member of a political party who intends to resign from the party should give a written notice to the party prior to his resignation. If the person is a Member of Parliament this notice should also be given to the clerk of the relevant House of Parliament; or to the clerk of the County Assembly if this person is a member of the County Assembly. The resignation takes effect once the party (and where applicable, the respective clerks) receive such notice. These offices should then notify the Registrar of Political Parties of the member’s resignation, within three days.

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So on Monday 3rd March 2014 I handed in my resignation notice to ODM; a short note addressed to the Secretary General of the party expressing my gratitude for everything I have learnt about politics during my time with the party, and wishing them all the best in the coming days. I then stated that I no longer wished to continue with my membership. My notice was duly received.

After waiting for the three days given to the party to inform the Registrar of my resignation, I then walked into KANU offices on 6th March 2014 to inquire about how one joins Kenya’s independence party.

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At the KANU Headquarters I met a charming lady called Fridah who walked me through the party’s membership processes, and the options. She then asked whether I was a member of any other party because it is illegal to be a member of two parties at the same time. I explained to her that I had been a member of ODM but resigned earlier in the week. I also told her that the ODM Head of Communications had informed me, on Live Tv, that since I had not renewed my membership in September last year I had ceased being a member of ODM effective five months ago. Fridah insisted on getting a copy of my resignation letter to ODM, and then allowed me to fill in the membership forms.

Incidentally on KTN’s ‘Jeff Koinange Live’ the ODM Party Director of Communications told me that as far as the party was concerned I had joined ODM as ‘ust an ordinary member’ in September 2012 and because I had not renewed my membership a year later as expected, I was not a member of ODM at the point of my resignation. However I have since confirmed that as per the Registrar’s records, I was still officially an ODM member up until when I delivered a copy of my resignation letter to them, last week.

I am now officially a KANU Gold Member; the equivalent to a Life Membership in other parties. A quick peek into why I joined KANU. One, of all the parties with elected Members of Parliament in Kenya today KANU is the only one where the party’s Brand is clearly bigger than any of its leader’s brands. Two, KANU is the only party that does not seem to attract hard-line ‘for-or-against’ political support in specific parts of the country. Three, KANU is at a point where the only way forward, is up. (Next week I will delve deeper into the details of ‘Why KANU’).

– the-star.co.ke

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