ODM team starts probe into aborted polls-Request public to volunteer information

A team formed to investigate the botched ODM elections Wednesday started its work.

Mr Jotham Nyukuri who heads the task force looking into the aborted elections said although the probe is of public interest, he would ensure the outcome does not break the party.

“We recognise that this matter though of public interest, immediately concerns ODM as a party and the outcome of the inquiry must of necessity not to be destructive to the party but instead help strengthen the party,” Mr Nyukuri said.

Mr Nyukuri who was accompanied by Senator Harold Kipchumba and Mr Mutalaki Mwashimba called on those with information on the failed elections to provide to the team.
The chairman said his team would also summon a number of people to provide information to it.
“As an inquiry team, we undertake to start our work from the position of non-speculation and complete neutrality. We must institute a process that seeks to isolate facts from general opinions and innuendos,” Mr Nyukuri told journalists at Orange House in Nairobi.
He added: “We therefore request the public to volunteer any information that will help us accomplish our task. We have put up a task force desk at the ODM headquarters to receive this information,” Mr Nyukuri said.
He said his team is independent and that it would inquire “circumstances arising from an unfortunate political incident that took place on 28th February, 2014.”
Mr Nyukuri said his team expects complete and give its report on the polls within 30 days.
He, however, refused to comment on reports that the party leadership might know the “Men in Black” accused of having disrupted the elections.
Mr Nyukuri’s team had twice failed to address a press conference they had called to invite the public to give information to help unmask the mystery surrounding the disruption of ODM”s National Delegates Conference.
The polls meant to elect new national officials ended in disarray when some men dressed in black suits destroyed ballot papers and boxes.
ODM expected to use the momentum from the election to push for certain demands and to re-energise its support base.
The party was expected to make demands regarding reforms in security sector, clear guidelines from the government on plans to arrest unemployment and the rising cost of living.

The party also wanted to use the election to rally members in Parliament and outside to push for an overhaul of a number of institutions particularly the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and rally support for devolution, including demand for more power and resources for the governors.

The secretaries for various sectors were supposed to check on government ministers and articulate ODM policy on various issues.

Overall, the objective was to take the battle to Jubilee, re-energise party base and sustain momentum towards 2017, the party said.

The party wanted to use the polls to hang onto its support base across the country especially Nyanza, Western, Coast, Nairobi and North Eastern regions by ensuring members from the areas clinched top positions.
Some party diehards were however concerned that Jubilee coalition could have penetrated the party by sponsoring candidates for various positions in a bid to wreck it from within.
A faction of candidates also feared that Mr Odinga could be favouring some candidates for the top positions.-nation.co.ke

PHOTO | FILE Members of the gang overcome ODM officials and go on the rampage shortly after voting started at Kasarani.

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