Raila Odinga’s ex-allies spill the beans

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Two key members of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s 2013 election campaign team are now blaming each other over the way they handled his unsuccessful presidential bid.

In a spat that could reveal intricate details of the Cord presidential candidate’s campaign machinery, Mr Eliud Owalo, who was the campaign manager, and Mr Caroli Omondi, the chief of staff at the PM’s office, on Monday differed over the fate of Sh94 million for election agents and the tallying centre meant to monitor votes for their boss during the March 4 polls.

Mr Owalo blamed Mr Omondi for running down the campaign structure of the ODM leader, including making it difficult for the campaign secretariat to work.

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He claimed that Mr Omondi was in charge of the Sh94 million released by Mr Odinga two weeks to the elections date to pay more than 20,000 agents at more than 31,000 polling stations designated by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The majority of the agents countrywide, he said, were yet to be paid.

“This includes but is not limited to the Sh94 million that the Cord presidential candidate released directly to Caroli two weeks to the elections for purposes of paying the agents.

“At no point in time during our last presidential campaigns did Eliud Owalo manage financial resources. All campaign finances were managed by Mr Caroli Omondi…” he said in a statement.

Mr Omondi denied the claims and challenged Mr Owalo to take responsibility for the failed project he ran as the head of secretariat.

He described the allegations as “nonsense”.

SET RECORD STRAIGHT

“What he is saying here is all nonsense. Was he Mr Odinga’s campaign manager or not? That is all I ask,” he told the Nation and declined to comment further.

Mr Owalo said he was compelled to set the record straight after questions raised by Cord supporters on social media regarding the manner in which Mr Odinga’s presidential campaign was conducted.

In particular, he said, the concerns pointed to the way campaign funds were spent and the way Cord’s tallying centre was managed.

On the alleged mishandling of the Cord agents, Mr Owalo said: “The issue of agents had earlier been hijacked from the mainstream campaign machinery and directly administered by a separate autonomous unit under the command of Caroli.

“He is the one who knows who the agents were, how they were sourced, who was paid what and the reasons for which some/any agents may not have been paid.”

Mr Odinga lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta in the elections.

nation.co.ke/

Mr Eliud Owalo, Raila Odinga's former campaign manager, speaking to the media in Nairobi on July 22, 2013. FILE PHOTO | STEPHEN MUDIARI

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