Wrangles persist on why Raila lost 2013 election, receipts of Caroli’s personal cash for ODM agents posted online
The ODM election fiasco blame game continue to simmer with two other of Raila Odinga’s former aides giving a different version of events that led Cord to lose the 2013 presidential election.
Sarah Elderkin, on one hand, on Tuesday said she handled the campaign money and did not get any from Raila’s former chief of staff Caroli Omondi. She said she worked with head of the secretariat Eliud Owalo.
The then director of political affairs Ngunjiri Wambugu, on the other hand, said that Omondi paid some Sh90 million from his own account for ODM agents.
In a statement, Elderkin said she administered the campaign money with the authority of Raila who had raised concerns “about controlling the disbursement of funds”.
“At the secretariat, I established a system of applications for funds, the applications having to be checked and initialed independently by the accountant and by Mr Owalo before I could even look at them. Everything had to be fully justified. I rejected all requests for fund disbursements whose necessities, I considered, lacked adequate proof, and I refused to authorise anything that did not meet my exacting standards. Only after my approval did the system allow withdrawal of funds from the account, of which I was not a signatory, and their disbursement,” Elderkin said.
Vicious squabbles have pitted Owalo against Omondi with the former accusing the latter of having failed to protect their boss’ votes.
Owalo said that all campaign finances were managed and administered by Omondi on the one hand and Elderkin on the other.
“This includes but is not limited to the Sh94 million that the Cord presidential candidate released directly to Mr Caroli Omondi two weeks to the elections for purposes of paying the agents,” Owalo maintained.
But yesterday, Elderkin wrote; “The funds I thus administered neither came from Mr Omondi, who was working in the prime minister’s office at the time, nor did he have anything to do with their administrations. The funds came from a campaign account. Mr Omondi was a colleague because he was part of the prime ministerial office but he was not working at the secretariat and was not involved in its financial functions.”
She added that after the elections, she oversaw the production of full accounts for the monies disbursed through the campaign secretariat.
“These accounts were presented to Mr Odinga before I relinquished the voluntary and temporary task,” Elderkin said.
Posting on Twitter on yesterday morning, Wambugu said that the blame should squarely lie on Owalo who he said mismanaged the campaign.
Wambugu said that during the 2013 elections tallying, Owalo dismissed the director of operations Kipkirui Langat from the venue.
“The RAO Secretariat deployed a senior staff to train agents and work with Caroli Omondi at the tallying centre he is now disowning. his lady reported to Dr Langat, a fellow director. She worked with Caroli at the tallying centre, with Eliud Owalo’s permission. During tallying Owalo decided that our Fields Ops Director, Dr Langat, was Ruto’s mole and chased him from the office. Dr Langat was in charge of agents & had been responsible for training & deploying them, with this lady, on Owalo’s authority,” Wambugu said.
Wambugu also posted a photo of a receipt which he used to claim that Caroli had paid some Sh90 million from his own account to pay ODM agents.
“After watching Eliud Owalo in action over last yr how many now agree tht CORD lost that election fair and square, through bad campaign management? Caroli Omondi wasn’t perfect, but Eliud Owalo must not be allowed to cleanse his inefficiencies as Campaign Chair using Caroli. It’s wrong,” Wambugu wrote.