MP urges Raila to stop meddling in Homa Bay Senatorial by election
19 January 2015, 16:30
Homa Bay - Karachuonyo legislator, James Rege has told ODM party leader Raila Odinga to stop meddling in the Homa Bay senatorial by elections slated for February 12.
He told Raila to shun ‘his dictatorial leadership’ and let the people of Homa Bay to make an independent choice on who will be their next Senator.
Addressing a press conference in Homa Bay town over the weekend, Rege said Raila should embark on consolidating the loose ends in the branch party leadership following chaos that marred its primaries last December.
“We cordially welcome Raila as our party leader whenever he tours Homa Bay, but he should come with the intention of uniting the people of Homa Bay rather than campaigning for a particular candidate soon after the disputed ODM nominations,” Rege said.
He said time had come that they should be given a fair chance to express themselves in the party, adding that for a long time they have been sidelined in the management of the party affairs.
“For real democracy to be exercised in ODM, party members should be fully integrated in its management because some of us have been in the cold for a long time,” he said.
Rege, who is also the Homabay branch ODM secretary, rubbished sentiments by ODM's national Chairman, John Mbadi that ODM MPs who are not supporting the party’s nominee for the Homa Bay senatorial seat should face disciplinary action.
Rege, who is supporting former Rangwe MP Philip Okundi’s candidature in the senatorial by election, said every citizen had a constitutional right to support a political candidate of their choice.
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“It is anchored in the laws that every Kenyan has a right to support a political candidate of their choice and therefore, though am a member of ODM, I am entitled by the same constitution to support a candidate of my choice,” Rege said.
Rangwe MP, George Oner echoed Rege’s sentiments, saying the power to elect a new Senator for Homa Bay County should be left to the people without interference from outside.
“The democratic right to elect the next Senator for Homa Bay County is with the people and this should be observed at all costs,” Oner said.
“Let nobody be cheated, we are not going to elect anybody on sympathy grounds. It will be up to the people to decide,” he said.
He claimed that the internal wrangels in ODM were brought by some MPs who are perceived to be close allies to the party leader, Raila Odinga.
Philip Okundi who is contesting on Maendeleo Democratic Party called for repair of what he termed as a ‘leaking roof in ODM’.
“We need to do a major repair on ODM’s leaking roof so that transparency can restored in the party,” Okundi said.
He appealed to Homa Bay electorates to vote him in, saying he was an experienced candidate and could represent them well in the Senate.
Okundi refuted claims by a faction of ODM members that he was a Jubilee affiliate candidate, saying was genuinely contesting on a Maendeleo Democratic ticket.
“Those thinking that I am a Jubilee mole are just but spreading cheap propaganda. I am vying on Maendeleo ticket which is not an affiliate of any other political coalition,” he said.
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