Mt Elgon ODM supporters threaten to quit party
12 May 2014, 16:32
Bungoma - Hundreds of supporters of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in Mt Elgon sub-County are threatening to ditch the party over what they claim is a scheme to revoke the nomination of their chairman Sammy Naibei Chemwey, who is a nominated Member of the Bungoma County Assembly (MCA).
The party members led by the sub-county executive officials Victor Chepkech, Solomon Chesutek and Alice Kamoet said a section of the county ODM party officials have connived with the top party leadership to irregularly invalidate the nomination of Chemwey.
Addressing a press conference in Chwele over the weekend, Chepkech who is the branch Secretary General said they will mobilize their members to ditch the party in droves if the party top organ goes ahead to endorse the decision made by its Executive Director Magerer Lagat, which may see Chemwey, the only Sabaot nominated MCA in Bungoma lose his post.
The Mt Elgon ODM branch Secretary General said it would be unfair for the said official, who was nominated to represent the marginalized persons in the county assembly, to lose his position, as per a copy of correspondence between Magerer and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“We are shocked that the Executive Director of the party can write to the IEBC boss Ahmed Issack Hassan and ask the polls body to reverse the decision of nominating Chemwey, who is a dedicated life member of the party and has stood by our party leader Raila Odinga. This is a deliberate plot to destabilize the party in the region and further marginalize the people of Mt Elgon,” said Solomon Chesutek, who also the sub-branch youth chairman.
Kamoet said the decision to rescind Chemwey’s nomination as an MCA based on the fact that he is not disabled does not hold water.
“On the marginalized and gazetted list of nominated MCAs in Bungoma County, there is already a person representing the disabled. There is no justification whatsoever that another physically disabled person must be on the list. If anything, Chemwey is the sole nominated MCA from the marginalized Sabaot community in the county out of 18 representatives in the assembly, which were given to members of one community,” said Kamaoet.
When reached for comment, acting ODM party leader Prof Anyang Nyong’o acknowledged receipt of the complaint and appealed for calmness from the party members in the region, noting that the matter is under review.
“I have received a formal protest letter and the issue is under review by me and other officials. We will give a final decision on the matter,” said Prof Nyong’o on phone, who also noted that it was irregular for Magerer to make a decision without the knowledge of the rest of the top party leadership.
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