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ODM headed for a split

05 September 2014, 16:50 Ben Wafula

Bungoma - Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is headed for a split in Bungoma County after the branch and sub-branch Chairmen gave their overall chairman, John Waluke, a two weeks ultimatum to convene the party meeting or risk being dethroned.

Speaking after holding a meeting in Bungoma on Thursday, the branch and sub-branch chairmen led by the County ODM Secretary, Majimbo Okumu, accused Waluke of failing to convene any meeting since he was elected almost two years ago.

Majimbo, who is also the Majority Leader in the Bungoma County Assembly, said that Waluke has not convened any meeting to give members a go-ahead or shed light on how they should register people for the planned referendum.

Read Also: FORA accuse Raila of dishonesty

"Our Chairman is a big letdown. If he can't call for any meeting for us to discuss the party affairs, how then does he expect the party to grow?" said Majimbo.

He said that their efforts to have their chairman convene the County meeting to forge the way forward has always fallen on deaf ears with Waluke ignoring their pleas.

Majimbo told Waluke, who is the Sirisia Member of Parliament, to clearly declare his stand on whether he supports the CORD referendum or not.

"Waluke has not been clear on the referendum issue and he seems to be working with the Jubilee government to scuttle the opposition's agenda for calling for the referendum and we are not contented with his behavior; let him tell us his position," said Majimbo.

The County ODM Youth Leader, George Barasa, and the Mt Elgon branch Chairman, Sammy Chemwey, accused Waluke of being rigid on party matters leading to the emergency of factions that they said will split the party if not well checked.

However, other ODM members who had a parallel meeting in a Bungoma hotel led by Eric Wambasi accused Majimbo and his group of trying to fight Waluke whom he described as the best person to help in the growth of the party.

"Majimbo and the purported sub-branch chairmen are brokers who have got selfish agenda and want to overthrow our County party chairman so that they ascend to power," warned Wambasi.

He defended Waluke saying that he has been steadfast in fighting for the party interests in the County and urged Majimbo and his group to keep off the party affairs.

"Waluke has the right to work with the government and it doesn't mean he has no party interests at heart; we are registering people for the referendum and we are sure of getting the targeted signatures," said Wambasi.

Contacted, Waluke denounced Majimbo saying he has been funded by Ford Kenya leadership to split ODM.

Waluke said that Majimbo does not hold any portfolio in the County after he handed his position to Eric Wambasi who is the recognized ODM County Secretary.

"To support collection of the signatures for the referendum is a personal choice and I support the referendum. I have been very clear that I am for the plebiscite and Majimbo and his supporters should stop spreading malicious rumours that is meant to injure my reputation because he is a nobody in Bungoma politics," said Waluke.

He said that Majimbo is a Ford Kenya sympathiser who resigned for Wambasi to take charge.

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