Demos Erupt in Nambale Over ODM Party ‘Nominations’ 

Mr Kevin Okwara

“We are the party members and voters from this constituency. We know the person we want to elect as our leader to succeed Hon. Bunyasi and not some strangers sitting in the comfort of their offices in Nairobi to decide for us after being compromised.”-ODM party member Dismas Kokonya

By The Weekly Vision

Demonstrations erupted in Nambale, Busia County over the Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODMs) decision to grant the nomination certificate to Kevin Okwara to vie in the August 9th, 2022 general elections.

The party nomination contest pitted veteran Godfrey Mulanya against Mr Okwara, formerly of the Jubilee Alliance. The move by ODM to deny Mr Mulanya a chance to vie triggered his supporters to take to the roads and market centres in Nambale in protest against that decision.

They accused that party’s national officials of allegedly having been compromised by a bribe of Ksh. 2 million from Mr Okwara to turn tables against Mulanya, they stormed the local ODM party offices where they wreaked havoc. 

Reports from the ground reveal that as soon as the residents heard of the decision, they descended on sub-county headquarters spontaneously from all corners of the constituency of Mungatsi, Buyofu, Lwanikha, Madende, Sibembe, Madibo, Sidende, Emukhuyu, Kisoko, Khadoda, Ikondokhera, Malanga, Mabunge, Siekunya, Khwirale, Musokoto to register their anger.

“A rebellion against the ODM party in Nambale will be witnessed from today unless the party headquarters nullify Okwara’s nomination and restore it to Mulanya because that is the man we have all struggled with in ODM for decades, not Okwara,” 

Mr Mulanya has contested for the Nambale constituency’s seat twice and lost to the outgoing incumbent John Bunyasi of the Amani National Congress (ANC) party while Okwara’s first stab at politics was in the backyard of DP Ruto’s home in Sugoi which is in Turbo where his family settled.

Veteran ODM party member Dismas Kokonya from Ikondokhera said: “We are the party members and voters from this constituency. We know the person we want to elect as our leader to succeed Hon. Bunyasi and not some strangers sitting in the comfort of their offices in Nairobi to decide for us after being compromised.”

Kokonya went on: “We know our problems and the leaders who understand our problems and challenges with the ability to solve them. Okwara has spent all his life in Turbo what does he know about our most critical issues here on the ground for ODM headquarters to shove him down our throats to be our candidate?”  He argued that although the party leader has the powers to nominate candidates to vie for any elective position, it is critical to gauge the voter’s preferences on the ground or otherwise face rebellion.

“A rebellion against the ODM party in Nambale will be witnessed from today unless the party headquarters nullify Okwara’s nomination and restore it to Mulanya because that is the man we have all struggled with in ODM for decades, not Okwara,” 

The other critical issue that exploded in Nambale is the Abaguri clan’s domination in the constituency’s leadership structure, having led for more than three decades starting with former cabinet minister Chris Okemo who was MP for three terms and Hon. Bunyasi for the last two terms. There are other clans like Bakhabi, Bamenya from which Mulanya hails, Abakatikok, Abagara and Abade, among many others who have not been able to produce an MP since independence. 

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