Turmoil has gripped Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) after over a dozen officials in Taita-Taveta County issued a 7-day ultimatum to party leader Raila Odinga to revoke the appointment of Thomas Mwadeghu as the party’s national vice chairman.
Speaking in Voi on Saturday, the 15 officials said it was a grave mistake to appoint Mwadeghu to such a prominent post while he had failed to popularise the party in the region.
The officials stated that the former Wundanyi MP who unsuccessfully contested for gubernatorial post in the region had wrecked the party and needed to be dropped.
The ODM County Secretary James Busaka claimed that the party was dying in the region because the officials who worked for it at the grassroots were being treated like pariahs while those people who contributed nothing were being rewarded.
Ms. Busaka said local officials were better placed to identify the person best suited to be a national vice chair from the region.
We are categorically stating that we do not recognise Mwadeghu as our Vice Chair. He has not done anything for the party to warrant such a post, he said.
Mr. Busaka, who was accompanied by other officials from Wundayi, Taveta, Voi and Mwatate sub-counties termed Mwadeghu as a lone-ranger who single-handedly had contributed to the demise of the orange party in the region.
He claimed that the former MP tampered with the party nomination lists in 2017 and had also kept members in the dark over the new rules of nominations.
As a result, the party emerged a distant fourth in August 8 election behind Wiper, Independent and Jubilee candidates.
The crisis in the party also saw the number of ODM Members of County Assembly (MCAs) drop from 16 in 2013 to eight in 2018.
Hassan Mwaniki, an official in Voi, said the party needed total restructuring to regain its lost glory.
He warned that the popularity the party enjoyed some few years back was fading due to perceived favoritism and unfairness meted out to the loyal members and officials.
He pointed out that ODM party agents in the region had not been paid their dues since 2017.
How can the party claim to represent the weak and downtrodden if it is only the influential people getting lofty posts? The loyal party supporters are the ones to be rewarded, he said.
Source: Kenya News Agency