The Orange Democratic Movement has moved to stem rebellion and indiscipline within its party ranks as Deputy President William Ruto extends his tentacles in the Nyanza region.
From suspensions to expulsions, the ODM party is not taking chances as it tries to ensure all members toe the party line irrespective of their positions.
The resolutions were made at a meeting that brought together all the ODM executive officials from the six wards forming Kisumu Central Constituency namely Migosi, Market/Milimani, Kaloleni/Shaurimoyo, Kondele, Railways and Nyalenda B.
RAILA’S POLITICAL BASE
The move followed two incidents that happened in Kisumu which appeared to paint the Orange party in bad light, with suggestions that it was losing its youthful political base especially from Kisumu Central to Mr Raila Odinga’s political nemesis, DP Ruto.
Last weekend, a delegation of youths from Kisumu including those from the ODM party hired buses to Kapseret where they were hosted by the area MP Oscar Sudi and other Jubilee party officials.
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The delegation alongside other 200 youth are said to have presented a memorandum ahead of a planned visit of Dr Ruto’s home in Sugoi in the next two weeks.
The delegation made the visit barely a month after Mr Sudi and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro visited Kisumu and met some youths believed to be allied to ODM, something that has not gone down well with the party bigwigs.
During the Saturday meeting, Mr Sudi was in the company of his Tanga Tanga counterparts Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) and Kimani Ngunjiri of Bahati.
Mr Samuel Nyabinda, the Kisumu Central ODM Secretary who read the statement after the meeting expressed displeasure by the conduct of members.
The party cracked the whip on party rebels who visited Mr Sudi, expelling those who were involved in organizing the visit last Saturday.
Those who were expelled include Richard Ogendo, former CEC in Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o’s administration, Owino Mahawa (Kondele ward), Omollo Mberu (Railways ward), Mr Maina Ochieng (Migosi), Dan Nyamori (Kondele), Jared Oriadha (Nyalenda B) and Peter Ogwel (Railways).
But Mr Ogendo has dismissed the party’s move saying he is one of the strongest members of ODM. He termed those who suspended him as busy bodies.
“I do not do small politics, if I were to defect from ODM I would call a press conference and make it official for me to earn mileage. I would then lead a proper delegation to the destined party leader and not an MP where I would bargain for a better package for myself and my people,” said Mr Ogendo.
But even as the claims continue to rock Kisumu, certain groups have distanced themselves from the delegation that visited Mr Sudi.
Mr Christopher Obaje, the Vice Chair of Kibuye Mitumba Sellers and an ardent ODM member stated that one of their own, Mr Charles Ooko, who claimed to have represented them does not speak for them.
“The move by Charles was purely an individual’s decision and not the tens of thousands of mitumba sellers from the county. We have always been solely behind our party ODM, its leader Raila Odinga, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and MCA Prisca Misachi,” said Mr Obaje.
He stated that those who went there were out to tarnish their name.
Mr Sudi has been making visits in Kisumu and Siaya counties, mingling with locals especially the youth with an aim of wooing a particular group identified as the ‘Hustlers’ from Mr Odinga’s backyard.
Three weeks ago, he attended a dowry function in Siaya accompanied by MP for Kiharu Ndindi Nyoro where he left and toured Kisumu even taking fish at the famous Dunga Beach and interacting with the youth.