, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 27 – Raila Odinga’s former aide Silas Jakakimba on Saturday announced that he would vie for the Homa Bay Senatorial seat on a United Democratic Movement (UDM) ticket.
Speaking after receiving the nomination certificate, Jakakimba who resigned as a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) after the party gave direct nomination to his competitor Moses Kajwang blamed the ODM National Elections Board for misadvising the party.
“It is clear in my mind that the road ahead will not be smooth, yet again the daily constant and numerous voices from our people, urging me to forge ahead, give me hope that Yes we can. The struggle continues and the desire of our people to elect their leader is growing stronger by the day. I am humbled and overwhelmed by support from across the lengths and breadths of Homa Bay County and therefore I wish to respond to the voice(s) of the our people,” he said.
In choosing Kajwang’ ODM elections board chairperson Judith Pareno claimed they conducted an internal popularity survey, which Jakakimba dismissed saying his former party chose the easy route in picking its nominee which was not backed by a criteria.
He further reaffirmed his candidature is driven by the desire to represent the people of Homa Bay and blasted the six CORD affiliate parties for denying him a ticket.
“We are here as members of CORD, the other day Kalonzo Musyoka made a statement that members of the CORD family are not going to give a certificate to any of the so called defectors,” Jakakimba added; “it is wrong to say we defected, CORD is our family and it is unfortunate that the rest of them denied us a platform and we thank UDM leadership for braving the storm and accepting to be on the right side of history this time around.”
Former Rangwe MP Philip Okundi and former National Social Security Fund Managing Trustee Fred Rabongo have also since ditched the Orange party for Maendeleo Party of Kenya the National Agenda Party of Kenya respectively.
CORD co principal Kalonzo Musyoka had said no other CORD affiliated party will sponsor a candidate in the February 12 by election to boost chances of an ODM win.
UDM Secretary General Stanley Rotich and Director of Elections Fundi Ngetich said they were confident that Jakakimba would clinch the seat which was left vacant following the death of Senator Otieno Kajwang.
“We have a presence in that region, so I am very sure that my friend here is going to win the election by a land-side,” said Rotich.
There have been concerns that Jakakimba and two other defectors may have flouted provisions in the Elections Act which provides for a period during which defections can happen.
But legal experts say there is not no mention of the period save for independent candidates, who are required not to be afflicted to a party for at least three months before a poll.
For the sponsored candidates, the Political Parties Act only requires that one gives notice. while the Elections Act only requires certification by a party that one is nominated.
Saturday is nomination deadline and all parties wishing to participate in the by election are expected to submit the names of their nominees to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission before the close of the day.