, NAIROBI Kenya, Dec 31 – Homa Bay Senatorial candidate Philip Okundi has decamped to the Maendeleo Democratic Party which on Wednesday handed him a nomination certificate to seek with which to seek the post.
He jumped ship from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) whose National Election Board gave a direct nomination to Moses Kajwang leaving the other candidates up in arms.
Okundi said the nomination certificate was awarded to the least qualified candidate despite a rigorous exercise to identify the best candidate.
The veteran politician was contesting for the nomination certificate together with Caroli Omondi a former aide to Raila Odinga, Ochieng Mbeo, Oyugi Kambona, Tom Mboya, Fred Rabongo, and Silas Jakakimba.
“The turn of events prompted me to go back to the people of Homa Bay County who have the final say,” he stated.
ODM awarded the late Senator Otieno Kajwang’s brother Moses with a direct nomination after he was identified as the most suitable candidate to contest on the party ticket.
“After serious and wide consultations and the intense pressure from the electorate and leaders in Homa Bay County I have decided to honour their wishes for the betterment of our county,” he stated. “It is important to note that it is their democratic right, as enshrined in the constitution, to participate and elect a person of their choice.”
Okundi has further challenged his rivals to carry out peaceful campaigns saying the people of Homa Bay are the ones to decide who will be their Senator.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) pushed the Homa Bay senatorial by-election from February 2 to February 12 after the High Court ordered that the polls body extends the party primaries by 10 days.
The Homa Bay Senate seat was left vacant after the death of Otieno Kajwang’ on November 18, 2014 at the Mater Hospital after suffering a heart attack.