NAIROBI, October 14 – Dissenters within the Orange Democratic Movement Kenya (ODM-K) have now said they will participate in the party’s grassroots recruitment.,
The exercise is expected to be launched by party leader Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka on Wednesday.
Mutito Member of Parliament Kiema Kilonzo who has been a strong critic of the party’s leadership on Tuesday said the membership recruitment, which was expected to kick off last week but failed to due to what party insiders claim was lack of co-ordination, would ensure ODM-K complies with the Political Parties Act before the December deadline.
One of the requirements of the Act is that a party must have at least 200 members, who are registered voters, in each of the 148 districts countrywide.
“My team will be organising itself to ensure that it participates fully in the recruitment drive and everyone should be included. We are still waiting for the party secretariat to distribute the membership cards,” Mr Kilonzo said in an interview.
The recruitment is due to be followed by grassroots and national elections on November 29, which Mr Kilonzo said would resolve differences which have split ODM-K.
He said: “It was all about leadership so if we succeed in removing those who we are disagreeing with, it will be fine but if party members give them the mandate to continue controlling the party we will agree.”
The Vice-President’s party has been faced with challenges since it emerged third in the 2007 General Election. The party which commands most of its support from Eastern Province sparked internal rebellion following Mr Musyoka’s early shift to join President Mwai Kibaki in forming the government at height of post-election violence.
Mr Kilonzo and outspoken Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo said the party was short-changed in the appointments and have since had issues with their party leader.
The recruitment drive which is to be launched in Embakasi follows one by the Party of National Unity in September which went ahead despite spirited opposition led by Justice Minister Martha Karua – who prefers to tie her political future to Narc Kenya – the party on which she intends to vie for presidency in 2012.