, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will hold its National Delegates Convention on February 28 and March 1 where party members are expected to elect new party national office bearers.
Spelling out the National Executive Committee’s resolutions, Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o said the event will be held at the Kasarani Sports Gymnasium where all the 26 positions from that of the Party Leader downwards will be contested.
“During this two-day event, some 3,200 delegates will deliberate on various matters of importance to the party and thereafter take part in the most important exercise which is the election of the national office bearers,” said the ODM Secretary General.
The term of the current national officials of ODM came to an end in last month.
He urged all party members interested in any of the seats to submit their applications to the party’s National Electoral Board.
“We urge all those aspiring candidates to desist from divisive politics and to campaign among party members in accordance with the party election rules and regulations. Engagement in untoward behaviour such as bribery, ethnic incitement and thuggery will lead to automatic disqualification from such an election,” Nyong’o stated.
Odinga who chaired the meeting said he will offer himself to the party members for the party leader’s position at the NDC.
“Party elections are not general elections; they are basically internal affairs of the party, so I am going to be discussing with the members of the party,” said the Party Leader who over the weekend shocked party members by stating that he was ready to handover the party leadership to young members.
The Young Turks, mostly comprising first-timer MPs, have called for an overhaul of the party leadership accusing the old guard of lacking fresh ideas to propel ODM to government.
Nyong’o asked for more time to make up his mind on whether he will defend his seat.
“I have been away for some time, teaching (which is my other profession) so give me sometime to reflect,” he continued. “Incumbents have the advantage of being incumbents, so I don’t want to hurry.”
Party Leader Raila Odinga faces a herculean task of ensuring that the party gets a strong leadership that represents the face of Kenya. With 91 MPs, 11 Senators and 16 Governors, spread in all parts of the country, there are those who feel the national leadership of the party should be evenly distributed across the country,
Former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende is pitted to take over from current party national chairman Henry Kosgey while Suba MP John Mbadi, Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura, nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro and Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba are eyeing the secretary general post.
Marende will face South Mugirango MP Manson Nyamweya, who has indicated his interest in the top post.
Outgoing party chairman Henry Kosgey who has kept off crucial party activities did not attend the meeting.
However, there are fears within ODM that Marende (once a loyal ally of the former Prime Minister) was no longer the moderate politician after he announced that the Luhya Community would no longer support the ODM and Cord Leader in the next General Election.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, will be going for on of the vice-chairmanship, a position that has attracted the interest of Nominated Senator Janet Ong’era.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho will defend the Organising-Secretary’s post.