NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – Perceived rebels within the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) wishing to participate in party elections and activities have been given granted amnesty.
Following a meeting by the central committee which had been tasked with determining the fate of individuals who had left the party, Secretary General Ababu Namwamba said a resolution was reached that they be given a second chance owing to the party’s democratic ideals.
“We have resolved to declare a blanket amnesty for all former members who may have left the party for one reason or other. You are all welcome back home to fully participate in the party elections and activities,” read part of the statement by Namwamba.
Even individuals who had contested for leadership positions in other parties were now free to participate in the party’s grassroots elections after seeking clearance from the ODM National Elections Board.
The meeting was chaired by party leader Raila Odinga and his deputy, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
Namwamba laughed off earlier reports that the issue would have caused conflict, saying the party stood by its rules and that the matter had now been settled.
“We are sorry to disappoint those who expected a bloodbath over this matter. We will go by provisions of the party’s Election and Nomination Rules Section 8 (d),” he said.
While many had initially supported the proposal to have the rebels and party hoppers allowed back, others had vehemently opposed the move saying the individuals had already betrayed the party and its ideals.
ODM grassroots elections are scheduled to be held between August 20 and September 2 in Marsabit, Wajir, Kajiado, Migori, Kilifi and Vihiga counties while in Nairobi County, the exercise will be held from September 5 to 8.
Namwamba said preparations for the elections were in top gear and urged members to register so as to ensure they elected the right leaders.
The party will hold a retreat this weekend to receive and analyse the report by its strategic team so as to review its overall performance.
The party has been seeking to strengthen its presence in Parliament by ensuring its agenda sails through amidst Jubilee’s tyranny of numbers.