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September 17, 2021 | Businessman Jimi Wanjigi engaged residents in Rongo, Migori County/Wanjigi Press

BATTLE FOR ODM CHIEFTAINCY

Wanjigi heads back to Migori, tells off officials with undemocratic tendencies

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – ODM presidential ticket aspirant Jimi Wanjigi is going back to Migori for campaigns in a show of defiance a day after he was stoned and heckled by people believed to be supporters of his rivals during a roadside rally.

While condemning the incident, Wanjigi dismissed assertions any external player was involved  pointing an accusing finger at the ODM party.

Speaking in Kisii on Friday, Wanjigi stated that those behind the chaos were against his message of free party primaries, adding that ODM party should allow him practice his democratic rights.

“We had a successful day yesterday in Homa bay, its unfortunate today in Migori we never had the chance to get to the hall and address the residents, we hope people were not hurt during the incident but property was destroyed and one of my media staff was injured,” he told news reporters as he retreated after a day-long engagement in Migori.

The presidential aspirant stated that a group of people who are opposed to his political agenda were keen to stop others from receiving his political message.

He said it was ironical since those involved prided themselves as democrats having fought for expansion of democratic space in the country in apparent reference to the party leader, Raila Odinga.

The incident sparked condemnation even as ODM leaders distanced themselves from the incident.

The business tycoon’s recent calls for democratic nominations within the ODM party appears to have irked some officials within the party who have since embarked on an offensive to stop him from spreading the message.

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On September 3, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna told off Wanjigi over his calls for a National Delegates Conference (NDC) to pick the party’s flag bearer for the 2022 presidential election.

Sifuna said the party will use any of the four procedures laid out in its regulations to pick a its candidates for various seats.

“The rules provide for four ways of nominating party candidates. You can have nomination through consensus, direct ticket, delegates or through universal suffrage,” Sifuna said in a veiled reference to demands made by Wanjigi when he visited the party headquarters on August 27.

He was however quick to note that in cases where primaries are conducted, the party will endeavor to ensure credible processes.

“We have been given very specific instructions by Party Leader Raila Odinga that this time around the party nominations must be free and fair and be seen by everyone to be free and fair,” he said.

Following chaos in Migori, Wanjigi challenged Odinga to come out clean on the matter.

“This is not the Kenya we want, we want independence and democracy, whereby everybody goes anywhere within the Kenya and campaign peacefully,” Wanjigi said.

“We are returning to Migori tomorrow (Saturday), head to Siaya on the same day and wind up our Nyanza visit in Kisumu on  Sunday,” he added.

In a move to disassociate the ODM party from the Migori incident, Sifuna demanded a thorough investigation into the chaos which drew criticism from some of its rival parties.

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Minority Whip Junet Mohammed claimed the sponsor of the chaos was well-known.

Junet who is also the Suna East MP and Party’s Director of Elections claimed that he had been a victim of similar plots.

“As a leader of Migori County I take great exception to the incident earlier today where a political event was disrupted. While sponsors of political chaos in Migori are known, myself having been a victim on numerous occasions, this cannot go on,” he said.

Sifuna on his part directed the ODM Migori Office to provide him with a full brief on the incident.

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