More than 10 Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) in Mombasa have defected from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to the Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) – Kenya.
The ward representatives said they left the party due to frustration by its county leaders.
This is a big blow to its leader Raila Odinga as Mombasa is an ODM stronghold and as all the MCAs in the county were elected while in the party.
Some of the ward representatives who confirmed the defection include Duncan Onyango (Mikindani), Jabess Mudhai (Kongowea), Enock Mwinga (Mwakirunge), Khamisi Mwabashiri (Mjambere) and Riziki Fundi (Bamburi).
Others said they wished not to be named until they held a press conference, but they confirmed to the Nation they had decamped.
Mombasa County Assembly Speaker Thadius Rajwahi and three nominated MCAs are also said to have left the ODM.
“We tried having audience with our party leader Raila Odinga but he refused to listen to our pleas. Some people like Mohammed Hatimy, a nominated MCA, are planting aspirants in all wards. We won’t allow it. Mr Rajwai is with us in this journey and more will decamp,” Mr Onyango said.
Mr Mudhai said he joined the WDM because it has “democracy” and no “hero-worshiping”.
Mr Mwabashiri, Onyango and Mwinga were speaking during voter sensitisation at the senator’s old office in Kizingo. They said they decided to defect due to Governor Ali Hassan Joho’s “poor leadership style” and declared support for Senator Hassan Omar who wants to be vie for the governor’s seat in the August General Election.
Mr Omar welcomed the defectors and declared his support, saying he would walk with them.
However, Mohammed Hatimy, the ODM’s Mombasa chairman, said the politicians had left the party because they had not delivered.
“We are not shaken, it is constitutional right for anyone to join or leave a party. Hatimy does not run elections,” he said on phone.