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Otuoma accuses ODM of ignoring his grievances in botched primaries

Funyula MP Paul Otuoma quit ODM party after he disagreed with a panel picked by leader Raila Odinga to investigate the botched nomination in Busia County.

Dr Otuoma handed in his resignation letter on Friday and announced that he would vie for the county’s gubernatorial seat as an independent.

“They have failed to act on my grievances. It seems a few individuals in the party had their preferred candidate. Why take the people of Busia through this tedious and expensive nominations if you, all along, knew you would give him the ticket?” he protested.

The decision to resign followed sharp disagreements between the Funyula MP and a three-member panel on resolving the fiasco.

Dr Otuoma complained that the team headed by Kajiado Governor David Nkedianye, Mr Odinga’s legal adviser Paul Mwangi and senior counsel Okong’o Omogeni, had failed to act on any of the complaints he had raised.

ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES

The complaints were on numerous electoral malpractices allegedly committed by his opponent, Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong.

Dr Otuoma had accused Mr Ojaamong of being behind a fake newspaper headline alleging that he (Otuoma) had defected from ODM to Jubilee Party.

Mr Ojaamong denied being behind the fake headline but maintained that Dr Otuoma is a Jubilee mole in ODM.

According to Mr Mwangi, Dr Otuoma had insisted that he be handed the ticket and Mr Ojaamong be disqualified owing to the alleged malpractices.

FIGURES INFLATED

“We established that there were obvious irregularities in the election results mainly in Teso North and Teso South and that the figures had been inflated but it was hard to establish the governor’s personal culpability in the malpractices,” Mr Mwangi stated.

Similarly, it was hard to prove that Mr Ojaamong was behind the printing and circulation of the offensive headline, Mr Mwangi said.

“We toyed with the idea of nullifying the results of the Teso North and Teso South and ordering a repeat exercise in the two constituencies only but Dr Otuoma argued, quite correctly, that this could give his opponent a chance to mobilise the masses to bridge the gap,” Mr Mwangi noted.

There was concern on the part of Dr Otuoma that holding repeat polls on April 25 would put him in a situation where he had no fallback position in the event that he was rigged out again.

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