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Test for ODM in Kilifi as party loyalists eye same ticket

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders in Kilifi have said they are ready for party nominations to be conducted on Wednesday.

ODM Vice-Chairman Teddy Mwambire said on Monday that all plans and arrangements for the primaries to be conducted in the county have been finalised.

“We are set to go and everything is in place. We have assured all our aspirants that the exercise will be conducted in a free and fair manner. The party upholds its democracy space and we want every ODM member to participate in the exercise.

Mr Mwambire, who is the current deputy Speaker of the county assembly is eyeing the Ganze Parliamentary seat on an ODM ticket and said that ODM registered members will only need an ID to vote for their preferred candidates.

“All ODM registered members will only need an identity card and will only vote after their names have been verified in the ODM register,” he said.

In Kilifi, the battle is expected in Malindi, Kilifi South and the county woman representative seats.

MTENGO vs JUMWA

In Malindi, Aisha Jumwa who is the outgoing Kilifi Women Rep will be battling for the ticket with the incumbent William Mtengo who was elected during the March 7, 2016 by-election.

Mr Mtengo won the seat after beating Jubilee’s Philip Charo in hotly contested by-elections for the seat that was left vacant after Dan Kazungu was appointed to the cabinet by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Ms Jumwa was instrumental in the election of Mr Mtengo but moments later, she changed tune and vowed to go for the seat, having resettled in Kakuyuni.

The two leaders have been engaging in a spat as they both eye the seat since then, with Ms Jumwa claiming that she wants to oust Mr Mtengo so that she can change the lives of the Malindi people.

Recently, Ms Jumwa claimed in Malindi that there was a plan to rig her out of the party primaries and its ticket given to her rival.

FOREIGNER

On the other hand, Mr Mtengo who almost went mute on party affairs after the elections decided to concentrate on development initiatives, launching several projects within the constituency.

Mr Mtengo at one time refereed to Ms Jumwa as a foreigner with little knowledge of the constituency.

“Malindi people cannot elect a foreigner. Everyone knows where she came from and the electorate are not so blind to elect someone who was not born here and who knows nothing about the plight of the Malindi people,” said Mr Mtengo.

Another battle is in Kilifi South where the party primaries will feature Nicholas Wanyepe and Ken Chonga. The two vied for the same seat in 2013 and lost to incumbent Mustapha Iddi.

Mr Wanyepe who emerged second after Mr Iddi in 2013, will be seeking to edge out businessman Kena Chonga who ditched Kadu Asili party for ODM, several months ago.

SMEAR CAMPAIGNS

Their supporters have been throwing jabs at each other in several platforms.

The seat for the Woman Representative ticket will see Kibarani Ward Representative Gertrude Mbeyu locking horns with youthful entrepreneur Juliet Riziki. The two have engaged in smear campaigns in every rally they attend.

Ms Mbeyu, a favourite of Ms Jumwa has been referred to by Ms Riziki as a project of the Woman Rep hence cannot stand on her own to lead the people of Kilifi.

“That is not true, I am an able woman out to make my own decisions. That Ms Jumwa at one time supported my dream to vie for the seat does not mean that I am a project,” she said last month in Chumani, during a women’s function.

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