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Three MPs felled in ODM party primaries

Three Members of Parliament became the first victims of angry voters after they lost in the ODM nominations in Kakamega County.

This came as violence reared its ugly head again in Migori when gunshots were fired at a rally to support former minister Ochillo Ayacko, who is eyeing the county’s gubernatorial seat.

Provisional results announced in the Kakamega tallying centre for Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) had MPs Andrew Toboso (Butere), Silverse Anami (Shinyalu) and Raphael Otaalo (Lurambi) swept aside in the primaries after losing to their opponents.

The results of the chaotic events, presented to county’s ODM elections board chairman, Mr David Sasala, by returning officers, were yet to be announced officially on Sunday.

LOSE SEATS

The three, who could become the first sitting MPs to lose their seats, however, contested the results and vowed to appeals.

They complained that the primaries were poorly organised, leading to delays in delivery of election materials in their constituencies.

Mr Anami accused Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya of interfering with the primaries, claiming the delay in delivery of ballot papers to polling stations in his stronghold was a deliberate scheme to disadvantage him against his competitor Justus Kizito Mugali.

Mr Mugali won the nominations after garnering 3,460 votes while Mr Anami got 1,522.

Mr Oparanya has denied the accusations of interfering with the nominations.

LOCKED OUT

Mr Otaalo said voters in his strongholds were locked out after the ballot papers arrived late.

He came second to Prof Stanley Khainga, who scored 11,645 votes as the incumbent trailed with 3,518 votes.

Mr Toboso, who is the county ODM secretary, was beaten by Marama West Ward Representative Habil Nanjendo Bushuru.

Mr Bushuru garnered 10,378 votes and Mr Toboso 8,448.

Khwisero MP Benjamin Andola got 6,154 votes and his closest challenger Mr Benjamin Anadama scooped 3,995 votes while the outgoing Kakamega Woman Representative Rachael Ameso Amollo came third with 2,346.

LODGE AN APPEAL

Ms Amollo has vowed to lodge an appeal to overturn the results over alleged irregularities in the nominations.

Mumias West MP Johnston Naicca got 10,409 votes while Ms Oddah Owakwabi Nafula had 2,027 votes.

In Migori, unidentified youths invaded a rally in Sori Town on Saturday evening, forcing ODM activist Peter Jobando, a licensed firearm holder, to fire in the air several times. Party supporters scampered for safety with some people falling and getting trampled.

“This is the most barbaric way of doing politics,” said Mr Jobando, who was in a team drumming up support for Mr Ayacko, adding that some campaign vehicles in the convoy were stoned.

But County Police Commander David Kirui blamed the team for holding the rally late, at 7pm.

ATTACKED

“They were campaigning at night when they were attacked and it’s not easy to determine whose supporters attacked them,” said Mr Kirui, adding that three spent cartridges were found at the scene of the chaos.

The police boss said the authorities will not allow night-time campaigns.

Early this month, top ODM leaders were attacked at a rally where several people were injured. The party’s disciplinary committee later fined Governor Okoth Obado Sh2 million, although he has maintained his innocence.

In Siaya, Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo has asked the ODM National Elections Board to consider awarding the Busia governorship certificate to Dr Paul Otuoma, saying the Funyula MP won the Thursday nominations.

He faulted the NEB for nullifying the results and calling for fresh voting “while it was clear that the Funyula legislator won against the incumbent Governor Sospeter Ojaamong”.

The National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader called for the disqualification of Governor Ojaamong and the immediate arrest and arraignment in court of all the election officers who presided over the primaries on charges of rigging elections.

IMPOSED BAD LEADERS
Mr Midiwo said the era when political parties imposed bad leaders on the electorate was long gone and expressed fears that a similar scenario is likely to be witnessed in Siaya if the NEB fails to address the Busia matter amicably.

Last week, a section of aspirants led by Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda faulted the constitution of the county elections board, claiming that they were not involved in their appointment.

In Nyamira, Governor John Nyagarama yesterday vowed not participate in the ODM nominations if the party register will not be used.

“We don’t want to experience a Busia-like situation in our county,” said Mr Nyagarama at a Nyamira hotel.

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