Aspirants eyeing the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket in Kakamega County have expressed fears that primaries will not be free and fair.
Grassroots officials from Lurambi sub-branch, led by Chairman Peter Machika, have appealed to the party’s national office not to allow the Western National Elections Board members oversee the nominations slated for mid next month.
They have expressed fear that by doing so, it is likely to influence the outcome because the officials are interested parties.
At a news conference yesterday, Machika said they fear Norah Owino, a NEB member, would influence the outcome of party primaries.
“There is sufficient evidence to prove that some NEB members have close relations with some aspirants. We do not want them to oversee the nominations particularly in Lurambi,” said Machika.
Efforts to reach Ms Owino for comments were futile because she neither picked calls nor responded to text messages.
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And similarly in Matungu Constituency, Nominated Senator Godliver Omondi sensationally claimed branch officials already have a list of preferred candidates for all elective seats.
The Kholera Ward aspirant has promised to seek audience with party leader Raila Odinga to address issues raised.
“I am privy to information that some branch officials already have a list, which according to them, are the most preferred candidates for certain seats. This is unacceptable and I am going to seek audience with Raila,” said Omondi.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has allayed fears of bungled primaries and assured members will vote candidates of their choice.
“Raila has said this before, rest assured there is no one who will be given the party ticket unless he is duly elected,” assured Oparanya, who is also the ODM Deputy Party leader.
ODM aspirants eying the Women Rep seat Elsie Muhanda, Hadija Juma and Lydia Nyangala have also appealed to Oparanya to ensure nominations are free, fair and credible.
Marama West Ward rep Bushuru Nanjendo said the party must guarantee aspirants free and fair elections.
“We do not want interference from the party top organ in regard to endorsing candidates. ODM members must be allowed to elect popular candidates,” said Nanjendo.