Home NEWS County News ODM Party moves to unite factions in Kilifi ahead of party primaries

ODM Party moves to unite factions in Kilifi ahead of party primaries

The Orange Democratic Movement party has moved with speed to resolve wrangles in Kilifi County as it prepares for grassroots elections.

Led by the ODM Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen, the party has managed to unite area leaders with an aim of approaching the party grassroot polls as a team.

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The Executive Director also received an office vehicle donated by Ganda ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) Oscar Wanje for use in the Kilifi County branch office.

“In every family there must be small ideological differences and it is healthy but it is bad if you declare war and the solution is solving our differences without involving outsiders,” he said.

Dr Ong’wen added that the party will remain strong even as its leader Raila Odinga joins the African Union Commission (AUC) as its chairperson.

“There are many people who have called me telling me that I persuade Baba to change his mind about the AUC position but I want to assure you that baba is with us even if he wins that seat and that rumor that you can’t be a leader of a party when you AUC chairperson that is hogwash. There is a lady in South Africa who was AUC chairperson and also an official of the ANC party and she never resigned,” he said.

Kilifi County is among the areas where ODM enjoys massive support but the fortunes have been dwindling over the years due to infiltration of other political outfits and defection of members.

Area Governor Gideon Mung’aro and Women Representative Getrude Mbeyu have since their elections embroiled in a tag of war with the latter accusing Mung’aro of mismanagement of county resources.

Mung’aro on his side has been accusing Mbeyu of embezzling the National Government Affirmative Action Funds (NGAF) with the war of words attracting the eye of Odinga who has been a frequent visitor to the county to quell tensions and offer humanitarian support to the vulnerable in society.

Mbeyu said after the meeting that the area leaders had resolved their differences and that they will ensure that the party remains united.

“The ED has come to see us and he has found us together and Ganda ward MCA has donated a vehicle and furniture for the Kilifi party office and we shall commence rigorous grassroots mobilization so that we go back to the top.

She also said that internal wrangles were healthy for the growth of the party and development of the county, adding that she was a good friend of the governor.

“Difference must be there but we are united in ODM more than ever, the factions are not there anymore,” she said.

Mung’aro had in the morning met Dr Ong’wen at his official residence where his deputy Flora Chibule was also present.

Chibule has been a party stalwart and on many occasions she has represented her Governor in party engagements hence signaling that he was in good books with Mr Odinga.

Since January this year, Odinga has been in Kilifi County more than four times engaging in various activities where he met local party officials and supporters.

In 2017, the ODM party bagged all top county elective positions including the Governor, Senator, Women Representative, all seven Members of National Assemblies and 99 percent of Members of County Assembly (MCA) positions but in 2022, the number tripped after former governor and current senate speaker Amason Kingi defected and formed his own party, the Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) which ate into ODM fortunes and bagged two MP seats of Ganze and Rabai while President Willian Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) bagged the Kilifi North MP slot which was won by Owen Baya, an ODM defector.

ODM secured the Governor position after Gideon Mung’aro won with a landslide, Women Representative by Getrude Mbeyu, Senate position that Steward Madzayo bagged and four constituencies that included MagarinI constituency won by Harry Kombe, Malindi constituency won by Amina Mnyazi, Kaloleni constituency won by Paul Katana and Kilifi South constituency won by Ken Chonga.

Ong’wen also accused the government for failing to implement the Political Parties Act 2011 where 0.1 percent of the budget should be disbursed to parties.

He added that the party has been relying on donations from members to run regional and county offices.

“The government is withholding Sh. 10 billion owed to ODM since 2013 and they are using taxpayers money to fund UDA activities, close to Sh. 200 million to ensure they hold their grassroots election yet we will be forced to use money from members,” he said.

He threatened to attach some government facilities for auction so that they can get their money and faulted UDA for seeking Sh. 4 billion from the Chinese Communist party against the law.

Dickson Wekesa
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