By Paul Mukana
Pandemonium has struck the bedroom of the Orange Democratic Movement ODM party amid its primaries that are scheduled for April 1st to April 3rd.
The scramble for direct tickets has send jitters among hundreds of aspirants across the county.
The party’s national elections board chairperson Catherine Muma told journalists in Nairobi on Tuesday afternoon that the party has not yet issued any direct nomination certificate to any aspirant.
“We would like to assure all our members that the process will be free and fare, the voting will happen on tablets;they will select who they want from an e-mailed ballot and the votes will be tallied,” said Mrs. Muma.
Her sentiments come just a few days after ODM leader Raila Odinga openly issued direct nomination certificates to 6 MPS from Kakamega county over the weekend.
The MPS led by Butere’s Tindi Mwale, Lurambi’s Titus Khamala and Navakholo’s Emmanuel Wangwe had decamped from DAP-K, ANC and Jubilee parties respectfully.
But the party’s elections board has distanced itself from the issuance of the certificates and insisted that a series of consultations are still underway.
“We have commissioned opinion polls but we have not sat to determine who is getting direct ticket on the basis of that.So, the information in the media about listing some people who have been given direct tickets is not information that has come from the board,” Mrs. Mumo explained.
A number of ODM aspirants across the county have already accused the party for allegedly favouring some candidates by awarding them direct tickets.
Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi who is seeking to defend his seat via an ODM ticket expressed his concern about the stalemate.
“There is a polling station here at Lilongwe gardens Wii close to 5000 people.It is an old polling station and carries a lot of people;but it has been moved to a church where we never had a polling station before,” Omar told journalists in Changamwe on Tuesday morning.
According to him, there are attempts going on to jeopardize ODM’S primaries scheduled for Friday.
Easy as it may look, the party primaries is a visible hurdle for ODM to successfully jump in order to position itself credibly for the August 9th elections.
Despite being an affiliate of Azimio La Umoja, ODM has stated clearly that it intends to field candidates for all positions across the county.
There had been rumours that ODM had struck a deal with DAP-K to field candidates in only selected areas of the Mulembe region.
But, ODM’S national elections board chairperson Catherine Muma maintained that despite being affiliated to the Azimio outfit, ODM will field candidates for all positions in Western region and country wide.
“What we are seeking for is to win seats.So, there are some people who have Crossed over from other political parties, but when we have some strong people who have Crossed over from other parties, again,we will give them tickets,” she said.
According to Mrs.Muma, the party has got plans of gifting direct tickets to specific candidates basing on consensus by the party’s top notch office.
However, she maintained that discussions are underway and that details of the direct tickets issue will be unveiled soon.
ODM party leader Raila Odinga is the presidential candidate for the Azimio la Umoja coalition.
Thus, the party is running up and down to ensure that it garners more than enough elective seats to propel Raila to clinch victory.
Political pundits have opined that the ODM party primaries will have a direct impact on Raila’s battle for presidency.