Cracks in ODM as Oparanya, Namwamba differ over party affairs
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya has publicly differed with the party’s Secretary General Ababu Namwamba on the official position of the Western region regarding party matters.
Eight legislators, led by Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba and national vice chairman Paul Otuoma, had on Tuesday claimed that Western region had been sidelined in ODM matters saying they felt undermined by party leader Raila Odinga and chairman John Mbadi.
In a statement read by Otuoma, the legislators said they were unhappy with ODM leadership saying they felt disrespected as a region.
Other leaders present during the address included Wilbur Ottichilo (Emuhaya), John Waluke (Sirisia), Andayi Angola (Khwisero), Geoffrey Odanga (Matayos) and Raphael Otaalo (Lurambi).
The lawmakers also alleged a plot to oust Namwamba as Secretary General saying the move had been orchestrated by a section of party members who were behind the chaos witnessed during the elections at Kasarani Stadium in 2014.
Oparanya has, however, rubbished the claims by the MPs saying the utterances were unfortunate and an embarrassment to the party and Luhya community.
“Hon Namwamba’s utterances are dangerous to the extent that they seek to create non-existent divisions in the party along ethnic lines,” he said.
“I wish to assure all ODM supporters that the party remains strong in Western Kenya and beyond and nobody should panic over Hon Namwamba’s utterances. The Luhya community is equally well represented and catered for in the party, holding key positions like that of Deputy Party Leader, Vice Chairman, Deputy Organizing Secretary and chairman of Disputes Tribunal, among others.”
He said that the position of chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) awarded to Namwamba at the beginning of the 11th Parliament as a reward to the Luhya community but was lost through Namwamba’s “reckless, arrogance and selfishness.”
“It is not a secret that the Secretary General has been missing in action and failing to provide leadership at critical moments.”
“He was missing as the party prepared to welcome its leader Hon Raila Odinga back into the country after a three month sabbatical in the US. The SG was missing throughout the Okoa Kenya pro-referendum campaign and lately he has been missing from all effort to disband and reform the IEBC. Yet reform of the IEBC is critical to ODM’s plans for ascending to power.”
He called on ODM supporters to remain alert and hold individuals to account for the positions they held.
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