Rifts in ODM Kwale branch over vacant Senate seat

ODM, CORD, ODM nominations
ODM Party leader Raila Odinga.

Rifts are emerging in the Coast region after a section of Kwale Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders started fronting gubernatorial aspirant, Nicholas Zani, to take up the Senate seat that fell vacant following the death of Boy Juma Boy who was laid to rest at his Vanga home on Monday.

This comes even as claims remain rife that another ODM group, allegedly with support of Mombasa leadership, has reached a deal on another candidate it is yet to make public.

The National Council of Imams and Scholars and ODM leaders in Kwale want Mr Zani to vie for Senatorial position and surrender his gubernatorial aspirations.

Nicholus Zani is the brother to nominated Senator Agnes Zani. He unsuccessfully ran for the seat in 2013.

“The Senator post is not for inheritance or a kingdom but a democratic one that any Kwale person has a right to go for it and that is why we have asked Zani to take it up,” said Council of Imams and Secretary, Sheikh Hamisi Banda.

He said that according to the party and locals in the four sub counties, Lunga Lunga, Matuga, Msambweni and Kinango, Zani is the only person who can be trusted to take up the position.

They have warned ODM party leader, Raila Odinga, that he risk losing Kwale support if he let Kwale County become a sub county of another county, amid claims that Mombasa politicians are controlling the region’s politics.

“In 2012 people decided leaders for us in Msambweni, Lunga Lunga and Kilifi counties who later left ODM for other parties. This round we will not allow that to happen,” added Banda.

Kwale County ODM Secretary, Omar Boga, said that the move to have Zani as the Senator is aimed at ensuring Christians in Kwale County get a chance in the political leadership in the coming August election.

“We have a governor, women representative, deputy governor who are Muslims and Christians were not happy about it but we have decided as ODM to include them in the leadership,” said Boga.

He took issue with some leaders he said impose leaders on Kwale people saying this round they will not allow that as ODM leaders in the region which Jubilee is also fighting to control.

“In 2013 we saw people coming to the party last moment and that is why we have seen the governor Salim Mvurya joining jubilee,” said Boga.

Nicholas Zani appreciated the delegation for courting him saying in the next one or two days after wide consultation he will give his response.

He promised that ODM county government after August election will ensure Boy’s family is considered for jobs as appreciation for their father’s dedication to the party.

Written by Erick Kombo

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