Woman Rep Mutua speaks out about losing in ODM primaries

Florence Mutua

Busia Woman Rep Florence Mutua.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua has for the first time spoken out about her loss in the ODM party nominations two weeks ago.

Ms Mutua, who lost to former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma in the hotly contested race for the governorship ticket, claimed the process was marred by irregularities.

Speaking at the Airstrip grounds in Busia town, Ms Mutua said voting in Bugalangi, Teso North and Funyula was marred by irregularities which contributed to her defeat in the party primaries.

“My votes were very clean since I did not take part in any form of rigging. But it’s an open secret that there were malpractices in Bunyala, Samia, parts of Matayos and Teso North which worked against me,” she said.

But she said she did not want to challenge the outcome of the primaries as that would have complicated ODM’s chances of clinching the Busia governorship seat.

“I don’t want to put my party in a difficult situation. I will soldier on since those who engaged in the irregularities know themselves. Let me thank those who turned out to vote for me. August is still very far. I still have a task to play as a woman representative and I want to concentrate on the job for now,” she said.

Mr Otuoma won the nominations in his bid to succeed Governor Sospeter Ojaamong.

Mr Otuoma, a close ally of ODM leader Raila Odinga, put up a spirited fight.

Preparations for primaries

He garnered 49,330 votes against Ms Mutua’s 30,696 in voting that tested the credibility of ODM’s preparations for primaries, which were previously dogged by irregularities and violence.

Mr Otuoma was declared winner at the Agricultural Training Centre in Busia after results from 160 polling stations had been verified and announced.

Ms Mutua had put up a formidable fight for the party’s ticket as she sought to make history by becoming the first woman governor in the region.

In the 2017 ODM primaries, Mr Ojaamong won with 92,358 votes against Mr Otuoma’s 63,752.

Ms Mutua spoke on Sunday at a brief function where she issued bursary cheques to needy students.

She assured her supporters that her loss in the nominations was not the end of her political career and promised she would announce her next move in the coming weeks.

“There is a lot that has been said after I lost in the party nominations. It’s not all lost and I want to assure my supporters that at the end of the day there will be light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

ODM Busia County secretary Innocent Oluku said Ms Mutua’s supporters could end up backing Nambale MP John Bunyasi, who will contest the governorship on the ANC ticket.

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