ODM aspirants demand refund of nomination fees

Catherine Mumma

ODM elections board chairperson Catherine Mumma.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A section of ODM hopefuls who sought the party’s tickets in the recent primaries but were locked out after the party handed direct tickets to their opponents now want the party to expedite the refund of their nomination fees.

Most of those affected were governor and senatorial candidates who parted with Sh500,000 and Sh250,000, respectively.

ODM had written regret letters to some aspirants and committed to refund their nomination fees.

According to one regret letter seen by the Nation, the party cited its rules 8 and 23 of its primaries and nomination rules 2021, that allows it to issue direct nomination.

“In accordance with rule 23(6) of the Party Primaries and Nomination Rules, the Party has commenced the processing of a refund of the nominations fees that you paid in support of your application,” the letter states in part.

Former Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero who paid Sh 500,000 nomination fees to run for Homa Bay Governor seat has already written to the party’s National Elections Board (NEB) chairperson Catherine Mumma inquiring about the reimbursement.

“I write to enquire on the refund of Sh 500,000 paid as nomination fees for Homa Bay gubernatorial nominations which never took place. Kind regards,” Dr Kidero wrote.

He told the Nation that he was seeking for the refund following the commitment by the party to repay them since competitive nominations did not take place in the county.

ODM leader Raila Odinga had in March brokered a deal among Homa Bay gubernatorial aspirants with seven dropping their bids in favour of Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, who was paired with former Kabondo-Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga as her running mate.

“The aspirants have had extensive consultations and they invited us as party officials. They have agreed to support Gladys Wanga after reaching a consensus. They have a responsibility to go out and campaign to retain the seat for ODM,” Mr Odinga said in March.

Dr Kidero did not however, attend the meeting, arguing that he was not invited.

He later sought the independent ticket on which he is seeking the seat.

In Garissa, ODM also committed to refund Governor Ali Korane his nomination fee, citing that it had settled on former Governor Nathif Jama as its candidate.

Former Police spokesperson Charles Owino who had sought the ODM ticket to run for Siaya governor seat decamped to Governor Ali Roba-led United Democratic Movement (UDM) after sensing that ODM was keen on handing Siaya senator James Orengo the party’s ticket for Govenror.

He told the Nation that it was only fair for the party to refund them the nomination fees since no primaries took place for the position in Siaya.

“I won’t ask for the money but if they want to refund us it will be prudent for them to do so,” Mr Owino said.

Architect Julius Okinda and Tony Yogo who were also eying the Siaya senate seat before the ODM ticket was handed to Mr Odinga’s elder brother Dr Oburu Oginga told the Nation that the party promised to refund their nomination fees but was yet to do so.

“They committed to refund us the money and even asked me to send my bank account number buy it is yet to hit my account,” Mr Okinda said.

Mr Yogo pointed out that ODM is keen on refunding the money.

“By asking for my bank account, I think the party is keen on making the refund. There is no cause for alarm,” he told the Nation.

When reached for comment, ODM NEB Chairperson Ms Catherine Mumma refused to comment on the matter.

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