Karua to wait longer to visit Raila’s backyard as ODM rows derail Nyanza tour

Raila in Langata

Azimio presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga addresses his supporters at Undugu Grounds in Lang’ata, Nairobi.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga has postponed his tour of Nyanza region due to infighting among Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders and a revolt against the six-piece revolt the former PM is pushing for.

The campaign that was to kick off tomorrow has indefinitely been called off as the Orange party moves to put its house in order before the visit of Mr Odinga and his deputy Martha Karua who is yet to make her maiden trip to Nyanza since her appointment on May 16.

An itinerary released by Nyanza region presidential campaign team led by National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi and Kisii governor James Ongwae indicated that Mr Odinga was to have a two-day tour of Kisii County on June 13 and 14, Nyamira on June 15, Homa Bay (June 16), Migori (June 17), Siaya June 18 and grand closing in Kisumu on June 19. But a new schedule released by Raila Odinga Presidential Secretariat on Friday showed that he will only visit Kisii County on Monday June 13 before heading to Kitui County on June 14.

The Azimio candidate will then head to Isiolo on Wednesday, June 15 and Marsabit on Thursday, June 16. The schedule did not give new dates for the Nyanza tour.

The Sunday Nation has learnt that antagonism within top ODM leadership is what led to the postponement as the party plans to meet with aspirants and leaders to forge a common way forward. It is after this is done that the ODM leader’s tour will continue.

Notably, the squabbling has affected ODM gubernatorial candidates in Homa Bay, Kisii, Siaya, Migori and Kisumu.

In Homa Bay County, former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero is leading an onslaught against the party after ODM settled on Woman Representative Gladys Wanga.

While the party has indicated that Ms Wanga was picked as a result of a consensus involving aspirants who had expressed interest in the seat, Dr Kidero and his supporters argue that he was sidelined in the whole deal.

Lukewarm support

The contest between the two candidates has created a huge rift among political leaders in the county with majority of them showing lukewarm support to Ms Wanga and backing Dr Kidero’s bid behind the scene.

Leading the pack is ODM chairman and Suba South MP John Mbadi who has maintained that he will not participate in the campaigns for ODM candidates in the county and is focusing on Mr Odinga’s presidential campaigns.

“I was away in the US when the exercise was conducted. I am not happy with the way the party conducted nomination in some areas. Leadership deserves that people should be given a free will to pick who they want. It is up to you if you want to let the seats go. If someone has decided to prepare a bed of thorns we should let them lie on it,” Mr Mbadi said while addressing a gathering in his constituency.


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