17 January 2013

Kenya: Kisia Quits ODM, Joins Jirongo Party

Nairobi — Former Nairobi Town Clerk Philip Kisia ditched the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) just as the party kicked off its primary polls on Thursday.

Kisia left ODM for the Cyrus Jirong'o-led Federal Party of Kenya (FPK) where he received direct nomination for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat.

The ex-Town Clerk accused his rivals of buying votes to clinch the lucrative post of the capital city's governor.

"The countdown to today's nomination exercise for the governorship has raised some disturbing issues. The biggest issue is manipulation of the process by excessive money."

"When nomination papers don't arrive or even some names are missing from the ballot box that is part of it."

The ODM National Election Board chairman Franklin Bett told Capital FM News Kisia had no intention of running on an ODM ticket in the first place.

"He might have campaigned on an ODM ticket but when I received Kidero's, Wanjiru's and Moguche's applications I remember asking for his and I was informed he had not submitted any."

Jirong'o was quick to smooth over Kisia's remarks saying, "there is no discord in CORD."

The Lugari MP's FPK joined the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) on January 9 after a falling out with Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa for engaging the Kenya National Congress (KNC) presidential candidate Peter Kenneth outside of his coalition.

Although Kisia left ODM, he said he would support the party leader's bid for the presidency: "The ticket of our Prime Minister the honourable Raila Amolo Odinga as the presidential candidate and his Excellency the Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka gives Kenya a chance to elect the most tested and most passionate leaders whose commitment to service is unquestionable."

Kisia's exit and Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru's exclusion from the race on account of her degree not being recognised in Kenya, leaves former Mumias Sugar Managing Director Evans Kidero to fight it out with John Moguche Zacharia.

Kisia's exit from ODM, Jirong'o said, should not be seen as creating animosity. "I don't think we need a situation where there is acrimony. Evans Kidero we were in Mangu together. He was the head boy I was the captain in charge of the library."

"Philip Kisia is an equally very very good friend of mine. Even before I joined the CORD coalition I have been involved in arbitrating between the two. When you have two proud men it's a very difficult task."

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