The Star (Nairobi)

4 January 2014

Kenya: Nyanza ODM Boss Aspirants Lead Pack

THE battle for ODM party secretary general position has attracted more candidates from Nyanza ahead of next month's elections. Several candidates from the region have so far declared interest in the position with the latest entrant being Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo.

Others include MPs Ken Obura (Kisumu Central), John Mbadi (Suba), Manson Nyamweya (South Mugirango) and nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro. Siaya Senator James Orengo is also said to be eying the position but he is yet to go public.

Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba from Western region is also seeking the position to replace Kisumu Senator Anyang' Nyong'o. Gumbo, who is serving his second term in Parliament, yesterday declared his candidature for the seat.

Speaking during a prayer rally at Rarieda Primary school, he said, if elected, he will strive to address the confusion that mars ODM primaries ahead of the election period.

Gumbo said he will put in place measures to have early nominations preferably a year before the general elections to prevent voter apathy that normally arises after party primaries.

"I will reorganise the party to distinguish between party supporters and members so as to avoid the confusion of candidates jumping ship after being defeated in the nominations," Gumbo said.

He pointed out that after spearheading the ODM mashinani campaigns ahead of the March 4 election, he is well versed with the needs of ODM supporters. Gumbo said he will address the welfare of party supporters and increase grass root mobilisation.

Speaking separately, Nyatike MP Edick Anyanga said he will support Gumbo due to his mobilisation skills. He said the party needs fresh blood in its leadership as Gumbo, who is a second term MP, is capable of spearheading the party's leadership.

"We need to reach out to all the sub-branches so that we mobilise votes for the Rarieda MP to take up the party's position. He is up to the task," Anyanga said.

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