The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Joho Backs Ababu

Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba's bid to succeed Professor Anyang Ngong'o as ODM Secretary General has received a major boost. The MPs led by Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho announced that they will back Namwamba for the top seat. "People should go to the ballot. I, as the Mombasa governor will support Namwamba in the party polls," said Joho.

Speaking in his office when he met a delegation of the Bungoma county government led by governor Ken Lusaka yesterday, Joho said his support for Namwamba was born out the need to have people with proven record running the party. "Ababu has proved his loyalty and his ability. I have no doubt that his election will energize the party," said Joho.

Speaking on behalf of Coast MPs and governors during a press conference in a Mombasa hotel yesterday, Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu said Joho and his team will tour every regions starting this Sunday. "This is just a campaign team and we are not saying we have endorsed them for the position they are vying for," he said

Ababu is running against nominated MP Agness Zani who is said to enjoy the backing of the party leader Raila Odinga. Others in the running are Elizabeth Ongoro and Nicholas Gumbo.

Apart from Ababu, the coast MPs also announced their backing for Joho who is going for the position of Deputy Party leader against Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Narok Governor Joseph Nanok who is running to become chairman. Nanok will face former cabinet Minister Paul Otuoma and MP Mpuru Aburi. The positions of vice chair has attracted Aden Keynan who is in Ababu's camp against Otieno Kajwang who is pro Zani.

Rosa Buyu from Ababu's camp is gunning for the position of organising secretary against former Nairobi Mayor George Alwadwa, former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo and Embakasi MP Irshad Sumra.

Yesterday coast MPs said ODM must practice democracy by allowing its members to elect their leaders freely and fairly. Mwadeghu said they are meeting with other coastal leaders today evening to deliberate on the final list that will be endorsed by the coast delegates.

The leaders were supposed to meet yesterday morning, but the meeting was called off after almost all the coast ODM leaders failed to show up.

A delegation of coast leaders will first travel to Isiolo and Garissa on Sunday and on Monday the team will be in Thika, Machakos and Kajiado to meet with different party delegates.

Tuesday February 25, the team will travel to Kisumu, Eldoret and Kakamega before going to Kericho and Mombasa the following day.

Mwadeghu said they will finish their campaign on Thursday 27, in Nairobi to wait for the party polls on Friday the next day.

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