ODM to hold a crisis meeting after failing to kick out governor

Author: Kepher Otieno 
AfricaPress-Kenya: The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has now summoned MCAs from Migori County and county party officials after Governor Okoth Obado’s impeachment motion failed to kick off.

Yesterday, party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, in a communication to the county party leadership, demanded a crisis meeting on Saturday. This is after Speaker Boaz Okoth adjourned assembly sessions three times, delaying the start of the impeachment process. Okoth had earlier complained that his life was in danger after his security was withdrawn and moments later, his home in Nyikendo attacked.

ODM unhappy

“The branch delegates and National Executive officials will meet in Migori today,’’ Sifuna said. He insisted that the party was serious with the impeachment motion and will de-whip MCAs who fail to toe the party line.

The Migori Assembly resumes sittings next Tuesday. Migori County ODM branch secretary Jossy Olala confirmed receipt of the party communication and sent out invitation letters to branch officials to prepare for the meeting.

“We have invited all ward reps, 10 party officials from constituency branches and wards for the urgent meeting on Saturday,’’ said Olala. South Kanyamkago MCA George Omamba, his Central Sakwa counterpart Gerishon Owii,

Nominated MCAs Mary Odiga and Rose Liguse also confirmed receiving the party invite. “We have been asked to reach out to all our members in the wards and mobilise them to turn up for the urgent meeting,’’ said Omamba.

ODM Chairman John Mbadi, Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen, and a number of MPs who hold leadership positions in the party will also attend. The meeting comes hot on the heels of the current political tribulations bedeviling Obado, who has vowed to fight his ouster bid to the bitter end.

Obado has presently retreated to a SDA camp meeting behind his home in Rapogi. He has continually maintained that impeaching him was a rushed and ill-informed decision. Sources confided to The Standard that the party was unhappy with what it perceives to be a well orchestrated scheme to delay the impeachment.

On Tuesday, when the assembly resumed session after a one-month recess, Okoth adjourned sittings on grounds that Covid-19 social distancing rules were being disregarded.

On Wednesday, the Speaker resumed sessions but again adjourned, this time claiming that his life was in danger after his home was attacked. “I am not sure why some people are up to political mischief,’’ the Speaker said while announcing the adjournment.

Sources revealed that party officials will be informed of the progress of the ouster motion and MCAs who refuse to toe the party line will have rules on disciplinary action spelt out for them.

“These are extra-ordinary times which call for extra-ordinary measures. You cannot go against the wishes of your sponsor party. You must demonstrate absolute loyalty,’’ said Omamba. Obado and Okoth have been close associates for the last seven years.

Obado’s three security officers manning his homes in Rapogi and Migori have been recalled. A police constable attached to Okoth was also recalled. Migori County Police Commander Manaseh Musyoka and County Commissioner Boaz Cherotich who chairs the county security team termed the security withdrawal as ‘normal operations’.

“There is nothing sinister in that move. The government is just reviewing security provisions and maintaining a lean staff around the leaders,’’ said Cherotich.

Obado has termed the security withdraw as part of a wider scheme to intimidate him.  The court has barred him from accessing his office until his Sh73 million case is dispensed with. He is currently out on bail. ODM wants him impeached on grounds that his case borders on economic crimes, which defies the laws of natural justice and dictates of the party.

Leadership failure

Obado and Migori Senator Ochillo Ayacko traded barbs on Thursday over who is to blame for the planned impeachment motion. While Ayacko distanced himself from it saying Obado should own up to his mistakes, the governor slammed the senator for pushing for his downfall. “I know that there are some individuals both here in Migori and in my party who want to see me impeached.

Let them go on,’’ Obado said. A number of MPs have also weighed in on the ouster motion. Tom Odege (Nyatike), Paul Abuor (Rongo), Pamela Odhiambo (Woman Rep), Nominated MP Dennitah Ghati, as well as Suna East and West MPs Junet Mohamed and Peter Masara have called on Obado to face his mistakes.

The leaders said accountability, if approached correctly, would have allowed the governor and his team to produce positive results in terms of county development. “Being an accountable leader takes courage and honesty for one to triumph.

This is what many expected from Obado, but he has let the people of Migori down,” claimed Odege, who declared “Obado must go!”

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