Confusion mars ODM nominations in Malindi

Confusion and protests sparked by the inclusion of former MP Lucas Maitha’s name in the ballot paper.

Sunday January 17 2016

Justine Baya, Lucas Maitha

Mwaniaji wa ODM Justine Baya (kati) akiwa na wenzake walipoandamana nje ya ofisi za ODM Malindi wakipinga kuwepo kwa jina la Lucas Maitha katika orodha ya wawaniaji Januari 16, 2016. Picha | KAZUNGU SAMUEL  

By SAMUEL KAZUNGU
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By CHARLES LWANGA
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Confusion and protests marred the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) nomination for the Malindi parliamentary by-election after nine of the 10 aspirants protested over the inclusion of Lucas Maitha’s name in the ballot paper.

Mr Maitha, a former Malindi MP, vied for the seat in the 2013 elections on a Jubilee ticket but lost to Dan Kazungu (ODM).

(READ: Mixed reactions over Kazungu’s Cabinet posting)

After he lost, he was appointed chairman of Kenya Bureau Of Standards.

He recently accompanied Deputy President William Ruto to a meeting at Pwani University.

COMPLAINTS

Led by Justine Baya, they camped outside the ODM offices in Malindi calling for the National Election Board to explain how Mr Maitha was cleared to participate in nominations yet he did not attend the vetting in Nairobi.

They claimed that the entrance Mr Maitha is a plan by Jubilee to win the seat.

“It is amazing that at this moment, he wants to go with an ODM ticket. We are telling ODM that they must be careful because he might be scheming for Jubilee,” said Mr Baya.

NEVER VETTED

“We went for vetting at the party headquarters in Nairobi, went through the process and Lucas was not there. Today we have seen his name in the ballot box. How did he get there?” said Mr Baya.

Another aspirant Daniel Chome expressed similar sentiments.

“I fail to understand how his name featured in the ballot box yet he was never cleared at the vetting process. He never went to Nairobi,” said Mr Chome.

Mr Chome threatened that the aspirants would stop the nominations until the ODM headquarters comes clean on the matter.

“We have started to recall the boxes. We don’t want an election that is not clean. If a name can be inserted without due process are we sure of the final results,” he said.

However, ODM chief whip Thomas Mwadeghu said the inclusion of Mr Maitha’s name should not be a big issue.

“One of the party rules was that one had to pay the nomination fees which Lucas Maitha did. I think he is in his right to be in the nominations because ODM is a democratic party which welcomes everyone on board,” said Mr Mwadeghu.

In some polling stations, election had not started by 11am with some voters who had earlier on thronged stations returning to their homes.

Ringa Kaingu, a presiding officer at one of the centres said the delay was caused by poor coordination from party officials.

At Nidhamia hall, security officers had to be called in after voters started to protest at the slow pace of the process.

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