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Obure scoffs at ‘political rejects’ in attempted ODM takeover

Tuesday August 2 2016

Kisii County Senator Chris Obure addresses the media at Serena Hotel on July 28, 2016 after he led a section of Kisii leaders to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto at State House in Nairobi.

Kisii County Senator Chris Obure addresses the media at Serena Hotel on July 28, 2016 after he led a section of Kisii leaders to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto at State House in Nairobi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAGATI OBEBO
By MAGATI OBEBO
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 AGGREY OMBOKI
By AGGREY OMBOKI
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Kisii Senator Chris Obure has scoffed at his "ouster" as ODM county chairman by a group of politicians in a mock election on Monday.

Mr Obure said he was of sound mind when he led a Gusii leaders’ delegation on Thursday to visit President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi.

“We have already clarified our position on the matter that our visit to see the President was to discuss development for our people. The issues we raised with the President cannot be handled by any other office in the land,” Mr Obure told the Nation by phone.

He added: “Kenya has one State House and the President has sway over many things that cannot be executed by any other quarter in the land.”

He called the leaders of the fake coup "political rejects" who were heading nowhere with their schemes.

“These are guys who even failed to capture the party tickets during the nominations. What is convincing them that they can take the party through a backdoor?

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"That is wishful thinking,” said Mr Obure.

He denied claims that his visit to State House had anything to do with “auctioning the party” to the Jubilee coalition.

“There were no talks touching on defections or selling the members to Jubilee as being bandied, and I think I have been clear on this before,” Mr Obure said.

'POLITICAL MERCENARY'

Following the Monday "coup", former Kisii mayor Samwel Omwando said he had now taken over as the ODM Kisii branch chairman, kicking out Mr Oburet.

Mr Obure, however, called him a political mercenary who has always been on the move whenever he failed to get nominations.

“He moved to Ford People soon after losing in the nominations for the Kitutu Chache parliamentary elections. Nobody is aware that he has membership in the ODM,” said the Kisii senator.

Kisii County Deputy Governor Joash Maangi was also ‘kicked out’ as the party organizing secretary and "replaced" with a Moses Andama, also a failed ODM party ticket chaser in the 2013 party nominations.

Mr Maangi, who has fallen out with his boss James Ongwae, was among the other political leaders in the delegation to State House.

At one time he harboured gubernatorial ambitions.

PRESIDENTIAL 'PROMISES'

Mr Omwando accused Mr Obure of orchestrating the disintegration of the party because of greed.

"We would like the Obure group to know that their days of masquerading as ODM members is numbered and has come to an end. We cannot allow them to auction our members to Jubilee or any other political outfit," he said.

However, an agitated Mr Obure said Mr Omwando was a “gatecrasher and lacking authority to comment on the affairs that touch on the party.”

The Kisii senator said the President had made a raft of development promises to the Gusii people that needed to be followed up.

“The president had told us that he will fund the construction of at least one road in each of the nine constituencies. Our people need better and good roads to enable them reach markets with their goods with ease and on time,” Mr Obure said.

Following the visit to State House, President Kenyatta is scheduled to make a visit this month to the county.

During their visit, Mr Obure is said to have pressed the President to tarmack the Mogonga-Kenyenya-Etago road, which has been the subject of campaigns for several years.

SUNEKA AIRSTRIP

Among other projects the leaders told the President to undertake are the upgrading of the Suneka Airstrip to allow low-cost carriers to launch direct flights.

The Treasury had released only Sh40 million of the Sh200 million that had been set aside for its refurbishing.

Governor Ongwae has also been appealing to the government to allocate more funds for its completion.

"We had committed ourselves to completing the project but are yet to do so because of lack of funds," he said.

Mr Obure also said the President had promised to fund a new stadium at Nyanturago in Nyaribari Chache constituency.

Among the issues the leaders discussed with Mr Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were the revival of industrial projects and appointments to government jobs.

Other leaders on the trip to State House were MPs Joel Onyancha (Bomachoge Borabu), Simon Ogari (Bomachoge Chache), Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South), Jimmy Angwenyi ( Kitutu Chache North), Elijah Moindi (Nyaribari Masaba), Richard Tong’i (Nyaribari Chache), Stephen Manoti (Bobasi) and Zebedeo Opore (Bonchari) and nominated Senator Hosea Ochwangi.