Let’s close ranks, Raila tells primaries losers

Saturday May 20 2017

Nasa flag-bearer Raila Odinga addresses the media

Nasa flag-bearer Raila Odinga addresses the media after verifying his voter details at Kibera Primary School in Nairobi on May 18, 2017. Mr Odinga told those who lost in ODM primaries that they would be considered for jobs if Nasa wins. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga yesterday reached out to those who lost in the ODM party primaries.

He asked them to be patient and not rock the party from within but focus on delivering the presidency.

Mr Odinga told those who lost that they would be considered for jobs in the national government if Nasa wins the election and if the current Nairobi governor, Dr Evans Kidero, is re-elected.

“I know they are many who are aggrieved. We will rectify all the mistakes made during the primaries. Let us aim for the top job. Let us come together and forget what has happened,” Mr Odinga told the party's Nairobi aspirants at Charter Hall.

The Nasa flag-bearer blamed the dissenting voices coming from the nominations on Jubilee Party for “forcing on the people a draconian party hopping law” that stopped aggrieved aspirants from moving to other parties.

“This battle has been caused by Jubilee because of fear of losing members during the nominations.

"They brought forth a Bill in Parliament blocking those defeated or short changed in the process from going to other parties,” he said.

He claimed the refusal by the government to give parties funds to conduct their primaries properly played a big role in the challenges and cases arising from the exercise.

He said ODM was overwhelmed with the exercise as they had to print ballot boxes, get presiding and returning officers, county coordinators and other staff, and also train their staff just like in the main election but on meagre resources.

“We only had slightly over Sh200 million collected from aspirants’ deposits to conduct the nominations yet IEBC has been given Sh40 billion to conduct the General Election, which is more or less similar to the nominations,” he said.

The ODM party leader defended Dr Kidero’s record in the city and placed blame on the national government, which he accused of frustrating the devolved units by giving them less funds and failing to pay back debts they owed counties.

He dismissed the candidacy of Mike Sonko and Polycarp Igathe, saying residents of Nairobi were not ready for “actors” but wanted a governor who understood devolution.


Meanwhile, Nasa has unveiled a team to steer its presidential campaigns.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi will chair the National Campaign Committee (Nacaco) that will unleash a multi-pronged strategy to win the polls.

The team has been modelled on the US Democratic Party National Committee.

Nacaco will be the apex campaign decision-making body that will coordinate Nasa presidential machinery.

Mr Mudavadi will preside over “high-level research and strategy” team of experts in communications, resource mobilisation, operations and logistics, and will be supported by a 24-hour presidential secretariat in his new role.

He will head a team of 10 highly qualified personalities, seconded by the Nasa partner parties to oversee a massive structure that runs through and is replicated in 47 County Campaign Coordinating Committees (CCCCs), 290 constituencies, 1,450 wards to the 40,000 polling stations.

His new role is in line with the Nasa power-sharing formula, where he has been designated to be Premier Cabinet Secretary.

Mr Mudavadi’s endorsement as the committee chair, the Nation has learnt, follows a proposal to the pentagon by Mr Odinga.