The Orange Democratic Movement on Sunday ruled out direct nomination for its candidate for the November 7 Kibra Constituency by-election.
Party leader Raila Odinga said that ODM will hold its primaries on August 31. The seat fell vacant after the death of MP Ken Okoth on July 26, 2019.
Mr Odinga spoke in the company of his elder daughter Rosemary Odinga and six ODM MPs when he unveiled 24 aspirants seeking the party’s ticket in the by-election.
Mr Odinga noted that the orange party will conduct its nomination exercise on August 31, before submitting its nominee to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) by September 3, 2019.
He however, noted that not all the aspirants will participate in the primaries as they will be subjected to a thorough vetting process that will see non-loyalists weeded out.
This means that the ODM’s National Elections Board will keenly verify details of the aspirants, including when they joined the party before they are allowed to participate in the nominations.
“On Tuesday they will be vetted by the party to establish whether they are loyal members of the party or they have just come to contest,” Mr Odinga said.
He added: “We want the exercise to be done in a peaceful environment because we want to show the country that Kibra is mature politically. If you don't win it is not the end of your political career.”
The scramble for the ODM ticket has been fuelled by the party’s popularity in the area as well as Jubilee Party’s plan to back ODM in the race.
There is an indication in Jubilee that the party might follow the precedent set in previous by-elections in Embakasi South, Ugenya, Kitui and Migori where it pulled out in favour of ODM and Wiper Party candidates.
At the rally, former Embakasi South MP Irshad Sumra was forced to withdraw from the race at the podium following a hostile reception by the crowd.
“I have not come to contest. I have come to support Kibra people. I am not in the race,” a visibly shaken Mr Sumra said.
The MPs who spoke at the rally are Simba Arati (Dagoretti North), Tom Kajwang’ (Ruaraka), Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Caleb Amisi (Saboti) and Esther Passaris (Nairobi County Woman Representative).
The late Okoth’s brother Bernard Otieno Imran found himself on the receiving end from the crowd over the controversial cremation of the body of his brother.
“Ken Okoth was a family man and we did as he had wished,” Mr Imran said.
Mr Sigar Agumba, the current ODM Kibra Organising-Secretary promised to offer the leadership that the residents need.
Ms Melvin Moraa, ODM youth leader Benson Musungu and Steve Oguwa among others also addressed the meeting.