Fear of unfair nominations grips ODM aspirants in Kilifi

Malindi MP Willy Mtengo holds his clearance certificate from IEBC accompanied by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho left and Kilifi governor Amason Kingi (right) in between Joho and Mtengo is Kilifi Women rep. Aisha Jumwa: FILE/PHOTO.

Kilifi, KENYA: Fear has gripped Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) aspirants in Kilifi County as the nomination date draws closer.

Kilifi County ODM Women Representative aspirant Getrude Mbeyu has expressed concerns that the nominations might not be fair in the forthcoming ODM primaries.

Mbeyu was endorsed by the vocal Kilifi Women Rep. Aisha Jumwa and has expressed fears of a scheme to rig her out of the post in favor of her opponent Juliet Riziki.

Speaking on Tuesday in her Kibarani home turf, Mbeyu said she is surprised to see top party officials campaigning for Riziki yet the party has not picked its candidate for the position.

“It is sending a bad message to see officials of the party supporting one candidate against the other yet it is singing democracy in the party,” said Mbeyu.

“It would be prudent for the officials to give each of us a fair ground and drum up support for whoever wins the nomination,” added Mbeyu.

Riziki has received massive backing from ODM’s Kilifi county chief strategist and Kilifi North parliamentary seat aspirant Owen Baya.

Baya has been publicly heard drumming up support for Riziki, a move that has ever been rising fears that Riziki could be the preferred candidate for the party.

Baya who is Governor Kingi’s right hand man, was instrumental in drawing the road map to Kingi’s election as governor in 2013.

The primaries were initially scheduled to be carried out on Tuesday 11th of April but was pushed to Wednesday 19th April in Kilifi, after the ODM national elections board in consultation with IEBC agreed to push the exercise until after 13th April.

However, Riziki has urged Mbeyu to focus on her campaigns instead of complaining over the nominations in every meeting she holds.

“Mbeyu is an elected member of county assembly and she has all the machinery unlike me,” Riziki said.

“I have not received any favors from anybody, I am on my own and my power is my people. Let her convince the delegates why she should get the ticket and stop blaming officials,” said Riziki.

On his side, Baya said he has a right to endorse any candidate of his choice.

“Mbeyu was endorsed by Aisha Jumwa for the seat why is it wrong for me to endorse Riziki?” he quipped.

Meanwhile, Kilifi county Women Representative Aisha Jumwa has also expressed her displeasure  with the manner in which affairs regarding the party nominations are being carried out.

Jumwa has expressed her interest to vie for the Malindi Parliamentary seat that is currently being held by fellow party member Willy Mtengo.