ODM party out to stamp its authority in Western after performing dismally in last polls

ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna addressing the press at a past function-Photo/Ong'ang'a Ochuodho/County Guardian News


By CGN Reporter

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has intensified calls for a referendum.

Led by the party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, he said they want to revamp the party at the grass roots in a build up to referendum.

He said they have already met with delegates from Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties respectively.

According to Sifuna, they will traverse across the 47 counties in selling the agenda for constitutional reforms.

In an exclusive interview with the County Guardian News, Mr Sifuna said as a party, they abide by the resolutions that will be made by the 14-member advisory committee appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila as a way of building bridges between the government and the opposition after the handshake.

“There is need to restructure the executive through a popular vote. Those opposed to the proposal for referendum calls are not genuine since referendum questions are yet to be raise,” said Mr Sifuna.

When asked about whether they have reached to Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart after the handshake that has threatened to split the opposition, Sifuna claimed that Mudavadi was supporting the reforms.

But by the time of going to the press, we could not independently confirm whether Mudavadi as supporting the reforms as hinted out by Sifuna.

However, he was quick to say that Western region was an ODM zone arguing that the seats MCAs and MPs got on either ANC or Ford Kenya was a result of poor nominations of candidates at the grassroots who switched allegiance to the two NASA affiliate parties.

But Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe, a jubilee MP dismissed calls for constitutional reforms after the handshake between Uhuru and Raila saying Mudavadi and Wetang’ula must be included in the deal first.

“We don’t know what Uhuru and Raila agreed in the handshake deal. As lawmakers we will not join forces with them to make laws that will benefit two people without involving other leaders,” Wangwe said.

Adding “In Western region, we pay allegiance to Mudavadi, Wetang’ula and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and they have not been consulted. If they are not involved, we will vote against the referendum,”

Wangwe argued that NASA affiliate parties such as Wiper, ANC and Ford Kenya including jubilee elected leaders from Western have not been involved in the negotiations terming it a selfish move aimed at changing the constitution to create positions in the executive to suit Raila and his lieutenants.

Recently, Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula in an interview with a local Television said that he has already disengaged himself from working with Raila after betraying following the handshake.

According to Wetang’ula, he has no problem with Raila shaking hands with Uhuru since he was also advocating for dialogue, adding that the events leading to the handshake were suspect.

“Currently we are focused with merging Ford Kenya and ANC and form a formidable party to wrestle power from Uhuru after he finishes two terms a President,” said Wetang’ula.

Mudavadi on his part has maintained that the plebiscite calls to amend the constitutional would an empty exercise unless relevant institutions like the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is cleaned up.

He termed as a dangerous idea of ongoing debate on the proposed amendments to constitutions.