YOUTHS DISRUPT MEETING

Ruto visit sparks fresh ODM branch fights in Kisii

Party chairman Samuel Omwando accused of being a sell-out, faction wants him ousted

In Summary

Omwando's appearance at Ruto's home on Thursday has been linked to the 2022 politics with the DP keen on making inroads into the larger Gusii region that has previously voted for ODM leader Raila Odinga.

 

Fresh fights have broken out at the ODM branch leadership in Kisii after an official secretly visited Deputy President William Ruto at his home in Karen, Nairobi.

Two factions have emerged with the demand that ODM's Kisii county branch chairman Samuel Omwando be replaced by his deputy Kerosi Ondieki.

The Ondieki faction has accused Omwando of being a mole and wants him replaced. The group on Saturday called a press conference at the Kisii Sports Club to install Ondieki but youths allied to Omwando stormed the venue and scattered the meeting.

Omwando's appearance at Ruto's home on Thursday has been linked to the 2022 politics with the DP keen on making inroads into the larger Gusii region that has previously voted for ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Youths who disrupted the meeting had secretly entered the venue and positioned themselves strategically as they waited for Kerosi.

And when the ODM branch vice-chairman pronounced himself as the new chairman, the youths heckled. Kerosi is a former Kisii county assembly speaker. He was flanked by the assembly's Majority leader Timothy Ogugu.

They accused Omwando of being a sell-out.

"We are here today to affirm my new role as the branch party chair from today going forward. As matters stand, Omwando has abdicated his role as the branch chairman," Kerosi said.

But the youths heckled and dismissed the move as illegal.

Group leader Nyakenyanya Mokua who is also the Nyaribari Masaba party youth secretary, defended Omwando against accusations of ditching ODM, saying they had not seen any communication from him to that effect.

"We admit Omwando went to see the Deputy President but at no time did he give a statement to say he has abdicated his post as party chairman," Nyakenyanya said.

Speaking to the Star on phone, Omwando said Kerosi is out to bring divisions within the party.

"I have not announced any resignation from my party neither have I told anyone that am leaving the party to warrant the shenanigans we are seeing from Kerosi and his henchmen," Omwando said.

He said he will continue serving as the party's branch chairman until elections are called and credible polls conducted.

"We have not conducted any elections to pick new leaders, so what you saw are frogs in water whose croaking won't make a cow stop drinking water," Omwando said.

He said he will call a press conference to denounce the purported ouster. "I will do that immediately I'm back."

Kerosi however accused Omwando of greed, saying his appetite for cash had pushed him to the DP.

"How else can one look at it? He is a complete party sell out. As ODM, our close association is with the President through the Building Bridges Initiative and not the Deputy President," Kerosi said.

"It is a chapter already closed and Kerosi will serve as the party chairman until a time we conduct elections,"  Ogugu said.