HUNTING FOR VOTES

Kanu officials ask for slot in Raila campaigns

Nyambane says they hope the divisions rocking the establishment of the teams would be ironed out soon

In Summary

• Kisii Governor James Ongwae and ODM governor candidate Simba Arati have established two parallel campaign teams, sparking sharp divisions in the ODM ranks.

• Nyambane said the divisions are unhealthy and may derail the campaigns. 

Kanu officials in Kisii want to be part of the Nyanza Azimio presidential campaign team, saying the party has been locked out.

Party regional chairman Pius Nyambane said they hope that the divisions rocking the establishment of the teams would be ironed out soon so that the focus would be directed at sourcing votes for Raila Odinga.

"As a party, we expect they shall cooperate so we can reach many people in the region to give Raila the backing he needs in his presidency quest,” he said.

During the meeting of party officials and candidates, Nyambane was picked to be co-opted into the presidential campaign board.

Kisii Governor James Ongwae and ODM governor candidate Simba Arati have established two parallel campaign teams, sparking sharp divisions in the ODM ranks.

By Friday, there was no communication of any effort by the party headquarters to resolve the stand-off.

Nyambane said the divisions are unhealthy and may derail the campaigns.

"In Kanu, we are targeting 95 per cent votes for Baba but this cannot be achieved if we keep wrangling. I ask all those concerned to come together in the spirit of togetherness so we can push this agenda forward,” he said.

Nyambane was speaking to journalists in Nyamataro, Kitutu Chache South during a meeting of party candidates from Kisii and Nyamira counties.

At least 30 candidates from various constituencies and wards were present.  Nyamira governor candidate Reuben Marwangwa was also present.

Marwanga called for unity of purpose to ensure Raila wins.

He also asked Gusii residents to rally behind Raila, saying the region stands to benefit immensely from his presidency.

Nyambane separately asked competitors in the Kisii governor's race to conduct peaceful campaigns. They are Ezekiel Machogu (UDA), Arati, Chris Obure (Jubilee) and Sam Ongeri (DAP-K).

“As a party that espouses the highest ideals of democracy, we don’t want to look forward to elections punctuated by chaos. This is why we are calling on each of them to rein in on their supporters and maintain calm as we inch closer to the main date,” Nyambane said.

In a joint communiqué read by Ombegera David, who is vying for Bomachoge Chache seat, party members said they have resolved to continue to enlist more members.

They also asked Azimio officials to recognise Kanu as an equal partner in the coalition.

Meanwhile, members of the National Council of Churches in Kenya, Kisii branch, have invited all governor candidates to a debate on July 7 at Kisii University auditorium.

Regional chairman Bishop John Omangi said they have started raising funds to make the debate a reality.

"The debate gives a perfect opportunity for all of us to know what they want to do to improve the livelihoods of our people. Whoever misses will be deemed to have no agenda and we will ask the electorate to shun them," he told journalists at ACK Church in Kisii.

 

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