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Raila men accuse Wanjigi of engaging in premature campaigns

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ODM Party national chairman John Mbadi [p/courtesy]

ODM luminaries allied to the opposition chief Raila Odinga have accused businessman Jimi Wanjigi of engaging in early campaigns, contrary to the provisions of the electoral laws and party doctrines.

Wanjigi is eyeing ODM party’s presidential ticket against Raila Odinga and Mombasa governor Hassan Joho to run in next year’s general election.

The group led by ODM Chairman John Mbadi on Monday dismissed the meetings the tycoon has been holding with the party delegates claiming that the party’s election’s board has not ratified the list of the representatives.

“The party’s election board has not ratified the common and authentic list of delegates for those who wish to contest the presidency on an ODM ticket. The board will announce the time for campaigns,” said Mbadi said.

Wanjigi met a group of suspected ODM delegates at Aberdare Country Club in Nyeri on August 8, at Aberdare Country Club in Nyeri County who declared their support for his presidential bid.

Mbadi who believes that ODM’s presidential ticket belongs to party owner Raila Odinga dismissed the members allied to Wanjigi as sycophants but not party delegates.

The Suba South law maker called on Wanjigi to wait until the party announces the legitimate delegates before he embarks on his premature presidential campaigns.

The agitated MP further called on those seeking ODM’s presidential ticket to wait until the list is out to lock out the ticket from falling to individuals he described as conmen.

Tycoon Jimi Wanjigi, he is eyeing ODM presidential ticket [p/courtesy]

Mbadi also clarified that that many top luminaries of the party have been rattled by Wanjigi’s move.

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“It is not yet time for campaigns. The ODM elections board is in the process of harmonizing the list of delegates before embarking on grassroots election across the country.” Mbadi added.

Mbadi who is a key ally of Raila Odinga was angered by Wanjigi’s move to open an ODM party offices in Mt Kenya regions without consulting the party summit, a move he claimed will cause confusion and disorder.

Wanjigi who bankrolled Raila Odinga’s campaigns in 2017 wanted  to open an ODM officer  in Kenol town, Murang’a County but he was stopped by police who accused him of going against the laid down procedures.

“They had not notified us of their plan and when Wanjigi’s team came, we advised them to follow the process and that is where we left it,” Murang’a South Police Commander Alex Shikondi said.

The ODM chairman also accused the tycoon of trying to opening an ODM office in an area the party already has one, saying the was aimed at stirring controversies.

Mbadi compared Wanjigi’s move to that of Migori governor Okoth Obado whose attempts to open a party office in Migori led to bloody gun battles in 2017.

“Even Migori Governor Okoth Obado tried to open an ODM office in hi is county but the party denied him the permission so he doesn’t think he owns the party. There are people who masquerade as sponsors of ODM and this as has only given the party a bad name.” Mbadi said.

Wanjigi has, however, maintained that Raila and his Nasa allies should return the favour after he supported and financed them in 2017.

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“I will put on an orange cap and battle it out with other candidates. I’m coming with a big force called Mt Kenya, they better give the ticket to me since they don’t have a formula. If they don’t, we shall leave them at a disadvantage. I sacrificed for them against my own community,” Wanjigi said.

The tycoon also cautioned ODM leaders who have dismissed his presidential bid saying he has been a kingmaker because he knows the winning formula.


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