ODM spent Sh32m on botched polls

ODMThe Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) spent a fortune — Sh32 million — in last week’s aborted National Delegates Convention (NDC).

A huge sum of the money was spent on paying transport and accommodation allowances for the 2,830 delegates who participated in the bungled election at the Kasarani Gymnasium.

The party secretariat, which was handling the logistics of the event, also offset costs of hiring the gymnasium, paid for security, entertainment and other miscellaneous expenditures.

Documents in possession of The Standard indicate that the party secretariat spent about Sh15 million in facilitating delegates only.

However, after the much-hyped NDC to pick new officials was botched by ‘men in black’, the party is reeling from huge financial costs even as it mulls over holding another conference to elect substantive national office holders.

It is not clear who contracted the youths who dismantled election materials, broke ballot boxes and tore vote papers as the exercise got underway.

None of the men has been arrested despite vandalising poll materials and throwing the party elections into disarray in full glare of TV cameras.

The party was allocated Sh87 million from the political parties fund kitty and seemingly a huge portion of the money could be spent in seeking to install ODM’s new leadership.

“We cannot run away from the reality of spending. We have a duty to facilitate our delegates, including offsetting inevitable expenses and other logistics issues, although I cannot tell how much that was because it would require some calculations,” ODM Executive Director Magerer Lang’at told The Standard.

This emerged even as party leader Raila Odinga announced plans to expand the composition of the transitional team by asking the two opposing camps to each submit an additional name of a woman to meet the constitutional threshold of the one-third gender rule.

Snap polls

This will bring to eight the total number of the caretaker officials, excluding the party leader, who will chair the committee that will prepare the party for snap elections.

Speaking after he met the team at a Nairobi hotel to draw terms of reference and rules of engagement ahead of the commencement of their sittings today, Raila noted that neither camp had submitted any list of nominees to the committee.

“This meeting brought together members of the transitional team to discuss its composition and discuss the way forward,” Raila said.

He was accompanied by members from across the teams, including Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua. Namwamba was also present.

Raila warned the teams to tone down on hardline positions and develop a positive attitude to move ODM forward.

On Monday, the former premier announced the setting up of an interim team to manage the party in an acting capacity until fresh polls are held. On Tuesday, Raila said no positions were a preserve of any team and that no sharing of positions had had been agreed on.

-The standard



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