ODM leader Raila Odinga has instructed party chairperson John Mbadi to take action against rebels in a bid to revitalise the party ahead of the 2017 election.
Raila, also the CORD leader, announced that ODM would undergo a massive restructuring to make it a more formidable force in the next general elections.
The former Prime Minister put party rebels on notice over their conduct before and during the Homa Bay senatorial by-election.
He was speaking during the burial of former Homa Bay ODM acting chairperson Monica Amollo who died in a road accident a day to the by-election.
Ms Amollo was laid to rest at Thuon Gweno village in Ndhiwa constituency, Homa Bay County.
She died alongside four other occupants of her vehicle who were coming from the last campaign at Rodi Kopany.
Raila said the recent Homa Bay senatorial by-election was the benchmark that enabled the party to establish those who are loyal and those against ODM.
The CORD leader, who was also keen on maintaining the support he overwhelmingly holds in the region, said: “I am delegating ODM Chairperson John Mbadi the responsibility of ensuring the party structure in Homa Bay County is constituted so that it meets the required standards.”
His instruction to Mbadi was seen as a pointer to punitive measures being meted against the perceived party rebels who campaigned for rivals during the by-election.
In hot soup are the party lawmakers who went against the grain and supported candidates other than Moses Kajwang’, who had the ODM ticket and Raila’s backing.
Some of the legislators who openly went against the party’s choice were George Oner (Rangwe), Augustino Neto (Ndhiwa), James Rege (Karachuonyo) while their counterpart for Mbita Millie Odhiambo took a middle ground.
Raila Odinga orders ODM revamp, puts rebels on notice
Speaker after speaker took swipe at the MPs including those who kept away from the party’s activities.
Mbadi assured the party leader and members that he would do as ordered for the sake of unity and the party’s sanity.
“I will play my role and ensure the party is sanctified as we restructure it in Homa Bay,” said Mbadi.
The ODM Homa Bay branch officials were not spared either as some such as former MP Martin Ogindo and Rege were accused of not being loyal to the party during its activities at the grass root level.
Nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro took aimed salvos at her counterparts at the county level whom she accused of not being active during the campaigns. Ms Ongoro asked the party to take strong action against any nominated members of county assembly and other lawmakers for not toeing the party lines.
“They are earning hefty perks and are given vehicles yet they cannot support the party’s choice,” said Ongoro.
The former premier also commented on the ‘Chicken’ scandal, calling for officials implicated in the scam to step aside and allow for the investigation to be completed.
Raila said the continued stay in office by those implicated might lead to interference with the probe as they “might use their positions to influence it”.
“Those involved in the ‘Chicken’ scandal have no moral authority to hold office, they should relinquish their positions and step aside during this time of investigations,” said Raila.
He also delved into the television switch-off affecting three media houses, terming it unacceptable and a return to the dark days of State control of media.
Raila termed the switch-off a way of denying Kenyans the right to information, a commodity he said Kenyans yearn for most.
“Kenyans are entitled to right to information and the Jubilee government is out to deny Kenyans this crucial commodity,” he said.