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Blow to Raila as key officials dump ODM

Martin Murigi
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Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga at a past event. [Photo/]

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has suffered a major blow after key party officials and members dumped the opposition party for Jubilee.

This is after Andrew Ng'ang'a led more than 250 former councillors in Kiambu County to defect from ODM to the President Uhuru Kenyatta-led Jubilee party.

Speaking when the ex-councillors met at a hotel in Thika on Tuesday, Ng'ang'a, who is their chairman, pointed an accusing finger at former East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Mumbi Ng'aru, faulting her of shortchanging them and using them for her own selfish interests.

Ng'ang'a said they had been recruited and appointed as members and officials to strengthen the Orange party in the populous county ahead of the 2022 general election.

"We want those enlisting former councillors to meet Raila to stop. We have no business with Raila," Ng'ang'a said.

Ng'aru, Raila's point person in the area, was the first woman mayor in the defunct Thika Municipal Council.

The move by the former councillors to abandon ODM is a major blow to Raila who is said to be eyeing the presidency in the next election, as they (ex-councillors) have huge networks and influence on the ground which is a major asset in any political campaign.

Although the former Prime Minister has maintained silence on his chances of contesting in the 2022 polls, his close allies have maintained that he will be on the ballot. 

"According to our records, Raila Odinga was our candidate in 2017. It was me who issued him with a certificate. I have not issued that certificate to any other person. This means he is the ODM candidate unless otherwise stated," said ODM chairman John Mbadi on Monday, as quoted by the Standard.

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