The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is now reportedly collecting millions of shillings daily in nomination fees from aspiring candidates. According to an insider source at Orange House secretariat, demand for the ODM ticket is so high that for instance, Chepalungu Constituency, currently represented by Sammy Kipsang Koech, has attracted a record 42 candidates! Another constituency in the Kericho area is said to have attracted 21 candidates as at Friday this week. Each of these interested parties paid Kshs. 100,000/- and the list reads like who-is-who in constituency’s academic, business and political circles. Rift Valley Province is currently leading the pack in the number of nominations forms collected followed by Coast Province. Our source further reveals that sitting GNU MPs have quietly collected forms while a ‘good’ percentage of aspirants are said to be women especially those from rural areas.
Meanwhile, even as James Orengo is ‘re-elected’ as SDP Chairman, secretariat workers at Orange House rushed to assist him when he arrived to collect ODM nomination forms for Ugenya constituency in the past week. Another surprise said to have collected forms by proxy is NARC and NPK Chairperson, Health Minister Charity Ngilu.
Not to be left behind, New Ford-Kenya MPs Soita Shitanda (Housing Minister), Mukhisa Kituyi (Trade Minister) and Dr. Bonny Khalwale (Assistant Minister East African Co-operation) have all collected ODM nomination forms and paid the prerequisite one hundred thousand shillings for their respective constituencies. KADDU Chairman is also said to have collected ODM forms using proxy.
The ODM Election Board chaired by (Rtd) Justice Richard Otieno Kwach is bracing for a major test during the forthcoming parliamentary and civic nominations. The party’s NEC has decided that the nominations will be conducted countrywide by secret ballot. This in itself will be a logistics nightmare as it will be the similar to conducting a national general election in all 210 constituencies, with an average of 10 contestants per constituency, and tens of civic aspirants, if the mad rush for nomination forms that is already underway is anything to go by. The ODM is said to be working on a strategy that will prevent a fall out after the nominations. There is also a clause that commits aspirants to back the winning candidate.
ODM has made it clear that it is a single political party as opposed to a coalition. The party’s NEC has set a deadline of 10th of October 2007 by which all those aspiring on the party's ticket are expected to return their nomination papers. This date may be amended depending on when the president dissolves parliament.