As lobbying starts for East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) membership, the ODM Party has submitted the name of the Chairperson of the party’s National Elections Board (NEB) Hon. Judy Pareno as among nominees to the East Africa Legislative Assembly.
Others are Ronald Ngeny, Zein Abubakar, Tabitha Seii, Rosemary Machua-Kariuki and Silas John Jakakimba.
From the brief discussion on this that went on in the national assembly today, it seems there will be fireworks in confirming Pareno. And the onslaught is coming from the ODM side.
Pareno has been a legislature at the East Africa Legislative Assembly since 2013 and her nomination will see her, should she succeed, serve for a second term as an ODM nominee.
Yet, her record in conducting the just concluded ODM nominations is enough to put a strong case against her candidature; for she is corrupt, inept, lazy, incompetent and dismissive.
Pareno bungled ODM nominations and cost many people their careers and massive financial losses. She should not be rewarded for that.
She must take full responsibility for the shambolic manner in which ODM primaries have been handled which saw the party lose some of its diehard supporters who have opted to vie as independent candidates.
She should also be held accountable for the financial losses ODM Party incurred in numerous repeat elections, owing to her incompetence and failure to consult widely.
Her “know it all” attitude, coupled with her penchant for bribes, saw ODM conduct choreographed nominations which in most cases had been decided for some candidates.
During the primaries, Pareno presided over an amorphous and opaque national elections board that took ODM members in circles and refused to create transparent systems forcing members to guess till the last day who will preside the exercise and who won’t.
In some cases, even her own members of the ODM NEB operated in total darkness, with Pareno hoarding and hiding information from them.
In the end, some elections were declared with participants never knowing who the returning officers were or where the tallying centres were.
In Nairobi County, many MCAs are still chasing Pareno to hand them their nomination certificates. People who won fair and square found themselves having to contend with Pareno’s corruption with losers being awarded the tickets after paying millions to Pareno and associates.
Across the country, Pareno created a fertile environment for quacks to take advantage of the lack of proper systems around ODM NEB to produce forged provisional certificates. They would then hand these to desperate winners left in limbo, and make a kill.
In Migori County, save for Rongo and Suna East constituencies, the nomination exercises for all MP seats, women rep and governor were declared null and void by the ODM Appeals Tribunal, exposing the mediocrity of Pareno and her team.
This has forced the ODM to award tickets directly to aspirants, some who are clearly unpopular but who have successfully petitioned the National Appeals Tribunal, a quasi-judicial body set up by parliament to resolve disputes arising from political party elections.
The same can be said of core strongholds of ODM of Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya, Busia, Kisii, Nyamira, Kwale, Mombasa and Kilifi Counties.
Pareno’s nomination by ODM is an insult to the rank and file members and supporters of the ODM Party. If the slot has to go to a Maasai, there are thousands of Maasais supporting the ODM, some who joined the party long before the tragedy that is Pareno joined the party.
Sources in ODM say Pareno is using her closeness to ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga to get the ticket, but Mr. Odinga should be aware that Pareno has destroyed the ODM Party; and created a base that is livid and unsure of the significance of the “D” in ODM.