There was last minute miscommunication between CORD and coalition partner Ford-Kenya on the earlier planned CORD Sugar rally in Bungoma. In the end CORD Leader Raila Odinga chose to attend a rally in Bungoma which Bungoma senator and CORD Senate minority leader Moses Wetangula had abruptly cancelled on Friday evening.
On Friday, as Odinga jetted in the country from South Sudan, he got wind of the change of plans by Senator Wetangula who however couldn’t give reasons why he was cancelling the rally.
There is an unwritten rule in CORD that the three principals, or at least two, should visit an area. However, for yesterday’s Bungoma rally, Hon Wetangula is reported to have had personal challenges and therefore opted to reschedule it. The communication to reschedule was too late as CORD leader Raila Odinga with the local FORD Kenya and ODM branch officials had set events in motion that could not be reversed.
Wetangula’s handlers had announced in major local radio stations that the rally had been rescheduled to a new date and therefore media house should re-assign there resources elsewhere and that locals should proceed with there regular activities.
A source close to the CORD secretariat informed this writer that when ODM Director of campaigns and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed got wind of the Bungoma meeting being rescheduled; he phoned Wetangula but the Bungoma Senator who could not be reached at the time. ODM MPs in western Kenya were also exerting pressure on Raila NOT TO ABANDON the Saturday as the locals were expectant.
The ODM MPs who pushed for the Bungoma rally wanted the party leader Raila to also meet party branch officials ahead of the upcoming party grass-root elections. Indeed ODM branch officials for Bungoma county met Party Leader in the morning before the rally.
Taking into consideration the options in table, Raila met a group of top ODM leaders late Friday night at a location in Nairobi where the final decision to go to Bungoma was arrived at. Some ODM leaders have warned that there is a ploy to ‘zone off’ certain regions especially perceived non-ODM strongholds regardless of the party’s presence.
A source also revealed to Kenya Today that some ODM and Wiper leaders were not happy how FORD Kenya leadership took a unilateral decision to reschedule the rally before consulting other coalition parties especially the local ODM leaders including MPs and branch officials.
Odinga yesterday attended a series of meetings with ODM grassroots leaders and later addressed a mammoth rally at Bungoma Bus park accompanied by ODM Secretary General Ababu Namwamba (MP, Budalangâ€™i), Organising Secretary Hon Abdikadir Aden (MP, Balambala), Deputy Organizing Secretary Hon Florence Mutua (MP, Busia), Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo (MP, Gem), Hon Fred Outa (MP, Nyando) and Hon Sylvester Anami (MP, Laisamula).
Thousands of supporters turned up for the rally though the earlier communication of cancellation to media houses seemed to have worked as the events received less punlicity or attention since most had called off attending after being informed of the ‘cancellation’ late Friday evening.
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