Protests in Kisii After ODM Issued Direct Ticket to Janet Ongera

A section of pro-ODM youth in Kisii have protested the decision by the party to hand a direct ticket to Woman Rep Janet Ongera.

They described the move as lacking wisdom and setting a bad example.

They pressed ODM leader Raila Odinga to reconsider the direct ticketing of select aspirants across the country on account of opinion polls which are likely to be tilted to favour some aspirants.

“We are just dismayed. Our position is that they should have been transparent nominations, not the handpicking done on Wednesday,” said John Ratemo, group representative.

On Thursday, ODM’s National Elections Board (NEB) Chairperson Catherine Mumma said the issuance of direct tickets is allowed by the party constitution.

Mumma said it would be a waste of aspirants’ and party’s resources to conduct primaries when it is clear one aspirant is way more popular than the rest.

In Kisii, the protesting youth said the move may deny good candidates a chance at leadership.

“We know Ongera was given the ticket for being in the party the longest, not because of popularity ratings,” said Ratemo.

They walked across Kisii town streets chanting anti-Ongera slogans.

They rooted for Donya Toto, saying she was the right aspirant to be given the party ticket.

“It is sheer cowardice of the party to stop listening to the wisdom of all other aspirants and instead dish out tickets like ground nuts to some aspirants who enjoy little ground support,” said the youth.

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