The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Monday, April, 10 denied media reports alleging a change of party leadership in Kakamega County.
Catherine Mumma, the chairperson of ODM National Elections Board (NEB), made it clear in a statement that the party had not endorsed any changes to the leadership of the party in any county.
This came as reports of disagreement regarding the county’s party leadership between County Women Representative Elsie Muhanda and Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa had been leaked to the media.
Muhanda disputed a statement made by a group of ODM delegates in Kakamega that he had endorsed Governor Barasa for the position of ODM chair in the County.
A portion of the statement read: “As the party organ mandated to carryout elections within the party including the election of party officials, we wish to remind our party members, supporters, and the public in general that no elections or replacement of officials will take place without the approval of NEB as provided in law,”
On Saturday, August 8, 2023, Governor Barasa informed the gathering that he was fully endorsed as the ODM chairman in Kakamega. This was said during a burial ceremony at Lubang
Muhanda had claimed that her life was in danger and that she had been advised against visiting the Matungu constituency by young people associated with Governor Barasa.
ODM, on the other hand, insisted that until the party elections are held, all office bearers would continue to serve the party at various levels.
Catherine Mumma provided clarification in the form of a statement: “Should any party official wish to resign or relinquish their position, they are advised to follow the laid down procedure by writing to NEB who will then advise on how the position can be filled.”
Muhanda defended her seat on an ODM ticket and is currently serving her second term as County MP.
The legislator, who is currently serving his first term as governor, appears to be uneasy about reports that he wants to run for governor in 2027.
Barasa took over from Wycliffe Oparanya, the county’s pioneer boss, and served for two terms before defeating Boni Khalwale, his closest rival, in 2017.