Former Kwale County legislator guns for top ODM seat


By Tobby Otum

Campaigns have intensified in the battle for Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Kwale county chairmanship with party grassroots polls getting under way.

Former Kwale County Woman Representative Zuleikha Hassan declared her interest to vie for the top party county seat as ODM grassroots elections begin this weekend in Kwale county.

She launched ODM team fresh with the aim to revive the party leadership from the grassroots level with a new team in place.

Zuleikha is expected to face incumbent party chairman former Matuga MP Hassan Mwanyoha on a date yet to be announced.

Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council [KENBAC] chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao had a fortnight ago declared his quest for the position of ODM county boss before the release of the polls schedule by party national secretariat.

Zuleikha has broke her silence since she lost her bid for Kinango Constituency seat to Gonzi Samuel Rai with the then incumbent Benjamin Tayari failing to recapture the seat.

She was addressing the media at Mazeras Primary school in Kinango sub county during a closed-door session with local ODM officials where she was flanked by ODM Msambweni sub county chairman Kassim Choka.

The ODM grassroots polls are expected to take four days from this weekend to elect 80 delegates, before moving to the ward level to elect 77 delegates and to the constituency level to elect similar number of delegates.

And the elections will move to the county level where the rubber meets the road to elect 20 delegates.

The former Kwale county lawmaker pointed out she declined an offer for her to step down in favour of incumbent Hasssan Mwanyoha.

She added that ODM organs burnt the midnight oil in attempts to urge her to step down before deciding to address the media on her decision.

“To make matters worse it’s the same Mwanyoha whose leadership has ruined the party’s strong leadership for a decade in the area,” she pointed out.

The former County Woman Representative under team fresh slogan vowed to revive the party which she alleges was strong but has lost grassroots support due to poor leadership.

Zuleikha, who was flanked by ODM Kinango sub county chairman Safari Victor Nyange, told the media they want to revamp the party to be like it was before.

She added that due to poor leadership the party never won any parliamentary seat during the last general elections.

“We have launched party team fresh to flush out dormant leadership in the county,” she pointed out.

On his part, Nyange, who is member of county assembly for Kasembeni ward, told the media despite the party being a stronghold of party leader Raila Odinga they have lost grip in the county due to current poor leadership.

He said they have vowed to rally behind Zuleikha’s leadership who doubles up as team fresh patron to oust incumbent Mwanyoha during the much-awaited party polls.

“Enough is enough, we are tired of Mwanyoha’s leadership style and there is an urgent need to overhaul the party’s local leadership ahead of the 2027 general elections,” he pointed out.

Choka told the media they are ready for the party grassroots elections in the area.

He refuted claims ODM is not a vibrant party and reiterated they are strong despite losing in the last general elections to UDA.

“We are going to ensure the patty holds free and fair grassroots elections,” he pointed out.

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