Tension is high in Eastland’s Umoja 2 Ward as residents eagerly await the decision of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Central Committee in a long-running nomination dispute where a former tout Shadrack Machanje won the primaries.
Even though the party has consistently handed over the nomination to Machanje, the Incumbent Member of County Assembly (MCA) Joseph Ndonje has been frustrating him through a skewed court system.
The Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) last Saturday barred the party from handing over his name to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as the ODM Nominee for MCA but directed the party’s top organ to give the way forward.
The nomination dispute which has attracted heavy attention from residents seems to bring out an ethnic angle in City politics since Machanje hails from the Western side of the Country in an area which is predominantly Luo.
“Even if an opinion poll is conducted today, Ndonji is not wanted due to his poor record.
If he emerged sixth in the nominations, what makes him think that we will vote for him, why is he using the courts to frustrate this young man?” one resident lamented.
In what seems to be a classic case of David and Goliath, residents are anxious that they will be robbed of the opportunity to vote for one of their own who is not as monied as Ndonji who hails from South B Estate.
The Umoja 2 Resident Association are apprehensive that Machanje who is considered to be an underdog may be thrown under the bus because he is “poor”.
After the primaries on April 22, residents lit bonfires near the Umoja 2 Chief’s camp to protest.
@zowan254Umoja 2 Residents Protest Incubent MCA Joseph Ndonji’s Attempts To Subvert Shadrack Machanje’s Win In ODM Nominations♬ original sound – Zowan254
There is a widespread feeling that Embakasi West MP George Theuri and Ndonji are working in cahoots so as to impose an unpopular candidate.
It is said that Theuri is happy with the stalemate as angry residents may vote for his UDA apprentice Felician Obilo alias ‘Haji’ who is said to be a close relative of Ndonji.
During the ODM Party primaries campaign period, Ndonji who emerged 6th in the nominations with 143 votes against Machanje’s 249 votes didn’t bother to hit the ground, boldly claiming that “Mimi na Cheza Juu”.
In fact, a few days before the party polls, his motorcade was stoned by angry Umoja 2 residents who accused him of being aloof and arrogant.
Community leaders in the area say since Ndonji came to office he has never bothered to meet them and arrogantly told them “Hiyo Certificate nitaitoa Kwa tumbo!”
“We are appealing to his excellency Raila Odinga and the party leadership to intervene in this stalemate.
Let us be allowed to vote for the candidate of our choice,” they added
The ODM National Election board has two times handed over a direct nomination to Machanje but Ndonji petitioned the PPDT to have his nomination nullified.
In a ruling that has been questioned by many, the tribunal directed that the procedure used to nominate him was irregular despite stating that it has no jurisdiction to entertain the nomination dispute.
The tribunal rightly pointed out that ODM has a right to present a candidate of their choice for the August general election.
The tribunal further ruled that the affairs of a political party cannot be micromanaged by a Court.
Ndonji was last year charged with assaulting Pastor Jared Aruwa by kicking and punching him, occasioning him grievous bodily harm.
The attack took place on May 30, 2019, at Kwa Miti along Manyanja Road in Tena Estate.
The prosecution said Aruwa was walking to a hardware shop along Manyanja Road when Ndonji called out his name from his car and asked him over where the MCA demanded to know why he was destroying electric poles that he had put up.
Aruwa maintains that he never vandalised the electric poles.
He said Ndonji grabbed him by the shoulders and started to kick him, forcing him to stand while shaking him and forced him to admit that he was behind the destruction of the poles.
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