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Rejoin ODM and run for national seat in party polls, Midiwo urged.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi wants former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo to come back to ODM and run for a national seat in the party's election set for next year.

Wandayi on Saturday said Jakoyo is in a good position to champion the party's interests, "especially now that he is not engaged in Parliament".

The ODM secretary for Political Affairs spoke to journalists in Gem constituency.

The lawmaker said Midiwo had been in the Orange party and would play a crucial role in its planned revamp.

Midiwo accepted the overtures but added that a lot needs to be rectified in the party. He bolted out of ODM before the last general election after losing narrowly in the nominations to MP Elisha Odhiambo.

Midiwo ran as an independent in the August 8, 2017 election and again lost to Odhiambo.

Wandayi also urged other politicians who ditched the party in the lead-up to the last General Election to return.

Some of ODM members who left the party after the 2017 nominations are former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo and former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma. Former Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba quit early to join the Labour Party of Kenya.

"We want to revitalise the party by ensuring we bring everyone on board before 2022," Wandayi said, adding that he will pursue reconciliation.

"ODM is the biggest party in East and Central Africa that we cannot afford to experience the kind of squabbles Jubilee Party is experiencing."

During a retreat in Nakuru on Thursday and Friday last week, ODM National Executive Council pledged to reform the party. Also on its agenda was the need to instill discipline so members espouse the party's aspirations. In line with this, Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok was replaced with Loima MP Jeremiah Lomorukei as national vice chairman. Nanok has been flirting with DP William Ruto and had declared support for his 2022 presidential bid.

The party resolved to correct mistakes that have been blamed for bungled primaries.

'It's true that ODM as a party might have made mistakes during the election, which is normal, and those are some of the things we are geared to correct as we move forward,' Wandayi said.

'We've acknowledged that for some members to have left the party, there were some compelling reasons for them to do so. That's why we are embarking on a reconciliation mission to bring everyone on board.'

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jul 1, 2019
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