The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has suffered a major blow after its chairperson in Uasin Gishu County quit the party to join the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
David Songok who has been serving as the ODM chairman for the last four years recently announced that he had joined UDA, a party he will be using to vie for the Turbo Member of Parliament seat.
Songok, unsuccessfully vied for the Turbo MP seat in 2017 on an ODM ticket.
But even with the latest development, ODM National Executive Committee (NEC) member representing Rift Valley region Kipkorir Menjo has downplayed the exit.
In a media briefing in Eldoret town, Menjo said the party remains intact in the county.
“From what transpired, in Uasin Gishu our chairman left the party but that does not mean we have a vacuum. We have other officials and there was also a vice-chairperson,” Menjo said.
“The vice-chairperson is now the interim leader of the party in the county,” he added.
According to Menjo, the exit of Songok is no longer an issue as they are focused on strengthening the party ahead of the August 2022 general election.
He said with the Azimio la Umoja founded by the party leader Raila Odinga, there are many members willing to join ODM, and the focus now is to ensure the new members are welcomed well for them to feel at home.
Menjo ruled out any possibility of the ODM party holding an election to replace Songok.
“We’re not going to have an election now, we’re talking of harmonization. We can’t have an election during an elections year. It is just harmonization to ensure everything runs smoothly,” he noted.
Despite being the home county of Deputy President William Ruto, Uasin Gishu has a considerable support base of ODM, largely because it is a highly cosmopolitan county.