News 2008


Women Criticise Nominations

The East African Standard (Nairobi)

13 February 2008



The League of Kenya Women Voters has asked political parties to set rules governing the nomination of MPs and councillors to stem the confusion and discontent that have accompanied the exercise.

The organisation's chairperson, Mrs Ida Odinga, on Tuesday complained that the criteria of picking nominees was not clear.

Ida said personal interests had overshadowed the selection of nominated MPs and councillors and called for transparency in the process.

"Dr Julia Ojiambo had to go to court to demand nomination on the ticket of a party she offered as shelter to somebody else. There is surely something wrong. People who worked for their parties are being sidelined and new ones picked from nowhere for nominations. It is not fair," she said.

Ida asked for an arrangement that involves the public or the party in the process.

"Currently, it is not clear who is doing the nomination. Is it the party's presidential candidate? Is it the chairman? Where do the names of nominees come from? Who decides? We have to address these issues, otherwise the whole idea is being subverted," she said.

Nominations, she said, were supposed to go to persons who had rendered distinguished public service, or who had brought honour to the Republic, or who had distinguished themselves in some field. Nominated MPs were also supposed to represent disadvantaged and special interest groups.

"If you look at the names parties have given out as nominees, it is clear that the original concept is lost. If you look at the many people struggling to be nominated just because they were party chairmen who also lost their parliamentary seats, it gets clearer that there are no rules anymore," Ida said.

Parties submitted the names of their nominees last week, sparking off protests.

Yesterday, Ida said the exercise was losing its purpose.

"I have decided to speak about this because many party supporters are losing out to people hardly known to them. I am telling the parties that we need rules and transparency in this exercise," she said.