Nairobi – A member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has filed a petition with the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) contesting businessman Jimi Wanjigi’s presidential candidacy ahead of the 2022 general election.
Catherine Wanjiku Irungu accused the Raila Odinga-led party, which is the defendant in the case, of tolerating Wanjigi’s character, which she believed was abusive and discredited the party.
“The defendant allowed the party concerned to abuse the structures of the party through the abusive application of the party constitution and established laws,” she said in her petition.
Irungu is also concerned that the party failed to enforce its constitution by failing to take disciplinary action against Wanjigi, whom it accuses of undermining the party’s authority and defaming its leader.
“The defendant is required to conduct an objective ethics and integrity test to ensure the suitability of a candidate including the interested party, but the respondent failed, ignored or declined,” she said.
Wanjigi, who crisscrossed the country to publicize his presidential candidacy, has claimed that his quest to dethrone Odinga as the ODM party’s main flag bearer in the 2022 elections is still alive and has insisted that he will not allow himself to be withdrawn.
In the petition, Irungu notes that Wanjigi has been negatively mentioned regarding his moral aptitude and ethical ethos and that ODM is under an obligation to investigate the veracity of these allegations.
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“I believe that ODM should make this test mandatory before a candidate’s name is revealed to the unsuspecting public in an election. Internal screening procedures are mandatory for any political party,” she said.
Wanjigi was stoned and molested by people believed to be supporters of his rivals during a roadside rally in Migori in September.
On September 3, ODM General Secretary Edwin Sifuna spoke about his calls for a National Conference of Delegates (NDC) to determine the party’s standard bearer for the 2022 presidential election.
Sifuna said the party will use one of the four procedures set out in its regulations to select its candidates for different seats.
In the 2017 general election, Wanjigi claimed he funded Odinga’s presidential campaign as part of the now-defunct National Super Alliance (NASA), a claim that was rejected by some senior party officials.
Vice-President William Ruto and Odinga are also in the running to succeed President Kenyatta, along with eight other candidates including Musalia Mudavadi, party chairman of the Amani National Congress, chairman of the Wiper party Kalonzo Musyoka, Gideon Moi of KANU and Ford- Kenya boss Moses Wetangula.
Others include Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and former Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Mukhisa Kituyi.