Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna defended Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga’s last-born daughter, Winnie Odinga’s nomination to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
Speaking to the media on Thursday, November 10, Sifuna attributed Winnie’s Achilles heel to the fact that she is heavily criticised by many due to her second name.
The ODM Secretary-General challenged Kenyans to view people in their individual capacity and not based on their bloodline.
He also pointed out Winnie’s capabilities during the electioneering period, adding that she was up to the task with the EALA role.
“I have worked with Winnie and worked with many people from the Odinga family, one of their greatest frustrations is that they are always judged by their second name. It is impossible for people to view them in their individual capacity.
“Those who worked with her during the campaigns know what she’s capable of doing. The public has decided to make this second name a burden or a curse, which is quite unfortunate. Let people be judged by their own capacity,” he stated.
The ODM SG, however, criticised the media for propagating an agenda based on a person’s family ties instead of what they bring to the table.
“You know newspapers, there is this attraction to sensationalism because someone is so and so. At the end of the day, these people needed to be vetted individually. As the SG of ODM, we’re pleased with the list and these are men who are capable of doing the job,” Sifuna affirmed.
The Senator exuded confidence in the list nominated by the ODM party, noting that such positions were extensively vetted by the party before being fronted.
“First I cannot fail to be happy with the list from the ODM perspective, We know that this position was advertised and people were invited to apply. Those who needed sponsorship from individual political parties were then seconded by those parties.
“In fact, when we’re running for positions in ODM, there is an application that you’re required to list your contributions to the party for the past two years preceding an election,” he noted.
Other names fronted by the ODM party to EALA comprised Suleiman Shahbal (Mombasa), Mohammed Diriye (Wajir), Timothy Bosire (Nyamira), Beatrice Askul (Turkana) and Justus Kizito (Kakamega).