Raila Odinga’s party reveal the real reason behind leaving Orange house

The Orange Democratic Party (ODM) headed by Raila Odinga, has refuted claims that it has been kicked out of Orange House, insisting that it is leaving out of mutual understanding.

The one-storey building, located in Nairobi’s Kilimani and owned by Caroli Omondi who served as the principal administrative secretary in the former Prime Minister’s office from 2008 to 2013, is the base of ODM’s national secretariat.

The party’s occupation of the house which began in 2006, will end in six months, according to ODM’s executive director Oduor Ong’wen.

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“The tenancy … will come to its end on December 31, 2018 and by mutual consent between the landlord and tenant, we have agreed not to renew it,” said Mr Ong’wen in a press statement on Tuesday morning.

“This understanding was reached at on May 28, 2018 and is in writing,” he added, discrediting  reports that the party had been ejected after Mr Omondi declined to renew tenancy.

The party director revealed that the reason for leaving the vintage building, located off Nairobi’s Menelik Road, is because the owner wants to pull it down and erect a bigger structure.

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“This is due the intention of the landlord to construct a multi-storey office block on the property in line with the current trends of land use in the neighbourhood,” stated Mr Ong’wen.

“The National Secretariat will thus relocate to a new address at end of the year and our members, supporters and the general public will be notified accordingly,” he added.

Mr Omondi, the owner, ran for the Suba South parliamentary seat last year.

Incumbent John Mbadi — the party chairman — controversially beat  Mr Omondi in the nominations, and after Mr Omondi’s efforts to overturn the result failed, he backed his younger brother Peter Ocholla to face off with Mr Mbadi but the incumbent proved too strong.

Mr Omondi is now a government employee, having been appointed a board member of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya in postings done by President Uhuru Kenyatta in early June.

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The Orange Democratic Movement is a centre-left political party in Kenya. It is the successor of a grassroots people’s movement which was formed during the 2005 Kenyan constitutional referendum campaign. This movement separated in August 2007 into the Orange Democratic Movement Party of Kenya, usually known simply as ODM, and the Wiper Democratic Movement – Kenya(formerly the Orange Democratic Movement – Kenya, known as ODM–Kenya).

The name “orange” originates from the ballot cards in the referendum, in which the banana represented a ‘yes’ vote, and the orange represented a ‘no’ vote. Thus the parties demonstrates that it supported a no vote in the 2005 referendum. The original linchpins of the ODM were Uhuru Kenyatta’s KANU party and Raila Odinga’s LDP. KANU has since pulled out.

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