The Homa Bay Bunge la Mwananchi (BLM) leadership row deepened today as two separate members claim the position of the Speaker which is top most position in Homa Bay BLM. Both Walter Opiyo and George Okiki claim the position.
Mr. Walter Opiyo rubbished claims by the Mr. George Okiki team that he had been expelled and was no longer the Speaker saying that those who purportedly expelled him were nonmembers who had no mandate to expel him. Mr Opiyo claimed that the only members who had the mandate to relieve him of his duties and expel him were the 33 members who are duly registered after paying a registration fee of KSh1200.
However Mr. George Okiki dismissed claims that one is required to pay a registration fee to be a member adding that BLM Homa Bay just like all other BLMs across Kenya was free for all and membership is by participation to which Mr. Opiyo retorted that “if that is the case then claims that I have been suspended do not arise”. Miss Helen Ayugi also a member of BLM Homa Bay dismissed Mr. Opiyo’s claims and stated that he registered a private entity in the name of Homa Bay BLM and has been soliciting for money from members and is currently on the run as some of the members demand their money back.
Mr. Opiyo refuted claims that he no longer attends the sittings of the Homa Bay BLM saying that he has been involved in burial arrangements of his late brother and thanked some members of BLM Nairobi and Homa Bay who stood by him. “I have been engaged with issues related to burial of my late brother and that is why I have been missing in action but having completed the burial today I am heading back there” said Opiyo.
When asked about allegations that he connived with the County Government of Homa Bay to sell off the Posta Grounds where Homa Bay BLM meet, Mr. Opiyo clarified that he had written to the County Government to allow them erect temporary structures that the Homa Bay BLM could use as Income Generating Activity. “We wanted to have something like an MPESA that can earn us income.” Another member only known as Steven during a phone interview with this reporter dismissed the Okiki team as people who lack integrity and said that they only recognize Mr. Opiyo as the official speaker.
Opiyo was however willing to have a joint meeting with Okiki and some representatives from other BLMs so that the issue can be ironed out but warned that if the Okiki side continued to act illegally, he would sue them. “I will move to court so that the court can decide who the legal speaker is” added Opiyo to which Miss Helen responded that “we dare him to move to court, we shall face him there”. Miss Hellen added that “We hear that Opiyo came to Jeevanjee with fake stories, I shall come there (Jeevanjee BLM) soon to clarify issues and expose him (Opiyo)”. On his side Mr. Okiki said that BLM membership was voluntary and that he is focused on serving the members of BLM and asked all including Opiyo to “join me in the quest to serve the members of BLM Homa Bay”.
Mr. Okiki added that his cabinet had already endorsed a proposal for partnership with BLM Jeevanjee and other BLMs and would soon invite BLM Jeevanjee members and leaders to visit Homa Bay BLM to cement this working relationship. “My cabinet is already discussing proposals for cooperation with BLM Jeevanjee in several areas like capacity building, civic education and checking the County Government” stated Mr. Okiki.
But on his side, Mr. Kimtaai Nanok the Speaker of BLM Jeevanjee called on the two teams to come together for the sake of BLM unity. He said he was willing to meet with the two teams with an aim of hammering a solution. “If invited to attend by BLM Homa Bay, we shall go there with one message that unity is key for BLM success”.
Report by Cidi Otieno