Politics

Intrigues behind Memusi’s event that led to the arrest of Innocent Katoo

Katoo alleged that Memusi has already decamped to UDA and that he is being funded by DP Ruto to destabilise ODM in Kajiado, an allegation the Memusi camp hotly denies.

Differences in the ODM party in Kajiado tipped over, on Thursday, when Innocent Katoo, the county chairman, was arrested by police when he tried to force his way to a venue where elections for the Kajiado North branch were being held.

The elections were presided over by Memusi Kanchori, the Kajiado Central MP, who lately has not been seeing eye to eye with Katoo.

The county chairman was released from police custody, at the Karen Police Station, at around 6pm.
However, when contacted by Kajiado Star, each side gave a different account of what transpired during the day.

On his side Katoo alleged Memusi was behind his arrest, adding that as county chairman, he had every right to take part in the event.

“That meeting was an illegality as party elections are supposed to be conducted by the party’s elections board, which was not the case. Therefore, that election is null and void,” added Katoo.

The Memusi faction disputed Katoo’s allegations, adding that the event had the full endorsement of the ODM party headquarters. Lemaron Kuyo, who identified himself as Memusi’s campaign manager, told Kajiado Star that the Kajiado Central MP had no hand in Katoo’s arrest.

“Katoo stormed the premises accompanied by goons in a convoy of motorcycles. He created a drunken scene at the hotel’s barrier when guards stopped him,” said Kuyo, adding that it was the guards who alerted the police of the disturbance being created by Katoo.

“We only came to learn of Katoo’s predicament after we were through with our function. When he was told of Katoo’s arrest, Memusi asked the OCPD to release him. He was released without any conditions,” added Kuyo.

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Katoo, however, told us that he was released on a sh50,000 cash bail. He nonetheless acknowledged that he had come to the venue in a convoy of 25 boda bodas, who he claimed were party supporters.

Kuyo claimed that Katoo was less than honest with his allegations. “He was well aware that the election was scheduled to take place and that he was not supposed to be part of it. The party had organised a meeting at Kaputiei Hotel, in Kitengela, which included a number of officials from Orange House, including Katoo,” said Kuyo.

In that meeting, it was agreed that the party embarks on strengthening structures in the constituencies. Memusi, who sits in the party’s NEC, was reportedly mandated to preside over the elections in Kajiado North and East. “Tarayia ole Kores was mandated to organise elections in Kajiado West, where he hails from.

Katoo was told to organise elections in his Kajiado South base,” said Kuyo, adding that Katoo had no business being in the Karen event, where Beutah Maroko was elected chairman.

The genesis of the bad blood between Memusi and Katoo can be traced to a political meeting, addressed by Memusi, towards the end of December, in Dalalekutuk, in his Kajiado Central backyard, where he issued an ultimatum to the party leadership, warning them not to subject him to a nomination contest with a newcomer to the party. The meeting was attended by a number of politicians affiliated to DP William Ruto’s UDA party.

In that meeting, Memusi accused Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku of infiltrating ODM and attempting to force his preferred candidates in various constituencies.

Katoo pounced on the Dalalekutuk meeting and accused Memusi of trying to lecture party leader Raila Odinga. “Who is Memusi to purport to lecture the party leader?” charged Katoo. “Through Azimio la Umoja, Raila Odinga has welcomed other parties to join the initiative and is precisely what the governor, who has been a member of the Handshake team, is doing. ODM and Jubilee will formalise their union, under Azimio la Umoja, in February,” added Katoo.

He further alleged that Memusi has already decamped to UDA and that he is being funded by DP Ruto to destabilise ODM in Kajiado.

Kuyo dismissed Katoo’s allegations as mere propaganda insisting that Memusi is still firmly in ODM. “Memusi is the highest ranked member of ODM in Kajiado and is in the party’s NEC. He is going nowhere,” said Kuyo.

Regarding the Dalalekutuk meeting, Kuyo said that it was not strictly an ODM affair, but a community event bringing together members of the Ildalalekutuk community to chart their way forward.

“Besides Memusi was simply defending his political turf from invasion from outsiders. Far from it Memusi does not fear competition. In fact, he welcomes it as long as it is held in a fair and structured manner,” he added.

Katoo too dismissed as propaganda that he has been pocketed by Governor Lenku to do his bidding in ODM; that of destabilising existing members and forcing a Lenku friendly line-up.

“Mine is simply to introduce variety and strengthen the party since Memusi, Nkedianye and Kores belong to Odomong’i, while Lenku hails from Orokiteng. Myself I belong to Odomong’i, so there’s no way I can be accused of favouring Lenku,” added Katoo.

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