The Orange Democratic Movement Party will not have a place to stay after the landlord declined to renew the lease of its expansive headquarters on Menelik Road in upmarket Kilimani area of Nairobi. Odinga’s former aide, Caroli Omondi who is also the landlord expects the party to vacate in December.
ODM executive director Oduor Ong’wen confirmed on Monday that the party was preparing to leave Orange House.
“Our lease is coming to a close and in the course of the week, we are going to advertise. You know this is something that once we finalize, becomes public. It can’t be a secret,” Ong’wen stated.
However, the chief executive could not disclose any preferred location for the next secretariat of the country’s second largest political party.
Many property owners are usually reluctant to rent out premises to political outfits and parties often have to search among friends and supporters to host them – whether paying or free.
The end of the lease comes at a particularly difficult period for the party, amid reports that it is facing financial challenges. ODM is one of the few parties entitled to funding from the Political Party fund.
Party funding was among the deliberations in Mombasa a fortnight ago, with concern being raised about some elected leaders failing to send monthly contributions to the party as required.
Last year, Omondi contested against ODM Chairman John Mbadi for the Suba South Parliamentary seat in the primaries but lost in controversial circumstances and he protested alleging his rigging out was planned and executed in his own property.
“All of you know that I own the Orange House building, and that is where the plan to rig me out was hatched, but I haven’t complained. Raila must give us a break and let voters decide who their leaders will be,” Caroli stated, protesting against ODM’s decision to campaign against independent candidates.