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Has ODM been kicked out of Orange House in Kilimani?

Raila Odinga’s party, the Orange Democratic Party (ODM), has denied reports 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, is the base of ODM’s national secretariat.

It is the property of Caroli Omondi, who was once the principal administrative secretary in Mr Odinga’s prime minister’s office between 2008 and 2013.

ODM has been using the building since 2006, months after the party was formed.

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

MUTUAL CONSENT

“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, rubbishing a report in a local daily and website that the party had been ejected after Mr Omondi declined to renew tenancy.

The party director said 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.

“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.

NEW ADDRESS

“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.