Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)’s Director of Communications Philip Etale has threatened to quit in the wake of damning allegations that he received Ksh. 2 million from Bernard Otieno Okoth to ensure he unjustifiably triumphs during the just concluded party primaries for the Kibra by-election.
Etale’s woes started when a WhatsApp screenshot purportedly capturing his conversation with Okoth, who is popularly known as Imran, went viral on social media.
The purported message shows Etale reportedly assuring Imran of victory if he ‘plays ball’.
However, Etale has come out strongly to dismiss these claims as the handiwork of his political detractors.
“I am ready to resign from my position if the fake WhatsApp communication I purportedly had with one Imran Okoth will be found to be authentic. I have many problems on my life to deal with than continue being fought by people who mean nothing to the course,” Etale said via Facebook on Monday.
He further said that at no given time did he engage in such communication with Okoth.
“I have never chatted with Imran or any aspirant either by text or WhatsApp. In any-case, I was least involved in the Kibra nominations as I have always done in other similar exercises. I only relay what I am given to the public,” Etale said.
“If Imran gave me Ksh. 2 million, I would not have cracked my head, pestering and bothering friends to stand with me to raise funds to bury my elder brother Zachariah,” Etale further protested.
Imran, who is the brother to the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth, on Saturday beat a field of 10 contestants to clinch the party ticket for the the by-elections set for November 7.
He is now set to face Jubilee’s McDonald Mariga and ANC’s Eluid Owalo in the mini poll.
Etale has since been backed by a Luhya lobby group named ‘Obulala’ whose chairman Richard Ekhalie has hit out at unnamed ‘dark forces’ within ODM for targeting Etale.
“Obulala is saddened by dark forces in ODM trying to bring down the long-serving loyal and hardworking Phillip Etale. We are noting with concern a calculated move targeting Luhyas in the party with the latest one being Wafula Buke,” said Ekhalie.