The political Tsunami that has engulfed the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party stronghold especially in Western Kenya is worrying.
The recent decision made by Budalang’i legislator Ababu Namwamba and Funyula lawmaker Dr. Paul Otuoma to resign from their positions as the ODM Secretary General and National vice chairman respectively had been anticipated following the series of events that took place.
It is public knowledge that majority of political leaders in Western Kenya who were nurtured by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga, have had the tendency of gaining leadership on a silver platter but they tend to forget this easily
Case in point, Former Sabatia Member of Parliament and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi made a major comeback in his political career in 2002 when he won Sabatia constituency sit on an ODM ticket.
He later arose through various ranks, to the time when he was Deputy prime Minister in the coalition government of 2007-2013 (Former prime minister Raila Odinga and former president Kibaki’s regime).
However, he saw if fit to vie for the top seat a move that saw him defect from ODM and CORD to join United Democratic Front (UDF) where he ironically endorsed himself as the presidential candidate.
It would later emerge that he was a jubilee project, a ploy that was used to destabilize ODM and CORD stronghold in Western Kenya. Since then his political muscle and supremacy hit a dead end.
Ababu Namwamba’s case is similar to Mudavadi. The purported ‘third force’ is a fallacious theory that has no physical outlook.
Already, some leaders in the region have taken sides, the recent one being Governor Lusaka’s dissolution of New Ford Kenya party to join Jubilee alliance.
The Governor held a press release in Nairobi where he said that the party had opted to join the Jubilee regime ahead of 2017 polls and urged those having trouble with ODM to defect.
The question is, is the third force different from the Luhya super alliance that has been alleged to be brewing?
It is saddening that some leaders prefer to leave their premiers and run back to their communities decrying frustrations. Who knows? The electorate may decide to teach them a political lesson as they did Musalia Mudavadi in the 2013 general elections where he was beaten by an ODM candidate in his home backyard.
Luhya leaders should cease from the habit of making political decisions to champion their personal ambitions which may end up being political suicides but instead, create their political path with the larger Luhya tribe in mind.
Raila visits Western Kenya
Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga’s planned tour for the Western Kenya is a timely mitigation policy that he has devised to tame the continued exodus of some leaders allied to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
This comes barely a week after the former Secretary General and Budalang’i legislator Ababu Namwamba and Funyula constituency Member of Parliament Dr. Paul Otuoma resigned from their posts citing frustrations in the ODM party.
After their exit, Mr. Namwamba has maintained that he will call upon other Luhya leaders to form a third force.
He has been meeting with leaders in the region to discuss on the same, the latest being Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka (Who last week dissolved his New Ford Kenya party in favor of Jubilee).
In 2007 and 2013 general elections Mr. Odinga enjoyed support especially Busia, Kakamega and Vihiga counties but the current defects within ODM party are threatening his stronghold.
Already, Bungoma County is warming up for Jubilee coalition as the Bungoma County Governor Kenneth Makelo Lusaka dissolved New ford Kenya and joined Jubilee, a move that Jubilee has embraced and is working on solidifying unity in the coalition.
Raila’s planned trip is to assure the ODM members of its unity.
Party nominations are the main reasons for the division among the candidates as some have threatened to defect ODM party if direct nominations will be given to specific candidates.
The main reason for Dr. Paul Otuoma’s defect is the allegations that Governor Sospeter Ojaamong may be given direct nomination.
The assurance by Mr.Odinga at Busia stadium, last month that no candidate will be given direct is one of the ways to suppress factions within the party.
Furthermore, his tour is meant to reduce the after effects of Namwamba and Otuoma quitting the party. The mystery of not knowing who will be in the ‘third force’ will greatly haunt the party ahead of 2017 general elections.
A modest example is in 2013 general elections where defection of Mudavadi destabilised ODM in Luhya vote.