How Edwin Sifuna totally eclipsed Ababu Namwamba
By P W
Edwin Watenya Sifuna, the incoming ODM Secretary General is not your ordinary run-off-the-mill political or legal rookie.
Edu, as he is popularly known, has been one of the most active lawyers providing pro-bono services to the opposition CORD and its members. Edu was deeply involved in fighting bad laws including the infamous security laws, media bill, as well as Wetangula’s petitions, Joho’s firearm licence and many more high profile cases which had Sifuna working actively behind the scenes.
Additionally, lawyer Sifuna has often taken up many cases involving student leaders such as Babu Owino and opposition leaning bloggers who often find themselves in jail for politically instigated hate speech and defamation charges. Perhaps more importantly, Sifuna forms part of a team of lawyers that provide regular legal counsel to the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga and his CORD co-principals on sensitive matters.
In sharp contrast, Pius Tawfiq Ababu Namwamba, who is himself a lawyer but whose membership at the Law Society long lapsed, has never shown any interest, supported, defended or advocated for anything on behalf of CORD or its people in or outside the courts. The maverick Budalangi MP is likely to be found at the underground basement of hotels somewhere along Langata Road receiving their dues or waiting for his chopper at Wilson Airport to fly off to some place.
In politics, people support a cause. Ababu has shown he would rather identify which side of his bread is buttered even if it means betraying Budalangi voters. Ababu has failed as MP, failed as PAC chair, failed as ODM Secretary General, and is struggling as a newspaper columnist earning Ksh5000 per article published on the Standard.
Edwin Sifuna on the other hand has shown remarkable bravery as he patiently serves the movement understudying veterans like James Aggrey Bob Orengo, who despite being in parliament and politics for more than three decades still keeps an active membership at the LSK while keeping his impeccable reform credentials intact. The difference between these two and Ababu Namwamba is like day and night!
Although Edu worked together with Ababu at some point, the two fell out because of the latter’s penchant for commercial rather than ideological politics. I think Edu has come of age and it is now or never.