By J Omondi
It’s now in the public domain that ODM Secretary General ‘Generali’ Ababu Namwamba is officially a political punching bag. The Party that he purports to lead is now hammer and tongs against the man who gave us the “honorable member for Othaya” refrain. Remember, this was the first time, a sitting Head of State was given a public dress down on national TV.
That defiance and political notoriety earned him instant celebrity status and also put a bulls-eye on his back! For the first time, Kenyans had a face to marry with the insightful opinion pieces that graced the Standard Newspaper. Ababu made a triumphant debut in Kenyan politics and became an instant political hit.
That celebrity status came with an assembly of perks and prestige that would put him in the driver’s seat to a juicy position in Kenya’s largest and most diverse political party. Ababu and other mavericks coined the dreaded ‘Team Fresh’ as a vehicle to Party leadership. The team, boasting a vibrant political all-star line up of Governors Joho and Nanok and Ababu as SG, won the hearts and minds of the party’s rank and file and was on its way to a landslide victory but the dance ended prematurely.
They would later land their original desired positions but with major caveats and a lot of lost ground. Interestingly, among the original Team Fresher’s, Ababu is the only team member whose legitimacy and commitment to Party is being scrutinized and slammed for wavering and sheer lack of mettle.
Ababu’s recent press appearances have also helped in adding fuel to the fire. He went on national TV and bemoaned internal interference from forces that he claimed, denied him victory at Kasarani. His conspicuous absence in several CORD initiatives have also catalysed the ‘mole’ chatter to a crescendo.
However, the untold story remains within Team Fresh. Governor Joho is the clear Heir apparent and each step that he makes is a careful move towards his goal of a presidential stab in 2022. If his preferred SG and current ODM SG is a mole and a party rebel, why wouldn’t Governor Joho tell him to “burst?”
(well, yesterday in KTN Live Governor Joho likened Ababu Namwamba to Malindi MP Hon Gideon Mungaro, who after his theoretical “defection’ to Jubilee the people of Malindi are still glued to Raila and ODM.
There is something about Ababu that makes the biggies to give all the social media tough talk a wide berth. In luo political parlance, there is a saying that goes a little something like this: gin, gin gin to wan wan wan.“
And for the record, most politicians believe that the social media punditry are nonstarters. I mean this is a man who once secretly recorded RAO’s phone call. What does he know that we don’t know? How much more can one do to get fired?