Yesterday in Kisumu did another spectacle of the resurgent campaign machinery of ODM’s “young turks” take the lakeside city by storm, and Kisumu resonated well with that kind of hard ball politics, being the cradle of opposition politics in Kenya.
Ababu Namwamba, Gov. Hassan Joho, and Gov. Josephat Nanok and their team-mates made a grand entry in Kisumu, this time, not appealing to the delegates, but openly going Â for the people.
Observers see the shaping up of 2017 politics and a new awakening in the most popular party in Kenya. Already, this team has overcome the first challenge – to take on acolytes used to peddling the name of party leader Raila Odinga- whom this team had been told was on the other side; the Dr Agnes Zani side; which comprises Â old party machines – Otieno Kajwang’, Dr. Oburu Oginga, Dr Paul Otuoma, Gov Wycliffe Oparanya and others!
The rough and tough politics of the Ababu-Joho-Nanok team Â is ‘trending’, and, in two days, may redefine ODM politics for eternity. In this team are MPs Aden Keynan, Simon Ogari, and (not Mp) Rosa Buyu; joined by Â Thomas Mwadegu among other ‘young shots’. They are being supported by others – other old hands – like John Keen and Joseph Nkaissery. This team also have the blessings of big money – Gov. Evans Kidero – and the quietly rebelling base of Luo MPs, especially those from South Nyanza.
This team is rejecting ‘accommodation’ proposals that the old party mandarins are pushing. They want voting by secret ballot, not acclaimation (which they say is a Â “mockery of democracy”) Â and they don’t like mitosis of posts. It is one man (woman) one post. Period.
Ababu says, “there can only be ONE Secretary General for ODM at any one time”, he scoffs at creating two posts; and his team wants nothing short of victory. He is in ODM to stay; and, yes….he will support whoever wins!
Last week, ODM’s National Governing Council (NGC) adopted a proposal to have two deputy party leaders, two vice-chairpersons, two deputy secretaries-general, two deputy treasurers and two deputy organizing secretaries. This arrangement won’t work, they say, and they want to beat it down as soon as the delegates converge in Kasarani.
“We want clean elections. We know the positions that were vacant, which people applied for, and we are now wondering when the party is going to advertise the new positions it created the other day. We are focused on the seats officially advertised,” Mr Mwadegu said.
Mwadegu is a Joho point-man. These guys are serious. They know what they want and they are going for it; they abhor back-door deals; they are setting new terms of engagements in a party used to old terms. The youths, their massive and ecstatic supporters, are taking cue, and where this team goes, you can see the new emotions, the raw energy, the passion that this Ababu-Joho-Nanok phenomenon is unleashing!
This far, one thing is true, ODM party has proven it is a political club with real players. There will be the vanquished, but isn’t that the nature of this game?