K’Onyango Ochieng’ Dennis
Dalmas Otieno, Ken Obura, John Mbadi, Dr. Evans Kidero and the others who I may not remember have done ODM a lot of bad. They announced their interest in various positions in the forthcoming party polls but suddenly began to chicken out one after the other citing all manner of excuses. I am most disappointed with Dalmas Otieno because he is the older, more experienced of the lot and should have been wiser.
Politics in a democracy is about popularity contests. It is arrant nonsense to suggest that by challenging for a position, you stake the party unity as these MPs seemed to suggest.
Now that they dropped their abitions, have they succeeded to preserve ODM’s unity. By withdrawing his candidature, has the Hon. Ken Obura preserved party unity? has Mbadi? Dalmas Otieno is now toying with some vague idea of kalausi!
If you announce your candidature for a cattle dip patron to the world and then decide to throw in the towel because you have been pressured to do so, then you can only be one thing: a coward!
Yes, Hon. Ken Obura, John Mbadi, Dalmas Otieno et al. All of them, without exception, are cowards for failing to stand up to Raila Odinga if indeed it is true he armtwisted them to drop in favour of Zani.
I say so because no single person owns a party. A political party has sufficient public character and owes certain obligations to members and even the public in general. Some of those obligations include allowing members and even the public in general a chance to participate in its activities.
ODM has that trait because all of us are members and if we all quit except Raila Odinga, he will certainly get a notice from the registrar of political parties informing him that ODM has ceased to exist on the roster of political parties.
And so Ababu Namwamba soldiers on. He does so not because he is defiant but because he is true and loyal to the ideals of the party and the tenets of democracy which we all seek to nurture. I have to salute him for that.
In the meantime and from a different perspective, all those cowards who chickened out, in their naivety citing the need to preserve party unity have either unwittingly or deliberately scandalised the party’s name and reputation. How is that so?
By suggesting that they were prevailed upon or pressured to quit, they gave the perception that the ODM party is not democratic after all. They have leant credence to the propaganda that Raila Odinga is a dictator in ODM. The cowards are playing victim and trying to get public sympathy for their plight. At least am I happy they won’t get my sympathy.
I suggest that they should be ignored. If indeed they were pressured, they have a recourse in the courts of law. The person they purport to have prevailed upon them to quit is himself being challenged by Simba Arati. Some people will argue that Simba Arati’s candidature is a decoy. That may be so, but in a secret ballot, the delegates alone know who they vote for!
It is precisely for the foregoing reasons that the clamour to register another party citing dictatorship in ODM is in bad faith. However, everyone is still entitled to form a party.
In fact even I want to register a political party. However before they form any political party, I wish to tell them that Narc Kenya, Wiper, UDF did not get anything from the Political parties fund! They should ask themselves why that happened!