So yesterday Coast Mps held a press conference to defend one Gideon Mung’aro. Then they gave a line-up of the candidates they’ll support for the forthcoming ODM nominations BUT curiously all the candidates were from the coast! H.E. Hassan Ali Joho as Deputy party leader, Sen. Agnes Zani as Secretary General, Hon. Suleiman Dori as Deputy Organizing secretary, Hon. Zulekha Hassan as Secretary International affairs. Isn’t this not tribalism? Isn’t this not negative regionalism?
Others “threatened” the party to ‘fire’ Gedion Mung’aro whose performance as Minority Whip in Parliament has been UNDERWHELMING. This Gedion Mung’aro has openly lobbied other Coast leaders to form their own political party.
On one hand he holds a very parliamentary strategic position for ODM. On the other he is busy shopping for a party that ostensibly should rival ODM in Coast. WHAT IS THAT?
If you go back to look at how Mung’aro became a whip in the first place; you may not be shocked to realize the party was doing some regional balancing. ODM may have been in searching of some “national face” whose refrain is “non-Luo”.
I once argued that ODM cannot win any election when its leaders are stuck in the PENTAGON dishwater. The Pentagon malaise elevated politics of regions. Politics of pointmen. That ended in 2007, especially for ODM. Even after current party leader Raila Amolo Odinga taking a lot of fire for his “perceived” support to Dr Zani, Coast MPs could not openly ENDORSE him, neither did they endorse his opponent, Mr. Simba Arati.
So here is a group of regional leaders who can comfortably ‘regionalise’ a ‘national party’ and the media did not ‘scorn’ them. Assuming they were Luo Nyanza MPs who had paraded ONLY Luos….like “we have resolved to support Party leader as Raila Odinga, Otieno Dalmas, Vice-Chairman, James Orengo as Secretary General; Dr Evans Kidero as . . .Ken Obura…Otieno Kajwang’…blah blah” my friends, the kind of SCREAMING NEWSPAPER HEADLINES would have made every Luo hide his ODM membership card.
What am I saying? The criminalization of Luo politics and politicians serves a purpose. ODM without Luo support is a DEAD party. To end Luo politics as we know it is to end ODM politics. The only region whose ‘bloc vote’ as at now is still in ODM ‘fully’ is Luo Nyanza. These coast MPs. . .people like Mung’aro may just be bidding their time. When Jubilee begins to dangle carrots, people like Mung’aro can’t stop a tide. See what Jubilee is doing to Mudavadi and Western…seen it?
So, yes, there is need for a national party but each region cannot behave like Coast and ODM expects to remain a force. . .again, ODM stands to win hearts when its leaders are seen to be representing the people.
The work of legislators is to legislate. The work of opposition anywhere in the world is to keep the government in check. ODM has so far made Jubilee look like an angel government. A few weeks ago, an alien from Mars may have thought Alfred Keter was the official opposition ODM/CORD leader in parliament. That’s because so many of ODM leaders in both Senate and National Assembly are said to making “hay” while the sun shines. Ngrrrriiing’ Ngrrrriiing’ Ngrrrrriiiing’ she’s calling…oooh, vale@#$^$$….logs out!