By. Philip Etale
An American author Ms. Jeniffer Lancaster once wrote “I think people tend to be very myopic and they don’t understand how their actions impact others”.
This best describes one Mr. Ngunjiri Wambugu’s school of thought. I have no problem with Mr. Wambugu’s personality or ilk, but I have a problem with the product of his mind. He is a bright chap, swerve and good writer; he simply has the qualities of renowned columnists that have ever existed in the history of independent Kenya.
Having said that, I am perturbed by his skewed articles he keeps writing about the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and its leadership particularly the Party Leader Mr. Raila Odinga. He seems so obsessed with Mr. Odinga. It should be noted that Mr. Wambugu’s fame was as a result of his closeness to Mr. Odinga and therefore the bravado he exudes in writing is inexcusable to anyone who knows how much he benefited by being close to Mr. Odinga.
First, I would like to inform Mr. Wambugu that Democracy is not about listening to one voice, it’s about what more than one voice say. To inform him further, he must be told that delegates to the National Delegates Convention of the ODM are not handpicked, but elected right from the lowest level ‘kijiji’ to the branch level which is the County.
Therefore, his insinuation that the delegates’ list is being made from a private room are his own imaginations.
In his article in The Star newspaper this week (Monday 3rd Feb. 2014), Mr. Wambugu has painfully claimed that the ODM has no membership in regions other than Western and Coast. This is a big lie. He himself holds an ordinary membership card with his full name inscribed on it. I guess he hails from somewhere in Nyeri County in the former Central Province.
Prior to the party grassroots elections in November 2011, ODM held massive recruitment exercise in all parts of the country including his hometurf and registered millions of members. The office of the Registrar of Political Parties can attest to this fact. Even his name was deposited at the Registrar’s desk.
In Central, ODM has structures with visible offices just like it is in Coast and Western Kenya. It is the party members who took part in the three-day grassroots election exercise that elected the delegates to the National Delegates Convention (NDC) scheduled for the 28th of February and the 1st of March this year at Kasarani.
Those who quit the party in writing and relinquished their positions as officials at the grassroots level have since been replaced by respective Executive Committees and the minutes of such meetings forwarded to the National Secretariat at Orange House and copied to the National Elections Board.
Mr. Wambugu talks of a lack of ‘Democracy’ in the ODM. This is a fallacy. ODM is the only party that has held two grassroots elections since its inception, four National Delegates Conventions, several National Governing Council (NGC) meetings and set up structures in every corner of this country in a span of seven years. What is Mr. Wambugu telling us? This is a National party and that is why everyone including him, keep talking about it.
I fail to understand what prompts Mr. Wambugu to allege that ODM only wants to consolidate and reward its supporters in Western, Nyanza and Coast only… he must be living in utopia.
Mr. Josephat Nanok is the Governor of Turkana County in Rift Valley.He has expressed interest in the position of National Chairman. Mr. Adan Keynan, the Member of Parliament for Eldas in Wajir County wants to be Deputy Chairman, Mr. Abdullahi Diriye, Wajir South MP is interested in the post of Deputy Treasurer, Mr. Isaac Mwaura a Nominated MP from Central has applied for the position of Deputy Secretary General, Mr. David Songok from North Rift is vying for the position of the Deputy Party Leader, Ms. Lucy Mworia from Isiolo is vying for the position of Secretary for International Affairs, Ms. Fatuma Hajji Somo from Mandera wants to be Secretary for Humanitarian and Disaster Management and the list goes on and on.
These great sons and daughters are not from Nyanza, Western and Coast and Mr. Wambugu seeks to lie to Kenyans.
The confidence and the oomph that Mr. Wambugu has strenuously used to explain the silence of ‘D’ in ODM, should also be used to analyze the silence of ‘N’ in TNA and ‘U’ in URP.
ODM has Mr. Magerer Langat from Rift Valley as the Executive Director; TNA has a Mr. Mathai from Central in a similar position as is Mr. David Koech from Rift Valley in URP.
Mr. Wambugu should be the last person to claim that Mr. Odinga is a dictator.
He had Mr. Odinga’s ear during the last campaigns and he cleverly used that opportunity to enrich himself.
The National Delegates Conference is funded by the members of the party and not a ‘few’ individuals as he claims.
I challenge Mr. Wambugu to provide evidence of any individual who is financing party activities for the knowledge of the public. Mr. Odinga is a delegate at the NDC and he is entitled to vote for a candidate of his choice. He has only one vote and this cannot be shared.
Finally, Mr. Odinga is not favouring any candidate for any position in the National office.
The writer is the Director of Communications for ODM.