By Oginga Randiki
HERE IS WHAT WENT WRONG IN UGENYA.
The Siaya Senator, James Aggrey Orengo and Ugunja MP, Mr. Opiyo Wandayi, the very senior Orange Democratic Party’ leaders were entrusted to steer the By Election in Ugenya constituency held on 5th April, 2019.
ODM lost the election by a significant margin. But why did the single most biggest party in Africa suffer unprecedented defeat in its own backyard?
This article attempts to analyze the operation of the powerful twin engine campaign ‘vehicle’ that malfunctioned in the midstream thus spelling the death knell to the ODM hope in Ugenya constituency where my mother Phoebe Angola Randiki hailed from, it is the land of my maternal uncles. And my maternal uncles were cruel enough to see me off with a rotten egg.
Early, or immediately after the Supreme Court judgment, a critical observer had informed me that the by-election would to be a circus unless the two rival forces in Ugenya were reconciled. This information was promptly relayed to the right office.
Again as soon as it emerged Sen. Orengo and Hon. Opiyo Wandayi were supporting different candidates in the race, the matter was share with those concerned. So when eventually, the equation was altered to become a benchmark of who is a better ODM gubernatorial candidate come 2022, it was obvious that our focused had been diverted
seriously. This is how the circus became the fracas.
While, Mr. Wandayi pontificated from the rooftops that he was not ready to see his party ODM lose the seat, the reality is that he was not supporting his party candidate Mr. Karan. He was engage in a vicious power struggle and influence peddling with his Senator.
Orengo on his part, stood up to the Ugenya people,pounding his chest about ODM plan to impeach Mr. William Ruto over graft allegations whose investigation had not even been instituted, let a lone finalized. The Ugenya voters were not convinced fully that the impeachment indeed, forms part of their priority in development projects. They aptly read between the lines and saw clanist bigotry and politics for 2022 gubernatorial seat. This is how ODM found itself in a quagmire of fevered inter-clanist passions during the Ugenya by election.
Today, as we supporters of ODM are wallowing, there is an overwhelming feeling amongst the party rank and file that Mr. Wandayi and Mr. Orengo are selfish bigots dedicated to 2022 gubernatorial supremacy at the expense of their party and will never listen or share or serve the interests of ODM. This is how the seeds of defeat were sown.
As the seeds of political bigotry began to germinate,much of the ODM executives and officials were roped into the bandwagon and helped in whipping up individual gubernatorial emotions with each group trying to outdo each other.
To Orengo and others in the ODM, the by -election was just a a formality as the party had already swept the board. It is this make-believe and other over bloated ego that completely blinded the two groups as little known party beat our candidate.
Though, ODM leadership is currently feigning ignorance over the existence of the two vicious political groups, the true position is that top party officials including the Party leader knew what was going on and allowed it to pass. I will forgive them for this, but I will not forget it.
ODM can be a heartbreaker politically. A closer look at our current election crisis, however, reveals that the ODM is its own worst enemy. The party’s leaders, strategists and supporters are all aware of critical weaknesses in the system,structure, processes and procedures, yet no deliberate attempts have been so far made to kick start a credible reform process in the party.
Instead, the party bigwigs continue to exhibit blistering arrogance, while over-confidence, underestimating opponents, failure to inculcate internal democracy, disrespect to internal party rules, regulations and guidelines,dishonoring intra-and inter-party agreements or politics, blank cheques to governors over key decision-making processes such as generating party list, party primaries and party elections, critical lack of internal checks and balances mechanism, and severe financial constraints are the hallmark of our management priority strategy. As a result ODM has been denied the ultimate political prize in the two by election.
For instance, ODM National Election Board, which is , perhaps the most corrupt party organ, consists eight members each representing a region based on the former provincial regions. Members are appointees of the party through the National Executive Committee. The same applies to any committee appointed to generate the party list on special elected members of parliament and county assemblies.
But due to critical weak system, structure defects and impractical and bad processes and ambiguous procedures, the two bodies are known to act with impunity and even overule, ignore, neglect and sideline their own employer.
In many, many incidents the board and the committee have been found to collude with the rogue IEBC commissioners and shadowy figures including faceless cartels to transact illegal party business at the detriment of the party interests and popularity.
A good example can be seen in how after, raking in millions of shillings through sale of nomination certificates to aspirants and bribes from applicants interested in becoming special elected members of the National Assembly, Senate and county assemblies, they instead then fix their names among the first top-ten on the party list before they go underground only to resurface after the IEBC has gazetted the party list or the name of candidates.
Those who gave out bribes are left high and dry as the bribe takers are smiling all the way to the National Assembly, the Senate and County Assemblies.
The victims both the bribe givers and the deserving but poor ODM members who couldn’t afford the bribe money then bid their time waiting patiently for an opportune time to execute revenge. They executed it in Ugenya and Embakasi respectively. It is this force that combined together with bigots to bring down ODM in Ugenya, not the Kimwarer Arror as they alleged yesterday at the