By Gitungo Wa Wamere
It is often said that when your neighbour’s house is on fire, you begin pouring water on yours. . .but I wish to run to the neighbour’s house (ODM) and help put the fire out! For the record, I remain a TNA supporter until I am convinced any party other party in Kenya espouses the ideals of true democracy.
The business of politics is carried out in a political party. It is the party that breeds leaders through ideological indoctrination. Politically speaking, a political party is the most important building block of the organ we call the government. From the party’s ideology that is where a country gets its development nourishment.
Come February ODM will be conducting its national elections amidst encompassing sectionalizations within Orange House. There are fears amongst what have become to be termed as “marginalized groups” to be kicked downstairs by the party’s old guard who want to cling to power at whatever cost.
After the party’s ignominious twin defeat during the last elections, there have been persistent outcries especially by the ODM youth league for reforms within the party.
The February elections may open a can of worms or lead ODM to the most coveted house on the hill. The success or failure of the February election will be determined on how the already propped up interests will be taken care of. The writings are already on the wall and the time to melt ODM leadership that has been condensed around old Luo male elite is now.
The dictatorial leadership meltdown within ODM must be pronged into three. For future electoral success ODM is obliged to capitalize on this election to conjure three strong pillars- the youth, women and regional representation which the party will perch on. In case of any dictatorial tendencies in this election it will be synonymous to hitting the last nail in ODM’s coffin.
The youth pillar in this epoch of digital politics and digital everything is essential especially because ODM’s major competitor TNA is majorly comprised of youthful faces. The yields of TNA’s youthful machinery are au naturel for everyone to ascertain and learn from them. The ODM youth wingers who have been a laughing stock are going into this election sulky more than ever. Their take on this is firm; they either get a chance to lead the party or reconsider their loyalty.
Their mood can be construed from the streets to the social media; it is time for the old guard to give them a chance to take “their” party to higher heights. To actualize their talk they have thrown themselves into the arena to take hold of the positions that will up for grab.
To appease this fundamental block of the Orange party, the coming election must be free and fair. Above all, the election must breathe life into the dreams of the likes of SETH ODONGO (Dikembe Disembe) rather than choke them. ODM which has been on the forefront to fight for democracy and equality must live up to its creed and prove to Kenya and the world that in ODM anyone can become.
Merit rather than the ability to dish out money must reign supreme for ODM to survive the finesse of parties like TNA. Come February the usual business of having political proxies who think with their mouth open rather than objective party delegates had better cease.
The constituency of women cannot be disparaged in this election. ODM a party that strives to emerge as number one exponent of the constitution must at least ensure the place of women in their party. The irritation evidenced by women within the party must be addressed. Dr. Zani’s candidature for the powerful seat of the Secretary General is a good thing for the party that desires the electorate to view it as the amplifier of the voices of the marginalized.
Dr. Zani merits the position and her ascension to the position will consolidate ODM gains and hopefully assist the party in seizing newer political territories.
The final pillar of equal regional representation in a country where reconciliation is still work in progress will egress out as rattling innovative. Giving ODM a national outlook and averting from the usual tribal grievances to a concrete national agenda may work magic for the party. An endeavor to eliminate the tag of a tribal caucus must top the priority list of ODM in this election.
Undoubtedly, this a defining moment for the Orange house, it is a one in a million opportunity. The highest echelon of ODM leadership must read the signs of the time and cross the Rubicon failure to which they shall have signed their extinction charter.