Open letter to Raila Odinga.
To our party leader, greetings.
Our party’s NEC is meeting. You will chair it. At the end, you will have to make a decision today. Last week, ODM MCAs ejected our party Executive Director Mr. Magerer Langat from a meeting you and the Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka, leader of the Wiper Party, were chairing.
Since then, as expected, there has been a lot of hue and cry from all quarters with the loudest of voices coming from our competitors, the Jubilee Alliance.
In the newspapers today, you will read the TNA Secretary General Onyango Oloo bloviating, fuming and foaming. As these condemnations rise, so is the propensity to feel caged, and, naturally, act irrationally. Don’t.
You and us know that if we had acted in our party purely on what the media said of it, of us, by now, no sane person would be associating with us.
To us, young people in this movement, the choice you will make will be welcome, as usual. However, there are choices we will disagree with, at least, till you prove us wrong again, as you did in February.
The question which has necessitated the assembly of our party’s NEC is this: Is our party, the Orange Democratic Movement, dead?
Magerer Langat thinks so. The party’s Executive Director thinks so.
In our view, the meeting today is not to remove Magerer Langat from his position as the Executive Director. The meeting will have to resolve whether our party is, indeed, dead; and, if so, maybe, who killed it?
Who killed our party?
In that meeting, I am sure, some men and women will be candid with you. They will tell you that an Executive Director who claims his party is dead, and says so in a meeting where other political parties are strategically fielding players for the tussle ahead is not worth remaining as the head of this party.
Magerer said our party is dead during a meeting to pick the chair of the Political Parties Liaison Committee. As you know, the PPLC will be one of the most significant electoral management bodies as we head to the 2017 elections and beyond. Indeed, the PPLC as an organ of political party exchanges will be even more important for any discussion touching on electoral reforms.
It is at a meeting to pick those whose voices will matter in the near future in so far as elections are concerned in Kenya that Mr. Magerer Langat, unashamed, passionately delivered the message that has struck every ODM member and supporter – our party is dead.
A lot has been said of the 2013 elections loss. If the Jubilee Alliance rigged it, they did so with the full support of those our party had put in charge of that election. As tampering went on at Bomas of Kenya, ODM representatives like Franklin Bett made decisions whose cummulative effect we still feel to date.
With phones not being picked, folks drinking and merrymaking as vote tallying proceeded at Bomas, we, ODM supporters, know only too well the cost of having in our ranks those who already believe we are dead.
In fact, even in the 2007 elections, you will recall how a technical team by the so called statistician Dalmas Otieno procured an internal report whose one and only goal was to have us hurriedly join the ‘unity government’, going so far as to claim that Kibaki would have won in an event of rerun. . .in 2007!
Mr. Odinga, there is nothing wrong in losing elections. However, there is everything wrong in losing elections we won, or would have won. This you know.
Mr. Odinga, it is not in your nature to let go. You protect those in your camp even when you know their transgressions. You don’t like lynching mobs. This we also know.
But, our political opponents have changed. Many have learned from you because many have been your good students, some of the brightest in your political school. An old man who has been with you all along aptly put it to me the other day. For so long, he told me, it was ‘us’ who used to infiltrate ‘them’ and destroy them from within. It was us who used to ‘walk out of’ them.
When we did, we shifted the political landscape for eternity. When we walked out of KANU, we condemned it to the ash-heap of history. And even if they console themselves that KANU is still around, these current vestiges aren’t that mongrel which drenched the nation and suffocated life in it. Despite their nostalgia, they know that the shift, at the dawn of the 21st century, was tectonic!
What has changed, the old man told me, is that now it is ‘them amidst us’.
They know how we sleep, yawn, belch, pee, etc. In short, they know the how, where, when, who, which and what of us. And they also have money.
With all these in mind, your team today will decide on the fate of Mr Langat.
We need Mr Magerer, yes, but we need ODM more. We also need to win an election, especially, the presidential one.
Mr Odinga, if our party is fielding you in 2017, then you must field folks in positions which will strengthen your race. If Mr Magerer strengthens your race, so be it.
The good thing is, whether Mr Langat remains on board or not, some of us will remain staunch supporters of our movement, because we believe, with just a little change in how we take our jobs within the party, the Orange Democratic Movement has the brightest future and a place in history. We are not like these other things.
PS. Send the whole secretariat home
The writer, Dikembe Disembe, is a CORD allied blogger.