January 15, 2008.
Tension in the Country was palpable. Kenya had voted and IEBC predecessor ECK then led by the late Kivuitu Samuel in its inherent nature had served defeat and snatched victory (sic).
Consequences of the same have had the Nation reeling to date. Precedence was set and a curse laid that has never been broken. The names have been changed from ECK to IEBC but when a child is possessed, changing his name from Bartholomew and christening him John, Christ’s favorite disciple does no good. An exorcism would be the better move.
One man’s antics perfectly purveyed how bad blood had enchanted the August house just as blood of the Innocent was moistening mother earth in various parts of the Country.
Kenneth Marende, backed by ODM, had just been elected Speaker of the National Assembly, beating the man with the gate to hell lodged between his upper jaw- Francis ole Kaparo (PNU) by just four votes.
Marende’s first task was to swear in the new MPs.
This task was akin to the biblical test of wisdom Solomon faced when two women came each proclaiming to be the mother of an infant.
Both ODM and PNU were claiming victory. PNU had gone ahead to swear in the aloof looking, bald Economist known for his calm shrewdness and intelligence wrapped in slow nature- Mwai wa Kibaki. To ODM, Parliament was their last resort.
Since the MPs were to be sworn in in alphabetical order after Kibaki and Raila, Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba was the first to go.
The lawmakers were to swear allegiance to the President and the Country.
But the flamboyant MP aged only 33 then with a sleek sartorial taste refused to kowtow to Marende’s prescribed oath.
Instead, he pledged allegiance to “President Raila Amollo Odinga” and for long intriguing, arousing, thrilling, rubble rousing minutes, he held the house hostage.
It was utterly exhilarating to watch Tawfiq pledge his undying reverence to the man who single-handedly picked him.
That single act from that day endeared him to ODM Supporters across the Country.
Six years later, the script changed. The then ODM’s secretary general likened himself to a genie who cannot go back into his bottle. He accused party boss Raila Odinga of “betraying” him.
He fell for the sweet tongue of Lucifer-read-William Ruto-the ODM’s prodigal son who has unfathomable burning fury against the Persona of Odinga and everything he represents.
When he (Namwamba)was not chewing nieces and Aunts, he was propagating Ruto’s antics through the so called Labour Party.
Same script, different cast. Then came Aisha Jumwa, the woman with an intimidating physique and a broken voice. Her face is pretty, but her gait is manly. It is a little wonder she earned a place in the front line among the top lieutenants close to the General in ODM.
Barely months after ODM sacrificed Homa bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga in favor of the Malindi MP, she is hobnobbing everywhere declaring undying love for who according to her is the Alfa and Omega of Kenyan Politics, Ruto.
Even when an imminent ouster stares her in the face, she has resorted to tantrums, buoyed by tanga tanga squad led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and co.
She has since picked qualms with Suna East MP Junet Mohamed who is just doing his mandate as the Minority whip.
“Junet, I am ready for you. Mr Man, you can proceed … I am ready for you. I have no conflict with the party leader,” she is quoted.
Her ignorance for basic logic and which has been hidden behind fluent chants in Swahili were exposed when she claimed ODM did not elect her. It is like boarding an Easy Coach bus and claiming the company did not take your destination.
ODM bloody provided for your ticket woman!
Parties have internally laid structures , mechanism ad disciplinary measures and quoting chapter four of the bill of rights as the pedestal for defying the party is not only shallow, it is vague and flagrant.
ODM must learn the delicate balance of rewarding true loyalty even as regional balance issues stick out like a soar thumb. Tantrums aside, the rebels must be whipped if the party is to retain its oomph and independence amidst this handshake.
By S. Otieno