By Lee Makwiny
Victimization of the Luo Professionals in ODM Must Stop
There is a growing feeling in some quarters within ODM that Luos should not hold party position in ODM. The reason this school of thought give is that Raila is a Luo and the leader of ODM, therefore, no Luo should hold high position within ODM.
Personally, I feel this is a way of sidelining the Luos from the management and the leadership of the party.
This is not the first time Luos are being victimized in ODM for being Luos. During the last campaign, Dr. Evans Kidero was viewed by many as a Luo and there were efforts to prevail upon him to step down from the gubernatorial race for Nairobi, in favor of Bishop Margaret Wanjiru. The argument then was that since Raila Odinga was the preferred cord presidential candidate, Kidero needed not to run since the governor of Nairobi was be the most powerful post position after presidency and vice presidency. As fate would have it, Kidero stood firm and was voted overwhelmingly by the residents of Nairobi as the pioneer governor of Nairobi under the new constriction. The party â€˜operativesâ€™ were proved wrong.
As effects to bar Kidero from running was getting root, the same forces were at it at the coast. One, Hezron Awiti BOLO, a resident of Jomvu was also being blocked from running on ODM ticket. Awiti won the ODM ticket but was not denied the ticket because some people thought he stood no chance against a coastal candidate on other tickets. The retrogressive forces succeeded in denying â€œBOLOâ€, but the residents of Jomvu constituency had a different idea. Awiti went to another cord affiliated party, wiper, and won with a convincing majority despite the fact that majority of the voters there were not Luo. ODM lost a seat.
Down in Nairobi, John Omondi Ogutu was facing a similar fate. Majority of â€œODM ownersâ€ thought that Embakasi East had so many Kambas and that â€œWiperâ€ stood a better chance of delivering the seat to CORD. A team was dispatched to talk to â€œomoshâ€ to â€œleaveâ€ the seat to wiper. In the end, Omosh delivered the seat to ODM. This is also how we lost Embakasi Central too.
ODM currently is faced with a magnitude task of revamping itself to the former position as the biggest party in Kenya. One of the first steps the party is taking is to fill the position of Executive Director, and finally conduct the national election. Among the front runners for the position of executive director is one Mr. Caeser Asiyo, a Luo from Homabay County. As expected, the retrogressive forces within ODM have started viewing Mr. Asiyo as a Luo and therefore should not be appointed to the position.
My view is that any Luo and indeed anybody from any tribe, is free to seek any position within ODM as long as they have the passions, the drive and motivation to rejuvenate ODM from its current slumber land.
This idea of victimizing Luos in ODM must stop.
This is my opinion. You have yours.
Lee Makwiny is a blogger and the National Coordinator, ODM Youth 2012 lobby group.