By D S
Ababu Namwamba is wroth. He is traversing the whole of western seeking sympathy. He wonders why he should be sent to war with a gun, but the gun does not have a bullet. He is intensely angry that he has been emasculated within ODM, so much that he is threatening to decamp. In a spirit of admirable camaraderie, Funyula Member of Parliament is relinquishing his hold as the ODM Party National vice chair.
He is also incensed that as a community, they’ve been mistreated in ODM. They are not heard. They are there just to be seen. He will soon write a formal letter, and tender it to the ODM Secretariat resigning as vice chair.
Together with a slew of other western renegades, they spoke some strong words to register their dissatisfaction and willingness to defect when push comes to shove.
Here is my two-cent:
Ababu is a neophyte in politics, and needs serious mentorship in that regard. That is beside him being blatantly dishonest and selfish. Politics needs precision in the timing and implementation of ideas. If he was wise, he could have waited a little longer as we are still a long way from February 2017.
February 2017 is the constitutional deadline for people to shift political parties. He could have used this time to brook and foment a tumult within ODM, while fully inside ODM, then when the deadline for decamping nears, ODM will be so polarized, and members realign accordingly in readiness for a rift. Then, just at the right time, he leaves with his fellow renegades to a new party, or an existing party of their choice. But what has he done? Fortunately, he has bared his fangs prematurely, and you can bet he will be hemmed to size.
Another blunder the General is committing is being flagrantly dishonest. He claims to be disgruntled because he is given a ‘gun without a bullet.’ That means he is a ceremonial secretary general without proper mandates. If that was the case, then nobody would expect so much from him. Nobody would have asked him to perform his functions. If I gave you a gun without a bullet, would I be surprised if you fire and no bullet leaves the barrel? The fact that he was called to his post means he has a duty, a bullet, which he needed to use.
But who does not know the genesis of all this? Who doesn’t know why Ababu’s performance is lackluster? The gentleman is the proud owner of prime properties. He has a house overlooking a lakeside beach, with a private docking space. He darts across the sky in a Cessna. The man is moneyed. And you know why? Your guess is as good as mine.
Therefore, if I were Ababu I’d quit the pretentious posturing and tell the public that I am quitting ODM, and it is because it doesn’t best represent my interests. But he has opted to stay put. To rock the boat from within. To sabotage ODM’s mission. I don’t know of the wisdom of holding onto such a man, but let me trust the top brass are fully aware of what they are doing.
Well, Ababu Namwamba has a well-burnished national image, but he passes off as lackluster to a typical Budalangi resident. Budalangi has for a long time been on the receiving end of inclement weathers. When it rains, it pours. People and their homes are annually swept away. And Ababu, as a long-serving legislator from those sides, was content with climbing up the mountain to fight with giants while his people were drowning.
Like a life-support machine, ODM and his close walk with Raila has always been the lifeline he held onto to survive elections, otherwise he would have careened to irrelevance and oblivion from politics. Without Raila, and without ODM, to Ababu, that would be like a fish without water. He has no clout.
People are all over saying that Raila shouldn’t let Ababu go- because if he does, he loses the western region just as he lost Rift Valley when he let Ruto go.
The same people forget one thing: there are so many people who’ve left Raila’s side only to land on the obituary pages of politics after five years. When Orengo and Nyong’o rebelled, they stayed in the cold for some time before Baba extended a lifeline that saved their otherwise woeful political careers.
Raphael Tuju has never recovered. Mudavadi is a ‘nobody’. Najib Balala’s name, which was hitherto a household name, is now little-known and is unheard of. Charity Ngilu is fighting for a comeback. Name them. Ruto’s was a different case. At the time he left there was ICC. He leveraged on the ICC cases, told his people that Raila was the villain, and by the time he was done, he was the darling throughout Rift Valley.
Besides, the watershed moment for Raila and Ruto came during the Mau Forest evictions. The debacle made Ruto seem to be the hero of his people, championing for their rights, while Raila was seen as the villain, cold and uncaring. That way, Raila lost Rift Valley.
But where is Ababu Namwamba going to extract political capital? Outside ODM, Ababu is done- completely.