By Hon Jim Bonnie
The die is cast. There is need for a change of mind. It should be known that Kenyans from all walks of life have their eyes on the upcoming polls. It turns out that TNA â€“ which is former president Moiâ€™s brainchild â€“ is keenly watching every step the party makes in its preparation for the elections.
The other party â€“ that party with a horn â€“ also pretends to be watching keenly the events unfolding in ODM. Members have demanded for a generational change. Whether this has been heard or not rests squarely on the hands of delegates.
The party should however switch its focus from the propaganda fuelled by the jubilee wing to the real issues that will bedevil it immediately after the polls. As a good mitigation measure, the party needs to focus on how they will manage the poll outcome.
As it stands, this is going to be a bruising party poll that will bring the life of the party to a cal de sac if not well handled. In the past, history reveals that the party hasnâ€™t been good in handling post poll dissatisfaction or disagreements.
In fact, the way it has been handling dissatisfied members calls for question. Those who feel they own the party in one way or the other have applied non professional and careless tactics on discontented members. The result has been a mass migration by the disgruntled members.
You will realize that what has cost the party more in the past is their way of handling the poll outcome and not the election itself. All elections around the world are divisive and you donâ€™t expect a process that will satisfy everyone. However fair or free it will be, some folks must get mad and curse either the process or actors or both.
This calls for mitigation measures. A crisis looms after the polls that if not well handled may cost the party and its
leadership. Already there are factions giving threats and demands. One sure thing is that not all demands will be met. Some potential losers have even claimed that the process will be – a selection and not an election.
Of course these sentiments were expected. The question is, how will ODM handle the poll outcome? Will we be treated to the usual political rhetoric? Will we hear and read the common lines of â€œif you want to leave the party then you are freeâ€? We all understand the price the party had to pay for these juvenile statements by some of its senior members.
How losers will be treated after the poll will send a strong message to Kenyans and the world. Of course the call for a free, fair and transparent election shouldnâ€™t be a request but the main concern for the party. Spending a lot of time responding to critics wonâ€™t help.
Any appeal for unity after messing up with the polls will be a waste of time. ODM as a party needs to operate professionally. The youth who have been for a long time looked down upon must be treated with dignity. They actually hanker for the third emancipation after the second and first failed wretchedly.
Opponents are waiting to bank on this election process and the noise that would be made by â€œlosersâ€ to burry ODM for good. Some academic simpletons aligned to parties which have never conducted any party polls purport to offer advice on how to conduct party polls. These crooks need not be given audience.
They are the usual hawks positioned by jubilee to bring the party down. However, the party and Hon. Raila Odinga have a chance of salvaging its reputation. Donâ€™t create a crisis then pretend to handle it. Operate on a clean page. No member will stomach a botched election process and outcome.
Before you embark on splitting jubilee â€“ which should be your next endeavor after the polls â€“ keep your house in order. In any case you come out of this process united, be rest assured the next steps you will take will be a walk in the park.
What you have to know is that ODM unity and progress is of more importance than CORD unity. Truth be told, without the party that coalition is non-existent. From March, focus more on ODM than that coalition. Also work hard to dismantle that imp called jubilee.
The writer comments on socio-political issues.