By Phil Wesonga
Two things ODM NEC should decide on today: Disband the entire secretariat and reconsider ODMâ€™s membership in the PPLC.
When the ODM National Executive Committee (NEC) meets today, I hope they will seriously consider the future of the party and weigh on how much their final resolutions will impact the entire country most of whom hinge their hopes and aspirations on the party.
Most Kenyans had never heard about the Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC) until last week when Magerer Langata chose a PPLC forum in Nakuru to launch an attack on his party leader and employer.
According to the Political Parties Act, the PPLC was formulated through consensus among all political parties and IEBC to be a forum for consultations and consensus building between political parties, on the one hand, and the Electoral Management body on the other so as to ensure free, fair peaceful and transparent elections.
Two weeks ago, when he publicly attacked his own Party Leader and went on to support the candidature of Wavinya Ndeti as Chairperson of PPLC, the former ODM Executive Director Magerer Langat was essential displaying gross insubordination and the worst form of disloyalty to his party leader and his own employer.
Furthermore, the party leader having already appointed Hon Elizabeth Ongoro to alternate with Rosemary Kariuki at the PPLC as the ODM nominees, the former ED had no authority nor the powers to overturn such a decision that was done in consultation with NEC and in the interest of gender balance. He rubbished all that declaring openly that ODM was dead.
Interestingly, soon after Magererâ€™s ejection, the PPLC, acting on instructions from Magerer Langat and Onyango Oloo both of whom are acting under the whims of the party leaders of URP and TNA immediately held a press conference to ostensibly talk about â€œhooliganism in ODMâ€.
No, they do not want to address such issues as respect for the rule of law especially the political parties act that TNA, URP and UDF violate every day.
TNA and URP have used financial muscle from ill-gotten wealth to infiltrate the opposition ranks with the sole objective of weakening it by planting moles to undermine CORD coalition from within. The moles are at the respective party secretariats, the senate, parliament and of course within the counties too.
It is disingenuous for PPLC to be seen as commenting on internal affairs of political parties as this falls outside the legal aims and objectives of its formation. Additionally, none of those parties can claim to be any cleaner than ODM, which remains the biggest, most representative and most compliant with the political parties act of all 47 registered political parties.
ODM members retain every right to determine who their leaders are. In actual sense, ODM members did not consult PPLC when in May last year they appointed Magerer Langat as the partyâ€™s Executive Director, which is highest ranking technocrat position in the ODM .
Magerer Langat is accused of many things including financial impropriety; huge sums of money remain unaccounted for in the party coffers. Yet, the party is supposed to present audited accounts each year. Magerer is also accused of incompetence in human resource management at Orange House. He is accused of showing bias in treatment of staff including favouritism leading to poor morale and cohesion at the secretariat.
Magerer was also caught on tape receiving a Kshs 300,000 bribe in order to sabotage the party in the by-election in Bonchari earlier this year. It is a very sensitive issue that could probably land Magerer in jail were it not for the covet protection he enjoys from the party leadership who were reluctant to involve police in internal party affairs.
But the last straw that broke the camelâ€™s back was Magererâ€™s reversal of decisions made by the NEC and the Party Leader in the interests of competing political parties at PPLC which is what perhaps triggered the events at Orange House leading to his physical ejection from office.
That is why the NEC must act decisively to save the party from Jubilee. It must disband the entire ODM secretariat and reconstitute it afresh. It means not just Magerer losing his job, but all others within the the ODM headquarters too.
The ODM NEC must also carefully reconsider its continued membership in the Political Parties Liaison Committee. It must recommend to the larger CORD coalition constituent parties to also consider withdrawing from the PPLC.