By Chris Maina
At the invitation of Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero, County Speaker Alex Magelo (ODM) and Majority Leader Elias Otieno (ODM), President Uhuru will tomorrow launch the newly refurbished Nairobi County Assembly Chambers.
No national leader in the opposition CORD has been invited. This is typical Evans Kidero politics. At every turn in his 4 years in power, Kidero has sought to elevate JAP than ODM in Nairobi County.
It is regrettable that in an assembly that the ODM enjoys the majority including providing leadership of the county itself, JAP has more political leverage than ODM.
Tomorrow’s function will see a lot of shadow boxing toward ODM Leader Raila Odinga whom governor Kidero has swore must lose Nairobi vote to Uhuru.
The three musketeers organizing it are Kidero, Speaker Alex Ole Magelo and Majority Leader Elias Otieno. So comfortable is Uhuru working with CORD Nairobi team that some Jubilee aspirants have been openly told they should swallow their ambitions.
This has nothing to do with any good work the Nairobi top ODM/CORD Leadership are doing. It has everything to do with Uhuru manipulating them for his re-election.
Whereas the title of the “Father of Devolution” is indisputably Raila Odinga’s, we note with a lot of dismay that the ODM party leader has yet to be formally invited to address the County Assembly of Nairobi as he has done in numerous other counties of Kenya. This is against the backdrop of Governor Kidero formally and informally hosting JAP’s pointman at City Hall on several occasions.
Today, at the behest of Governor Kidero, it is none other than ODM’s Majority Leader Elias Otieno who has spent the entire weekend to whip up ODM MCAs to attend Uhuru’s assembly launch.
Otieno has completely changed from the leader we knew and cannot distinguish that ODM is in competition with JAP. This too is not surprising of Kidero’s groupies. Most of the leaders loyal to Kidero always see ODM, the party that sponsored them to their high positions, as nothing more than a doormat to power.
Sources say, his loyalty stems from a deal they cut whereby a close associate of Otieno was awarded the tender to refurbish the county assembly at astronomical amounts that contrasts sharply with those estimates provided on the Bill of Quantities by the officials from Public Works.
Not only is there a conflict of interest but serious integrity questions too.
The strangest part is that Kidero, Ole Magelo and Otieno have never actually mobilized anything on behalf of Raila Odinga or the ODM in Nairobi County. Every ODM/CORD function in Nairobi often happen by the Grace of God. City Hall has been the worst public office to seek permits to host ODM/CORD events.
The worst happened when City Hall made two approvals to the same Uhuru Park which almost made a scheduled CORD event cancelled. To date, Kidero has not apologized to ODM while has done everything to beg for forgiveness to Pastor Lucy wa Ngunjiri, including donating millions to her.
Nairobi County ODM/CORD leadership are in their comfort zones being pampered by their Jubilee friends. Save for Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke (WIper) who usually turns up for CORD events, no other senior political officials attend, or even participate in the planning stages.
Going by their this weekend agitation and mobilization for Uhuru, one wonders what is at stake for them during presidential launch that they are almost falling over themselves bribing ODM MCAs attend. Some of the MCAs are reported to have warned the function will be used to launch JAP Nairobi team.
We remember with bitterness how during the recent anti-IEBC protests all the top three Nairobi County leaders abandoned the opposition initiatives at forcing electoral reforms, but they now want to harvest from the fruits of the protests.
We cannot forget that Nairobi County top leadership was conveniently missing as Raila Odinga sat on the University Way tarmac and was tear-gassed multiple times agitating for reforms in our electoral system. Other governors and other counties even organized their own protests, not the kings of Nairobi.
A time is soon coming when ODM shall cleanse the entire Nairobi County.