By Dikembe Disembe
When news first broke out of the theft in former PM’s office, many people, especially those who still believe the Jubilee Alliance government is willing to do anything to frustrate Odinga, took the whole incident as a continuation of Mutahi Ngunyi’s twisted intellectualism on how democratic competition should end, that is, with “devastating finality”.
But EdwardÂ Onyango was hurriedly charged for the break-in, and the political eventualities took a totally different traction.First, current handlers of Raila Odinga need to tell him that a great many Kenyans in the diaspora are shocked by the way the whole case has been handled, and the silence from Odinga himself.
So why is the diaspora jittery about this incident?
One stark contrast which people have consistently referred to in the manner in which Raila Odinga’s presidential campaigns was managed during the last election, compared with the 2007 elections, was the near total organizational failure of the whole political machine. This difference, unknown to many, can be attributed to the ‘thinning out’ of input- especially strategic input-by most professionals who were enthusiastic about change and progress, and saw in Odinga a dedicated comrade of the struggle.
Edward Cromwell Onyango was part of this highly specialised diaspora constituency which returned home to ‘assist’ Odinga win the presidency, and, hopefully, bend the arm of time for the country’s post-independence culture of impunity, dictatorship and arbitrariness.
Onyango served Odinga well. Onyango was the ‘unelected MP’ for the Langata constituency in the 5 years Odinga served as the country’s second prime minister. During this period, no case of impropriety was ever raised on the person of Onyango Ketta, as is fondly refered to; even as he oversaw the management of CDF in one of Kenya’s most poor constituencies.
While Onyango’s case has been withdrawn under very obscure circumstances, an indication that it was a pure set up and without the accompanying media circus which followed its entry into the Kenyan public sphere; and the blogsphere, the diaspora friends of Ketta are as infuriated as they were at the beginning. Why are they setting him up? Do they care about people’s reputation? Does Odinga reward loyalty? Even bigger is the political question of the Watergate scandal: What does Odinga know? Why the silence?
Just in time was an alleged letter by Miguna Miguna, circulated widely by Jubilee propaganda outlet Jackalnews , in the letter addressed to Nation media’s Mureithi Mutiga, Miguna offers two names of possible suspects. GivenÂ Ja’Nyando’s experience with matters Raila one is tempted to conclude that Ketta was just but a sacrificial lamb. We need not delve much into the Miguna list though!
As Ketta’s name and image suffers irredeemable damage because of this case; and adds to a list of disgraced individuals who worked so hard behind the shadows to build Raila Odinga brand as an ‘enigma in Kenyan politics’, the constituency which has given the CORD leader unfettered support is slowly losing their members-one after the other-with the accompanying political ramifications.
But there is bigger politics at play. Politics of thanklessness, politics of everything goes. Whether Odinga sees it is dumbfounding, because he seems to fall in the trap all the time. With Ketta exiting Odinga camp in shame, like Miguna not so long ago; his political opponents can argue disdainfully that Raila only ‘uses’ people, and that in the service for Odinga, there exists an ‘expiry date’; or so it seems.
As Ketta’s lawyer battles the court charges, and the public gets to know better who he was in the inner sanctums of the Odinga political kraal, the debate, as to whether Ketta would have stolenÂ Metrotransit Limited certificate of incorporation, proposed construction site of Raila Odinga Centre, Orange Democratic Movement file and some Sh 8.6 million is already a highly controversial and sickeningly personal issue to most people whom Ketta left in the diaspora to join the reform bandwagon.
To the Jubilee top dawgs , kudoz, especially if this was a calculated action to cause disharmony among Raila’s top aides, the police seem to be incompetent to unravel the trueth, till then any spin goes!
Dikembe Disembe is a political commentator and currently onÂ exchange programme Â atÂ Miami University, United States.