By Jackson Omondi
Elections are over a year away and Jubilee appears to be hoisting the victory flag! But like the truism goes; a day is an eternity in politics. While Jubilants are soaking in premature champagne bottles, the onus is on CORD’s brain trust to unpack decades-old champagne bottles in readiness for a meaningful celebration after a well fought political battle that will be decided in 2017.
Jubilee has been a beneficiary of a wall-to-wall, disciplined messaging campaign that has been waged with clinical precision. How else can a regime with nonexistent accomplishments be lauded as successful? I will tell you why and how. The Jubilee machinery has been able to depend on its parliamentary surrogates to make the case for its failed regime, while CORD’s legislators have either hit the sheets with the government or flat out absconded duty!
Save for the Right Honorable PM and Governor Ali Hassan Joho, CORD’s elected leaders have gone silent when the country needed them. To be clear; if it wasn’t for a few coherent and dedicated bloggers, the Jubilee government would be walking on water!
CORD bloggers have played the role of Ombudsman and opposition on all weighty issues. I am talking about Eurobond, security, education, healthcare, corruption and many more. The many arrests and constant intimidations are exhibit A.
No CORD MP has gone to jail for standing up to this government. But bloggers have played guests at local police stations because they had the gall to stand up for the greater good. Simply put, the legislators have been MIA. The recent whistles in parliament earned a few members ejections but that was after three years of lacklustre performance.
It’s time for CORD leadership to retool and pick real political superstars who can stand up to the government and take the message to their constituents. It’s time to make the Secretariat a nucleus of brainy politicos with electoral experience. Its time to tell all political aspirants to focus on their respective races and stop pretending to be agitating for a Raila presidency!
Jubilee went as far as hiring bloggers to maul CORD leadership online but they were no match for the pro bono, all volunteer CORD army of political thespians.
I urge our leader, the indefatigable Rt. Honourable Raila Odinga, to borrow a leaf from his ‘cousin’ POTUS Barack Obama. Fresh from his election as President of the United States, the then President-elect Barack Obama insisted that he had to carry his blackberry cell phone to the White House, a request that the secret service promptly declined for security reasons.
But POTUS was not having it! The Secret Service told the President that what he wanted to do had never been done before because, in their view, any phone could be hacked and if the ‘bad guys’ hacked the cell phone of the most powerful man in the world, the outcome would be catastrophic. Obama held his ground. When asked why he insisted on having the phone, he said this: “I don’t want to live in a bubble, I want to stay grounded and keep in touch with what catapulted me to this office.”
The Secret Service agreed on condition that the dreaded National Security Agency would monitor his phone. The President obliged and the rest is history. Obama wanted to stay in touch with real people who believed and worked tirelessly for him. He wanted to keep in touch with those who believed in him when the whole world did not believe that America was ready for a black president.
That’s the reason why Obama appears to be in sync with many current events and most people adore him for his likability.
Raila needs to cut off those ‘hanger-ons’ who have nothing but their electoral seats in mind. He needs access to the legions of supporters who consistently pen various pieces in defense of CORD and have consistently kept the government in check. He needs to see the work that these bloggers do in the name of CORD.
Raila needs to see and embrace the diverse support he enjoys online so that he can tap into their collective spirits and forge a way forward for the country. Word has it that most Jubilee politicians envy the determination and dedication of the pro bono CORD online army. In fact, they pity them for putting so much effort in what they call ‘futile experience.’ The good news is that it shouldn’t be.
A reset button would go along way in making this a coherent, coordinated effort that can shock the world. Mr PM, the ball is on your court.