This past week, party adherents were surprised to to see Senator James Orengo being heralded as a star of a top ODM Committee meeting .
The Orengo circus started when Raila Odinga, fresh from an extensive Christmas break, chaired his first political meeting of the year of the ODM Central Management Committee.
The Siaya Senator who is neither an official of the party nor a member of the Central committee was seen in pictures widely distributed by the party standing next to a bewildered Raila attempting to explain some documentation.
Raila had just finished his meeting and preparing to leave Orange House when Orengo made an unannounced appearance.
Orengo unscheduled visit was quickly turned into the main event of the evening.
Scenes after the central management committee meeting at Orange House, Nairobi. #MbelePamoja
To trained observers however, Orengo was in serious breach of protocol. The person(s) responsible for approval of party communication, unaware of Presidential protocol, saw it necessary to flood the official social media channels with Orengo’s pictures.
In the process, the party lost an opportunity to market itself and squandered the chance to provide ant serious post meeting communication.
Needless to say, we learnt from highly placed sources in Orange House, turns out member of the MCM was quietly communicating with Senator Orengo by SMS as the meeting went on, briefing him of all deliberations including the comments by Party Leader Raila Odinga.
Eventually as Raila prepared to leave Orengo ambushed him with a well timed appearance much to Raila’s great surprise.
It was a sad spectacle as Raila squinted at Orengo’s paperwork in the fading dusk. Raila’s eyes were damaged during his long 10-year detention without trial stint.
Team Orengo was aware, among the topics under discussion, was that of the Ugenya constituency by-election. Orengo was worried, going by recent experience, he may be omitted from the campaign team spearheading Hon Chris Karan re-election bid.
It was not a development he was ready to stomach. Raila and Orengo last met during a Christmas party at the latter’s residence in Ugenya.
Orengo made a decision to ambush the party leader at Orange House so as to put forward a desperate case in which he offered to lead and finance the campaign.
Orengo’s sudden ostentatious display of wealth around Siaya County and Luo Nyanza after best four decades of tight fisted leadership currently subject of debate in Luo Nyanza Counties.
At Orange House, the Siaya Senator, who waylaid Raila as he was exiting Orange House to go to his car, could be seen showing the Party Leader a bunch of papers much to the surprise of party officials who frowned at the disregard of protocol by Senator Orengo.
Sources told us Orengo was afraid that the party was making plans to constitute ground teams to spearhead it’s forthcoming campaigns and desperately wanted to be given the position of heading Karan’s campaign as a symbol of his seniority in the Siaya region.
Reports from Siaya said Raila was keen on handing the mantle to a group of young and highly mobile party officials and Orengo could not afford the embarassment of having to report to a junior MP who had not even started their schooling by the time Orengo was being shepherded to parliament by the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in the 1970s.
To his credit, Raila granted Orengo the much needed audience and photo-op at Orange House.
As to whether he ceded to Orengo’s request to head the re-election campaign teams is another story altogether.