The meeting between Hon. Aisha Jumwa and ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga has left tongues wagging on both sides of the political divide.
ODM held their Parliamentary caucus at County Hall, one of the many parliament buildings where the offices of MPs who are Parliamentary Service Commissioners are situated.
Hon. Aisha’s office is on the same floor as the plenary where ODM held its PG meeting. Aisha inherited the office from Homa Bay Women Representative Hon. Gladys Wanga who served as a commissioner in the last parliament between 2013 and 2017.
Sources privy to the intrigues behind the rare meeting told this writer that Hon. Aisha texted PM Odinga to “pass by” after the meeting.
Hon. Odinga then informed ODM Chair Hon. Mbadi and Hon. Junet Mohammed. After the meeting, the three headed directly to Hon. Aisha’s office, together with ODM Kibra candidate Imran Okoth, who had just been introduced to the caucus.
She was waiting with her arms open. Eyewitnesses say she kissed and hugged Mr. Odinga, and proceeded to have a photo session, setting online political forums on fire.
Then she spent the next half an hour with Mr. Odinga and Hon. Junet. We may never know what the three discussed. But when they came out, it was clear Mr. Odinga’s magic wand had softened the Coast renegade.
Sources reveal that Hon. Aisha Jumwa has been in good moods the whole day, even buying lunch for several ODM hangers-on around parliament.
As the impact of the meeting cascaded down to the critical cogs of the various political machines, denials followed, as was expected. Feeling stung, the tanga tanga crew led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen have come out guns blazing to dismiss the meeting.
Hon. Aisha’s Tangatanga machinery wants the meeting to be viewed as coincidental. It doesn’t really matter. In politics, nothing happens by chance. Even chance itself is planned, meticulously!
Hon. Aisha Jumwa is still an ODM elected member of parliament. And she is not just a mere member of parliament with no portfolio.
The ODM Party had two slots for Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) which the party gifted to Hon. Aisha Jumwa and Hon. George Khaniri.
Save for leadership offices which includes the office of the speaker and his deputy, the leaders of majority and minority parties currently held by Hon. Aden Duale and Hon. John Mbadi, their deputies and the whips, being appointed to the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) is one of the most lucrative postings an MP can get because it is the Parliamentary Service Commission that determines the budgets of parliament.
And this parliament has a huge budget, from where millions are made in illicit contracts and tenders. The PSC also allows one to recruit as many supporters as he/she can lobby to enlist as permanent parliamentary staff. MPs who are commissioners drive “GK” inscribed vehicles, with free fuel, enhanced security and an extra escort car.
So the position Aisha Jumwa holds is as powerful as it gets. Which is why ODM feels slighted that despite the appointment, Hon. Aisha is a rebel, and one who is backing the party’s arch enemy in the person of the Deputy President, William Ruto.
Will today’s thaw in relations last?