Renegade ODM Secretary General Ababu Namwamba has been told to leave ODM if he is not satisfied with his treatment in the party rather than keep holding the party at ransom.
Addressing the press in Nairobi, a section of Luhya professionals led by High Court of Kenya advocate Edwin Sifuna criticised the ODM leader who has once again raised storm in the party by threatening to leave due to what he terms as ‘frustrations’.
The professionals say while other ODM leaders and members have done all they can to build and support the party using their positions, the ODM Secretary General has been missing in action.
“Governors Joho, Oparanya and Nanok have kept the ODM flag flying high in Mombasa, Kakamega and Turkana counties respectively. These ODM leaders have kept the actual and ideological lines drawn between Jubilee and CORD,” they said.
“At any one time, no ODM supporter doubts where Gov. Joho, Oparanya, Nanok, Hon Mbadi, Hon Bosire and Hon Junet Mohammed stand on critical issues of the day. That has not been the case with the Secretary General Hon. Ababu Namwamba.”
They accuse Ababu of failing to create a team out of the people he was given to work with and prefers to walk and work alone, oe with Jubilee.
“He has failed to draw a clear line between himself and Jubilee Party and its leaders. Our SG has constantly flirted with the governing coalition to the confusion of our supporters. At critical moments, Ababu has failed to rally the party and has invented one excuse after another for failing to participate in party activities,” they said.
They dispute Ababu’s claim that the Luhya community is being mistreated in ODM, saying the community has several senior positions in the ODM party with others seconded to the CORD secretariat. Luhyas occupy the positions of Deputy Party Leader (Wycliffe Oparanya), Vice Chair (Paul Otuoma) Deputy Organising Secretary (Hon. Florence Mutua) and, Namwamba as Secretary General.
At the National Secretariat, Director of Strategy is Wafula Buke while that of Communication is Philip Etale. Norman Magaya, head of CORD secretariat, is also a luhya, so is Edwin Sifuna, Chair of National Appeals Tribunal of the Party.
The Party’s National Youth Cordinator is also a luhya.
The group accuse Namwamba of doing little as the ODM Secretary General in the push to reform IEBC. “Reforming the IEBC and our electoral infrastructure is critical to ODM if we are to ascend to leadership as a party. Yet Hon Ababu, because of his flirtation with Jubilee, does not see the need to push for reform of the IEBC,” they said.
Namwamba was the only senior ODM leader who never participated in demos called by the Opposition to push for IEBC reforms, a process that is ongoing.
“Hon Ababu needs to be told in clear terms that one cannot undermine a leadership that does not exist. Ababu is an absentee leader in ODM. His heart is not in it. It is time for him to leave,” they said.