By Samuel Wetungu
November 30, 2017
What is going on in ODM?
Well, let me begin with foreseeable solutions on this.
- Run ODM party professionally.
- Stop creating a perception of Luonising ODM.
- Have a working Reward scheme for party loyalists.
- Balance and distribute available party positions and other fringe positions e.g. House committees geographically represented, gender and with face of Kenya/party strongjolds.
- Elect officials who have passion and capacity to run the party affairs.
- We should avoid selecting party officials.
- Respect and use party branch offices for party matters in regions.
All said and done,
ODM may be on the path of falling apart or diving towards political oblivion in Kenya.
Going by what has been taking place for some time now it seems much attention is not being put in to make the party as vibrant as it has been or what it ought to be.
As we are all aware this has been the single largest and most important party in Kenya and East Africa together with CCM in Tanzania for a long time since its inception during the Kivuitu times of ‘Ndizi’ and ‘Chungwa’ new constitution referendum politics.
This is the party that had President Uhuru Kenyatta, PM Raila Odinga, Balala, Kibaki, Mudavadi, Orengo,Nyaga, Karua among others as it’s bigwigs.
But for now some of them have used or re-used and dumped the ODM party.
In fact, as it seems this party having been used and dumped many times, it has also learned the same ropes of using and dumping very fast. It practices it oftenly nowadays.
But as usual all parties grow through metamorphic journeys. May be there could be remedies because most of us still love ODM.
What puzzles the staunch party supporters and die-hards is the way ODM has been used and missused by many politicians to climb to offices then dump it in dustbins. At some point others who dump it still come back to reuse it by briefly singing its songs or come in the name of Coalitions even if whatever they have as counter offer parties are briefcase things only managed by a household or on paper.
The right word to use is ‘rape’.
This party is being raped left right centre by people who don’t even share its ideologies, by opportunists and by corrupt individuals who have nothing at all to do with ODM other than swing in action like vultures when there is a small cake to share within its die-hards.
For evidence of the crumbling party, just look at the way the party turns its back on its supporters when we have Party list nominations. Some nobodies who just come from nowhere take up positions in Assemblies; National, Senate and County assemblies.
When die-hards try to complain their cries fall on deaf ears.
Right now the party has the majority of petitions in county assemblies in the whole country where non party loyalists, unknown individuals etc have been *rewarded* at the expense of known loyalists. This causes ripples in its key support bases hence losing key members. Indeed where are the likes of Mercy Chebeni who represents youth at Senate. We last saw her during Senate swearing in ceremony. I guess she has no clue of the colors of *RESIST* T-shirts and caps wherever she is. She is not alone they are a bunch of them including in County Assemblies.
Secondly, look at the way party nominations are done just before general elections. The party officials and those in system powerful positions literally *hawk* the party to highest bidders. This has led to massive loses for the party during actual elections where voters decide to punish the party by voting in other ways.
Thirdly, the issue of party administration and general operations of ODM has been wanting for a long time. We can simply describe it as shambolic and those in.office have only one agenda. To please masters and sing and dance even when kings are naked. They either have no capacity to run the party, or capacity to advice bosses, or are just a bunch of sycophants plucked from streets to puppetize them as party officials.
It’s indeed disgusting how they handle party affairs. It’s pathetic how they handle members as well as office matters. They even forget their key mandates like membership recruitment exercises and when they try it things just go haywire, back and forth and are never successful. Infact no single party membership recruitment exercise has ever been successful for over 10 years now. So what’s their work in office?
Fourth, look at something simple like sharing the few available parliamentary slots.
What is so wrong or difficult to just put it in open and distribute them based on regions, gender, loyalism and those who work for the party.
A can’t have a situation where we have about 10 spaces to fill and we don’t consider Coast region, Kisii, Kakamega etc. The regions that delivered almost man to man for the ODM party and NASA coalition at large.
Fifth, is the lack of hands on control of the party and it’s affairs by topmost party bosses.
The party leader and his deputies together with top management organ like Central Management Committee of ODM needs to be on their feet for this party to live next life. Current situation seem to be a laid back approach and leaving everything to so called technocrats. These people may be good, professionals but have no serious political feelings. If left to work in a free environment they tent to inject new ideologies that shift from original party ideology making it difficult to communicate by party leaders or principals.
Party leaders should lead and control the party from the top and be hands on instead of waiting for advice from their employees.
Lastly, the issue of busy bodies, know it all that pretend to advice top party leadership. They even ringfence the leaders from anyone ‘external’ because they call themselves internal. The party will be choked and die super fast because of them if there is no room for fresh new ideas flowing in.
For ODM to survive it must reinvent itself. Live in current times and embrace it’s original ideologies.
The party must partner with others after due diligence and when it is really necessary. Of recent times some associations with other parties or individuals have been bogus and retrogressive to its growth.
If we agree that elections are over now, then this is the time for ODM to rethink and rebuild.