The just concluded by-elections, and their aftermath, are getting as confusing as ever. In Matungu, clashes were witnessed between ODM and ANC supporters, while in Kabuchai it was UDA versus Ford Kenya, and in Nakuru, the chaos was between Jubilee and UDA. One feels dizzy simply trying to keep up with which party is attacking which party.
In the midst of all the chaos and disorder, it then so happens that parties that are sworn enemies begin speaking the same language. In the latest of such puzzles, the Orange Democratic Movement, which rarely sees eye to eye with UDA that is closely linked to the deputy president, now seems to speak the same language.
In recent days, tanga tanga MPs have been training their guns on the government and IEBC, blaming the former of overreach and interference, and blaming the latter of complicity.
Now, an a press release by ODM, authored by the Party’s Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen, the party seems to be echoing similar sentiments.
In the lengthy statement, the party congratulated its aspirants for a spirited fight and worthy performance despite their loss. It attributed the loss to the conspiracy by multiple parties to gang up on it. The statement, however, then went ahead to condemn the violence meted out on women and aged voters, but failed to mention the injustices visited upon voting officials, and particularly the violent scenes involving Rashid Echesa.
Instead, the party seemed to criticise the government and the polls body, calling upon them to “rethink”.
The statement read in part,
Finally going forward, we have to choose as a nation whether electoral contests are to be settled through violence or vote – bullet or ballot. The degree of violence and intimidation visited upon hapless women and aged voters during yesterday’s voting portends a very bleak future for our electoral democracy.This must not only be harshly condemned but calls for the State, IEBC and political parties to introspect, rethink our democratic tenets, and retool. The law of the jungle should have no place in the choice of leadership in civilized polities.Dated in Mumias this 5th March 2021.Oduor Ong’wen, EBSEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ODM