Barely a week after Garissa Township member of parliament and former National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale controversially labeled the Orange Democratic Movement party as a cult, roping in the Catholic Church, and claiming that members worship Raila like a god, an interesting incident is set to revive the topic afresh.
Interestingly, at the center of it all is Kisumu East member of parliament Shakeel Shabir who is not even a member of ODM, and who, as a matter of fact, had a falling out with the party after the 2017 party’s nominations.
Shakeel Shabir was appearing on K24’s weekly political show Punchline which is hosted by the station’s presenter, Debarl Ainea. Others in the studio were Kandara member of parliament Alice Wahome, former National Assembly Deputy Speaker and Lagdera legislator Farah Maalim, and lawyer Collins Odote.
While breaking down the abusive nature of Kenyan politics which also happens to be fluid, he dismissed claims that anyone can be so pigeonholed into a certain character that it would be impossible to work with them. He gave the example of Kalonzo Musyoka who has been referred to as a watermelon in order to poke fun at him for his indecision, yet he has managed to forge numerous working relationships with various other leaders.
Shakeel also mentioned Musalia Mudavadi who he said has in the past been labelled a fencesitter, but despite this, had still managed to forge political alliances. He then went to Raila Odinga next, and said the same thing about him, but noticeably, failed to mention the slur that has been used against Raila in the past. Farah Maalim, who noticed this, and perhaps slightly irked that his party leader’s nickname, watermelon, had just been mentioned yet Raila was getting a free pass, pushed Shakeel to the wall, asking him to mention the nickname that has previously been used against Raila.
In a heartbreaking display of fear, Shakeel admitted that he wasn’t in a position that allowed him to repeat such a word. In a touching gesture, Farah Maalim appeared to understand his predicament, and allowed him to proceed with his explanation.
Worth noting is that the constituency which Shakeel presents is one in which Raila Odinga enjoys wild support.
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