By Charlse Kipkulei In the run up to the 2012 general elections around 2009, DP William Ruto, then a leading figure in ODM became disaffected with the state of affairs in the orange party and instead of being listened to, he was branded a renegade and was dared to quit if he wished. The thinking
By Charlse Kipkulei
In the run up to the 2012 general elections around 2009, DP William Ruto, then a leading figure in ODM became disaffected with the state of affairs in the orange party and instead of being listened to, he was branded a renegade and was dared to quit if he wished.
The thinking of the ODM party was that they enjoyed the unconditional support from the Kalenjin Nation and that they could as well bypass Ruto and instead deal with the people of the Rift Valley directly. And to counter Ruto, we saw the birth of the “ODM Mashinani Initiative” which was aimed at engaging the voters directly without involving their leaders which ended up being a still born.
ODM then went on to make it look like an exclusive “Ruto Affair” and they engineered the “Achicha Wendi Kityo” initiative which also boomeranged disastrously because when Ruto left, he didn’t leave alone but he led a massive exodus of leaders and followers from ODM who in ‘Cananite’ fashion, ended up in Jubilee and alas! Ruto not only condemned his former party to the cold trenches of opposition but on he went to form government with his position in this sanctum of power being assured as Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya.
The ODM mistake of 2012 was to undermine Ruto and to imagine that whenever he spoke, he did so as an individual and not as a leader with a massive following.
Fast forward 2016; same script, same directors but different actors. ODM in its characteristic self-cannibalizing style is again baying for the blood of its own and this time its their National Secretary General, Generali Ababu Namwamba.
Having become malcontent with the state of affairs in his party, Ababu voiced concern but instead of being heard, he has again been branded as a renegade sellout, a mole and of course he has been dared to quit. And quit he did, with a final salute, his trademark political signature as Generali.
As if irredeemably obsessed with routine even if it previously led to disaster, ODM has applied the same dose that it administered to DP Ruto back in 2009 expecting different results, Einstein called this madness. Top ODM honchos in usual false braggadocio are chest-thumping that this resignation is inconsequential, that it is only an “Ababu Affair” and that Baba will still deal with Western Kenya directly and that come 2017, when votes shall be counted, it shall be business as usual. How wrong?
Ababu has quit and the domino effect is now unfolding before everyone’s eyes and much to the chagrin and horror of ODM. The Western Kenya Rebellion. More leaders from Western Kenya have resigned from their party positions in ODM, parties are closing shop, and transferring wholesale allegiance to Jubilee. As history repeats itself, rebellion has now morphed into exodus.
Among the Kalenjin, political aspirants are assigned a position of a prospective groom who are out to seek the hand of a bride in marriage and it is a norm to hear them being referred to as “sanian”. This confers upon them an expectation that they must be at their best behavior because vote hunting, just like wife hunting is an art of seduction and the ‘sanian’ must be the consummate groom, polished, well mannered and humble to fault.
So seduction being the business of political campaigns, I wonder what potent bewitchment affects ODM so much that it has made them disregard the wisdom of learning from the past and using more subtle approaches while dealing with disenchanted leaders from within its ranks. For ODM, they would rather lose top figures who voice alternative opinion instead of being humble enough to listen to them even if they are leaders who can affect community sentiments. Viewed as a groom, may I submit that ODM is indeed a very queer one.
Barack Muluka, a close confidante of the ODM leadership decries this ODM insolence towards its leaders and uses “the parable of the bossy tortoise” to warn that this hubris can only lead to tragedy; or nemesis as the Greeks conceptualized it. He tells ODM that they are like visitors in Western Kenya and in his own words, “When you are a guest, you observe niceties. You don’t go to the kitchen, the cowshed and sacred places without the owner’s permission. When the owners complain, you don’t say they were bribed to rebel.”.
The ancient Greeks had a word, ‘karthasis’, translated to catharsis in Englsih and it means seeking relief or release through purging something; ODM has been seeking catharsis from internal revolt but by misapplying the methods of achieving it, they have instead ended up in catastrophe.
And so goes the saying; the best thing that ever happened to Jubilee is ODM.