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Is ODM to blame for poverty in its Nyanza region stronghold?

By Didmus Baraza | Published Tue, April 24th 2018 at 00:00, Updated April 23rd 2018 at 23:47 GMT +3
Opposition leader Raila Odinga conversing with Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho at a past event [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

ODM abhors diverse opinions. Good leaders  like Shem Ochuodho, Raphael Tuju, James Rege, James Orengo and even the current Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o had to stay in the political cold for a long time when they differed ideologically with their party leader.

These are leaders who had good development track records, but lost the lifeline when they had differences with the party that was dominant in Nyanza at the time; be it NDP, LDP, ODM. However good they are, if they do not toe the party line, they are targets. Sometimes they are not allowed to visit their backyards.

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Predominant parties in Nyanza have been a recipe for chaos in the region and consequently, chaos means no investors, hence higher poverty levels. When there is inherent violence especially during elections, investors shy away; there is no investor from other communities willing to invest in Kisumu because their businesses become targets every electioneering period.

Nyanza has always been in the Opposition, how then do you develop when you are always opposing? Even the time they formed the Nusu Mkate (Grand Coalition) government, they were in Opposition within the government. ODM should be at the forefront advocating nonviolence and support the government. How can you benefit from the same government you are undermining and claim you do not recognize?


Mr Baraza is Member of Parliament for Kimilili