By Tony Gachoka
The Safaricom Stadium Kasarani was the venue of a much hyped ODM coronation of Raila’s last bid at the Presidency come 2017. MPs, Senators, Governors and 2,800 delegates donning orange party colours came early to secure ring side seats ahead of the former Prime Minister’s crowning. The agenda told it all, there was a statement to be delivered by Odinga on the future of orange and the history of stolen elections he had won!
ODM lieutents had hitherto waged a two month campaign against each other and although the hype and political heat during campaigns was toxic, the script for last Friday was full of hope for a successful ending.
Pregnant in the air was the absence of Bugoma Senator Moses Wetangula for Cord Arthimetic as Ababa took on a peculiar national prominence while Kalonzo watched and pleaded for a smooth transition. Was the CORD leader to survive this day? I say not for the king is naked. Is he vanquished? I say not because his opponents were too cautious to dash for the spoils.
The first sign of Raila’s political immortality came just minutes after the ODM Convention had braved a barrage of shouting matches and a walk out of coast delegates. This was just the lull before the storm because political history will always begin at the point the men in black struck at the heart of Odinga’s party.
Millions watched in a mixed dose of emotions as the destruction unfolded live before cameras. Several consciences were pricked locally and internationally and maybe now we can reflect.
You could say in a sense that some people were smelling blood. Unfortunately, several important politicians under-performed including Jubilee but in particular for the umpteenth time my friend Musalia Mudavadi was missing in action; his lack of political visibility at this time has in my opinion let Odinga off the ropes easier. Safe for, Governor Hassan Ali John’s next political move about the coast eventually leaving, the western region seems starved of divisive leadership and remains ODM for now. Uhuru knows that Joho is the man to watch for 2017 unless someone wakes Musalia and Gideon Moi up!
Interestingly many of the regular faces around Raila carried out a mumbling mutiny while weaker ODM troops, quick on the trigger took vantage points to defend the Kasarani disgrace and any attack on there leader. With political acrobatics they out-performed critics on the airwaves and by over-firing at the men in black, they may have managed to bring them and their mystery to the national excitement and intrigues you would normally see in a bull fight at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.
Who are these untouchables or did Raila sanction them to stop the ODM carnage? In a tactical and temperament move Raila defended Kasarani and himself from public redicule. The former PM quickly told Kenyans and the world that since no evidence on what happened has been found against the men in black this would justify a suspension of elections, ‘tongue in cheek’ but to hold the centre a committee of sorts was formed.
This remark caught the wrath of Luo Nyanza MPs led by Jakoyo who accused unknown persons of misadvising Raila. The heart of the matter though, is the double standards and the fact that the former premier supported a particular function that was politically defeated.
Rails may ponder for many years what happened here but for me he has always struggled when we worked closely together on the fundamental issue of Nepotism versus Meritocracy. This maybe his downfall if politicians amplify it or his survival if they don’t. I see an opportunity for Mudavadi and Joho to form an alliance with Gideon Mio’s Kanu that Uhuru cannot ignore. The MJG alliance of 2014 should replace the Amani of 2013!
The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis meanining "nephew", it gained its name after the church practice in the Middle Ages, when some Catholic popes and bishops, who had taken vows of chastity, and therefore usually had no children of their own, gave their nephews such positions of preference as were often accorded by fathers to son.
Meritocracy on the other hand, is a system of government or other administration where appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or examinations. The "most common definition of meritocracy conceptualizes merit in terms of tested competency and ability.
Nepotism has greatly damaged Raila’s legacy and I say here that his 2017 bid has fallen but to the MJG alliance I wish to highlight Sun Tzu in the art of war ‘avoid what is strong, strike at what is weak. If you are ignorant of yourself or your enemy you are certain to be in peril.’
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Tony Gachoka is a political Strategist and a Former head of Protocol for Raila Odinga