It is amusing to see Orange Democratic Movement politicians bashing a section of Members of Parliament and other leaders who visited State House on Tuesday this week. Luo Nyanza has produced leaders of repute—it is the cradle soil of the US President Barrack Obama, the 44th President of the United States.
I will not talk about the 32 Jubilee-elected leaders who followed in the footsteps of their ODM counterparts on Wednesday. I will concentrate on Luo Nyanza because the Young Turks of the 1990s rule this region, except for the Homa Bay Governor who was born in 1981. This is not the case in Mt Kenya.
What ails Luo Nyanza, as we all know, is the yoke from their liberators-turned-political toughs. The now senior politicians who fought for the so-called second liberation are refusing to let off the political wheels. They are not ready to hand over the baton of leadership to the next generation. They are refusing to leave power—the very ghosts they purportedly fought in the 1990s when they were young.
I say the Luo Nyanza politicians will carry the yoke of slavery and when they get restless, they will break themselves free. That way, they will also see to it that the people get out of the opposition enterprise and experience the first ever political refreshing.
Kisumu Governor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, one of the 1990s Young Turks, called the MPs ‘self-seeking’ cabals who went to the State House without the permission of their party. He wrote, “I am not surprised that an amalgam of self-seeking MPs went to State House without the blessing of our progressive party, the Orange Democratic Movement.”
In his response, Siaya Governor James Orengo, another of the 1990s Young Turks, also threw sludge on the visit.
He said the ODM party organs did not sanction the Nyanza MPs’ meeting with the president at State House. As to whether the elected leaders are supposed to serve, the party or the people is the million-dollar question.
Of course, going forward, we expect more than ever divisions in the region; some leaders trying to break free and others trying to hold on to politics of yesterday. The Young Turks of the 1990s want to keep Nyanza in their bosoms. However, millennial leaders are revolting.
Politicians from Luo Nyanza have endured intimidation whenever they want to shift the political drifts for the better. Those who tried to rise like Raphael Tuju were neutralised because the region has political owners. It is time senior politicians know that they cannot refuse to let the new generation take power—they will force themselves in and it could end in premium tears.
It is not surprising that ODM loyalists wondered how Rigathi Gachagua and others from the central region could defy President Uhuru Kenyatta. The reality is that power is never given—Raila Odinga will never give anyone power, no one gave him power. The cost of attempting to take power is packaged in horrid labels like traitors, sell-outs, and ‘tumbocrats’ (self-seeking).
If the ODM leadership has an interest in the people who elected them en masse, they should be fighting hard to get their people a share of the national cake. Raila in 2017 slotted himself into the government through a handshake.
This gesture took many goodies to the region that has experienced underdevelopment since independence.
Kenyans in August 2022 elected leaders from all regions and parties. All of them should be working together to deliver to the common citizen because we suffer the same predicaments.
To attract development, leaders need to work together. The end of elections gives everyone a chance to cooperate. It is time to put away differences so that we can rebuild relationships and engage in gainful policy matters.
Dr Ndonye is a senior lecturer in the School of Music and Media at Kabarak University