Monday, June 16, 2008

Hon Odinga: A Man of Grit

When Hon Prime Minister Odinga thought he had negotiated a coalition deal that had pulled Kenyans out of the Jaws of the hyena in the name of a blood-sucking mayhem precipitated by the bungled 2007 electoral process---a stollen election that had pitted Kenyans against Kenyans, leading to spiralling intertribal killings and wanton destruction of public and private property, and a crisis that threatened to make Kenya another failed state---than sections of his ODM party started complaining that their tribes were not rewarded fairly in coalition cabinet appoitnments, even as these elements knew that ODM's glass was only half full, or as PM Odinga is wont to put it in the language of a "hunter-gatherer" who always hope for a brighter hunting day, "even the tail is meat."

While still mourning two of his winning team members (Were and Kirui?) he lost to guns of envy in Embakasi and Ainabkoi, a section of his parliamentary majority is forming an Oppostion group to the PNU-ODM Coalition Government, ostensibly because they never got cabinet appointments in the Grand Coalition Govt. What self-centredness!

On a June by-election night, PM Odinga and his ODM lose two MPs to an aircraft accident as the pair of Hon. Lady Laboso and Hon. K. Kones (both Kipsigis) were on their way to a campaign for a fellow Kipsigis for the then vacant Kilgoris seat.

On election night, the Masai bolt against ODM and vote for one of their own, Hon. Konchella of PNU. Managing tribalism can be hell, and no party understands this it better than PNU. ODM emerges from from the by-elections with two MPS dead, and three wins (in Wajir, Ainaboi, and Emuhaya), and loses Kilgoris and Embakasi (because of poor fielding ... Mrs. Passaris couldn't have done better than some Wekesa or Omolo. Nairobi politics, like all Kenyan politics, is tribal even as ODM thinks otherwise. ODMs the party got burnt in Kilgoris and Embakasi.

Hon PM Odinga is fighting land kingpins and absentee landowners, some within his leadership ranks, and his President is not making it any easier for him. PM Odnga is calling corrupt African Dictators like Mugabe what they are---something most African leaders don't (Read: Read JR Alila's Thirteen Curses of Mother Africa). PM Odinga has taken the issue of Amnesty to people arrested for various crimes during Kenya's 2007 electoral crisis (he calls them political prisioners) head on---again his President is not with him in this.

This Kenyan Leader and face of ODM Party is a Man of Grit. The question is whether the ODM coalition will hold as PNU cut and dice the poltical landscape. Hey I heard Gema has had anew birth!

Watch this space.

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