Today I’ve followed the ODM brigade led by Raila Odinga,James Orengo, Jakoyo Midiwo,Opiyo Wandayi,Mishi Mboko and Junnet Muhammed as they crisscrossed Siaya County for funerals and fundraisers and I’m still very far from getting convinced by their arguments against party hopping.
My stand still remains that the Election Offenses and Election Laws (Amendment) Bill is draconian and should be challenged in the courts of law.For a country that confesses to be democratic while in the real sense is sinking under the heavy weight of ethnic balkanization steered by tyrannical ethnic warlords whose words on who becomes what, where and when in our political leadership structure is almost law,this anti-party hopping law can never be good for our politics.
If our politics were a little more mature,and our parties a little more democratic and ideologically grounded, it would be a different case,but politics and parties revolving solely around individuals and their personal interests and nothing more, this law remains a NO NO for me,and should for all those who mean well for our silly democracy.
This law essentially just institutionalizes and legalizes sycophancy and nothing more.The crap about instilling discipline and order and loyalty into our parties is just empty PR shenanigans.
While Raila today promised that ODM party primaries are going to be free and fair,and that the reason they will be done early is to allow a repeat should candidates be dissatisfied, only a child landing from Neptune today would believe him. It’s not the first time he’s promising that,and it definitely isn’t the last time he’s doing it.He’s always promising, and failing!What Raila has perhaps not paused and reflected upon,are the ramifications bungled ODM primaries, especially in his political bulwark of Luo-Nyanza,would have on his quest for the presidency with this anti-party hopping law in place.
Already, having thought through the possible case scenarios and likely consequences,Jubilee is busy managing the expectations of its candidates and their supporters; Uhuru and Ruto have already said they’ll give IEBC money to manage their primaries for them, purposely to limit direct interference from the “bigger men” within their coalition.To the losers,they are promising them government jobs so that they don’t rebel but support the winners and stick to the party.
ODM sycophants on the other hand,are busy chest thumping;that you are either with them or you are out!See?They can’t even allow IEBC to interfere with their certificate selling business! You either stay in and get rigged out or you join jubilee! Remember both are after political power.
Having been actively involved in Luo politics for some time now,I have been able to gather the following few facts,or at least semblance of facts;
1)ODM CANNOT do free,transparent and fair primaries.
2)In Luo-land,Raila remains the only party of choice and elections virtually end with Raila’s party’s (currently ODM) primaries. Whoever wins these primaries is as good as elected(until recently when the voters begun to get tired of No.1 above). This is the reason ODM primaries in Luo-Nyanza are always bloody do or die contests.
3)Luos can be extremely passionate with their politics, and can invest massive emotional attachments to the politicians they support,and can very easily boycott elections should their candidate of choice get shortchanged, and chained with no other avenue to resort to as will be the case with this new law.Previously, like in 2013,many decamped after being rigged out and their supporters somehow got themselves a second chance to express themselves at the ballot.
Now in view of the above,what programs have the party owners put in place to;
a)Deliver fair and credible party primaries?
b)Forestall possible fallouts from the primaries?
c)Ensure all the candidates and their supporters maintain political interest and enthusiasm even after being knocked off the ballot?
It can never just be enough to shout “You must be loyal!”.