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How come Raila got 167 votes in Nairobi alone, while the rest managed less than 20 votes? A closer look at the figures leaves many gaps.

Posted by African Press International on September 7, 2007

agwambobitter.jpgRaila came out victorious at Kasarani grounds by defeating Musalia, Ruto, Nyaga and Balala. It is now emerging that the whole thing was a scheme meant to make him to be the flag bearer of ODM splinter group. Delegates were given hand-outs before the elections and they surely voted for the gains.

The other men, Ruto, Musalia, Njagah seemingly remained in the dark when the scheme was being catalysed. The only man who managed to be tipped and decided to quit gracefully was Balala of the Coastal Province.

The way things were done should be a lesson so that the same does not happen during the December vote.

A thought by API*APN editorial.

The story below should give some lessons to future aspirants.


By Kiburi Kago

The next three months promise to be exciting political theatre if the performance at the ODM and ODM-Kenya nominations is any guide.

It is now pretty obvious that Mr Kalonzo Musyokas and Mr Raila Odingas portraits and party symbols will sit side by side with those of President Kibaki in the ballot papers. But as the countdown to the big day continues, it is hilarious to hear ODM deputy captain Mr Musalia Mudavadi accuse the Government of scheming to confuse voters and allowing the registration of two ODM factions.

This came only a few days after Raila was crowned the commander-in- charge and a first-among-equals at Nairobis Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. Orange is the common symbol for the two opposition political parties.

The only difference is that ODMs is a full ripe orange, while Kalonzos is one and a half, sitting pretty on the map of Kenya. When wily city lawyer Mr Mugambi Imanyara beat the followers of the original Orange Democratic Movement to the registration counter, they resorted to registering ODM-Kenya and submitted the one and a half orange as their symbol.

Imanyara surrendered ODM the party he clandestinely registered soon after the Orange triumph during the 2005 referendum on the draft constitution to Raila and his allies last month amid fanfare.

But Kenyans will recall the riotous mob that camped outside Electoral Commission of Kenyas headquarters at Anniversary Towers baying for Chairman Mr Samuel Kivuitus blood when he hesitated to make out their symbol.

Pushed to the wall, the ECK caved in. Now, the Raila group is characteristically crying foul. In a paid up advertisement thanking the delegates for their confidence in him and their maturity during the nomination at Kasarani, Raila singled out nine people, among them Imanyara, for special accolades.

Imanyara was garlanded for his generosity of spirit in handing over ODM, thus enabling “the forces of democracy to move forward”. The lawyer-cum-politician lost to Energy minister Mr Kiraitu Murungi in the race for the South Imenti seat in the 2002 General Election.

Raila also had kind words for those who competed with him for the ODM presidential ticket as well as those who run the party secretariat. He singled out former Vice-President Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Eldoret North MP Mr William Ruto, Gachoka MP Mr Joseph Nyagah and Mvita MP Mr Najib Balala as “just men” who had showed true sportsmanship and patriotism and demonstrated solidarity and team spirit.

For the secretariat, Raila specifically mentioned MPs Mr Henry Kosgey, Prof Anyang Nyongo and Mr Omingo Magara together with the partys executive director, Ms Janet Ongera.

Yet it was obvious to all that Kosgey, the MP of Tinderet, Nyongo of Kisumu Rural, Magara of South Mugirango and, of course, Ongera were at his beck and call. They were the ones who called and assembled the delegates.

Yet they had, prior to the Kasarani meeting, traversed the country drumming support for Raila. They had dropped all pretence of neutrality and openly campaigned for him. It was at Kasarani that the many months of labour and planning came to fruition.

After Kasarani, questions continue to prop up. Why did the number of delegates fail to add up? If, for instance, every constituency had ferried 20 delegates to Kasarani, how come Nairobis votes tally were 187 and not 160?

How come Raila got 167 votes in Nairobi alone, while the rest managed less than 20 votes? A closer look at the figures leaves many gaps. But more critically, how and who picked the delegates? Just like many other parties, ODM has not held grassroots elections.

On the eve of the Kasarani meeting, Raila emerged from a church service oozing with confidence. Was it just a gut feeling and deep belief or did he know something the rest did not? The crowning of Raila was a well-choreographed script that started to run when he launched his campaign last year. He has carried on an unremitting crusade to become President.

The writer is a commentator on political issuesLifted and published by Korir, API*APN tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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