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OLAMBO: Is Ababu’s Star Dimming or About To Shine Brighter?




By Nicholas Olambo

ODM Party leader, Raila Odinga met the rebelling party’s Secretary General, Ababu Namwamba over allegations that he was decamping to Jubilee and discussing party issues in the media. The talks don’t seem to have mended emerging rift with some party MPs from Western region threatening to walk out.

Namwamba, for instance, has threatened to quit his post while Paul Otuoma has resigned from the vice-chairperson position but remains a member of the party. Otuoma has complained of being undermined, and Namwamba complained of being frustrated and said there are ‘critical’ issues that should be addressed.

It remains a mystery what the so-called core issues are that party officials at the positions of Namwamba or Otuoma cannot find mechanisms to resolve but instead opt to resign.

Ababu, who is Budalang’i MP, claims he joined the opposition party believing the people’s personal and national dreams would be fulfilled.

“If the goals of the population of Busia are not getting met in this party, we will make a different decision,” he said in Bukalama on Saturday.

What is surprising is their decisions to resign from their party positions and not quit the party immediately. If the party is failing on its agenda, the leadership of that party is to blame; Ababu and Otuoma make that ‘failing’ leadership.

Actual generals fight dangerous wars daily and not quit, Edwin Sifuna a stronger supporter of the Party Leader, Raila Odinga said in an interview. Sifuna, who also stated that Ababu is only a Secretary General on paper is a critic of Ababu and crew, he also added that the team has been ‘bought’ and are headed to Jubilee. There are no serious issues raised by Ababu but mere shenanigans and mind games.

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Ababu, who had been criticised as an ‘absentee leader, ‘ has been missing from key CORD events including the protests to reform the current IEBC. He, however, responded that he is an independent thinker who does not believe in the party playing politics all the time.

A classic response of a rebelling politician. They become independent after using parties popular in their regions to get to parliament but never run as independent candidates. Ababu is a hustling politician who doesn’t seem to play his role in the party; before his selection as the secretary general he blackmailed the public and questioned democracy in the party after sensing stiff competition amid claims that he is a Jubilee mole.

He claims that he has been frustrated, and he wants to move where he is appreciated and tolerated. Everyone is waiting to see where he is headed, but the deputy president William Ruto has been linked to a plan by some ODM lawmakers led by Ababu to take over Julia Ojiambo’s Labour Party of Kenya. A source privy to Kenya Insights said that there’s a plan by the DP to have Luhya people decamp from ODM, join LPK and later to deal with Ruto’s URP.

As things stand now, Ababu’s role as the Secretary-General is substantially impaired as he looks headed to Jubilee where he will only be seen as a follower. On his own, he is ‘a small person’ who will only be given a party to bargain with Jubilee.

He was one time ODM’s rising star, but his image was dealt a blow when he was accused of receiving money from corrupt politicians to hide PAC (Public Accounts Committee) reports that he once chaired.

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When he wanted to become the Secretary General he claimed to have been with the party since it was founded, he understood the challenges and how to deal with them but what happened after he tasted power and got hungrier for more? He is now more of ‘a political hustler’ looking for means and ways to bargain with those in the authority.

His stake in ODM cannot grant him that. One can hardly believe that the Ababu today is the same guy who once described ODM as their party that he cherished deeply. He claimed to be a battle-hardened individual (valour in a battle) in many ways especially when their victory was ‘stolen’ in 2007. Where is that man to deal with the frustrations or ‘crisis’? Instead, he’s exposing the country to cheap politics of a rebelling politician who can’t officially defect and face the music that comes it.



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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [[email protected]]


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