ODM APPOINTS KITCHEN CABINET
CORD leader Raila Odinga has moved to deal with rebellion in his party, ODM, by awarding a number of perceived rebels with national positions.
Youthful politicians led by Bundalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho have been awarded key positions in the party during a weekend retreat in Naivasha.
The retreat brought together the rivals of ODM’s botched February 28 election.
Namwamba, who has been branded a Jubilee mole, is now the ODM Secretary General, while Joho, who has also been seen to warm up to the government, is one of two deputy party leaders.
A large number of youthful and first-time MPs have also been included in the new line-up in a clear attempt to appease the youth bloc, who have been demanding inclusiveness in the Orange Party.
But even as Raila, who remains the party leader, made this move, ODM is staring another rebellion in the face after elevating Namwamba. A section of members who have remained loyal in the face of Namwamba’s rebellion are said to have been deeply angered by the decision to fill elective positions on an appointive basis and are considering their own rebellion.
The line-up released on Saturday night, which blends experience and youth, has Raila as party leader, deputised by Joho and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
The party also named 16 people to the position of Secretary in different fields, but the post of Executive Director previously held by Magerer Lang’at remains vacant.
The new ODM Chairman is Suba MP John Mbadi and will be deputised by four members – Josephat Nanok, Paul Otuoma, Adan Keynan and Christine Lemein, in that order.
Namwamba will deputised by senators Elizabeth Ongoro and Agnes Zani, in that order.
Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire is the new Treasurer, to be deputised by Hilda Siang’a and Olga Karani.
Balambala MP Abdikadir Aden is the new Organising Secretary, with George Aladwa, Florence Mutua, Rozzah Buyu and Suleiman Dori as deputies.
The MPs who are unhappy with Raila for supporting Namwamba insist he is a rebel and part of a group of MPs the Jubilee coalition has planted in the party as moles.
Funyula MP Otuoma and Oparanya are said to be unhappy with Namwamba and led the opposition to his elevation.
Otuoma particularly felt slighted with the proposal to elevate Namwamba and single-handedly opposed the it during the weekend the retreat in Naivasha.
He stormed out of the meeting in anger and left Naivasha before the end of the retreat.
The new names are to be taken to the ODM Governing Council before they are presented to the National Delegates’ Conference for ratification.
Incoming chairman Mbadi sought to downplay what happened in Naivasha, telling the Star that he will work hard to reach out to Otuoma.
“When it comes to loyalty to the party, no one comes close to Paul. I fully understand where he is coming from. I will reach out to him,” he said.
Mbadi said that should the names be ratified, his first task will be reconciliation.
“Things have been hard for the party. Everything was at a standstill and it is good that the party is once again on the move,” he said.
“Reconciliation will be my first agenda – restructure the secretariat, revamp the party and start a rigorous recruitment drive targeting the youth.”