Wednesday, 13 July 2016


Two key meetings are due to take place at Orange House this week. The Central Management Committee meets today while the National Executive Committee meets on Thursday. The resolutions of these two meetings will have far reaching ramifications for the 2017 general elections and beyond.
In the aftermath of the Ababu fiasco that they initiated and supported, Siaya Senator James Orengo and Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo have come together and hatched an intricate plot that is meant to influence institutional changes aimed at eliminating potential rivals and cementing their place in the Raila-succession which may come anytime after the 2017 general elections. This axis is what has come to be known as the Luo-mafia in ODM.
As the Central Management Committee meets today, it is emerging that the key target of this Orengo-Jakoyo scheme is the Chairman John Mbadi whom their accuse of failing to effectively steer the party and should therefore step down and be replaced by a figurehead Luhya; or at worst Gem Member of Parliament Jakoyo Midiwo. In other words, Mbadi is being eliminated from the Chairman position which is seen as enjoying vantage status in the impending Raila-succession battle.
The Luo-mafia have their eyes not just on the Chairman position but as a plan B, they have decided that if Raila-loyalist Chairman Mbadi is dislodged and replaced by a Luhya, then the Secretary General position must remain theirs to influence the appointment of a Luo they can work with. Homabay County Women Rep Hon Gladys Wanga has been touted as a possible replacement given that the two deputy secretary generals; Nominated Senator Agnes Zani and Elizabeth Ongoro are seen as too independent minded to be trusted by the Luo-mafia as fully fledged SG.
On the party nomination front, the Orengo-Jakoyo axis is leaving nothing to chance as they have head-hunted former KETRACO General Manager Joe Ager as the Vice Chairman designate – National Election Board. Ager is meant to checkmate NEB Chair Pareno to ensure only “wanted” legislators win nominated certificates. Ager is being used by the Orengo-Jakoyo axis as he is the perfect bait for Raila due to the fact he is first cousins with the Party Leader.
Senior and independent party functionaries like Farah Maalim, himself seen by many as fit to be party chairman, have expressed serious reservations in private to the Party Leader and urged him to reign in on the Orengo-Jakoyo axis which he feels have short term vested interests and do not care if the party forms government in 2017.
Party observers have noted that in 2014-5, it is the same Orengo-Jakoyo axis that flew choppers all over Western and Luo land urging the masses to accept Ababu Namwamba as the Party Secretary General. The same axis attempted to persuade the party leader to retire or accept a Jubilee government appointment in exchange for his long held retirement perks.
It is also not lost on observers that this powerful tribal cabal have ring-fenced the Party Leader curtailing free access from key opinion shapers and grassroot leaders from other national support bases.
The infighting has led some members to demand that the SG position be advertised and competitively sourced to remove political conflict of interests associated with the office.
Unless stopped in their tracks, the selfish plans of the Luo-mafia will lead to disenchantment.

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