ODM internal democracy to be tested again today in Nyamira

Raila Odinga’s ODM democracy to be tested again

This is yet again a litmus test for the party’s internal democracy that has been mocked over by none other than Jubilee stalwarts. At one point I thought ODM should’ve avoided this ‘bad light paint’ by pooling enough resources, human & material, to conduct nationwide primaries in a single day. But with their primaries running into weeks, the media is not about to lack ‘juicy headlines’, and in Kenya juicy headlines are not always the best. 

Interestingly, out of the 4 constituencies of Nyamira County, this battle has attracted heavyweights from only one constituency, West Mugirango; with one lightweight a Dr. Kumenda drawn from Kitutu Masaba Constituency.

Nyamira County has four constituencies namely Kitutu Masaba, West Mugirango, North Mugirango & Borabu (arranged in terms of numerical strength, most to least). The county is further stratified into two main clans, Omogirango (drawn from West & North Mugirango, and the better part of Borabu) and Omogetutu in Kitutu Masaba.

The County is predominantly an ODM zone. Quite a number of the voters would vote for the aspirant running on the ODM ticket without much regard to personal competencies. As many would have it, when one is cleared by ODM party in this part of the country, it’s a clear sign of early victory.

However, depending on the outcome of the gubernatorial primaries, clan politics will play another role in the final contest. 

In West Mugirango, Dr. Gesami enjoys more support from his vote-rich sub-clan ‘Omogichora’. Mr. Nyagarama comes from Bonyamatuta sub-clan that also spreads into two wards, Bonyamatuta & Township. It is a tight race that cannot be predicted in favour of either. Also, the contest won’t be without controversies given the erroneous party registers & partisan officials.

In the first scenario, if Nyagarama wins the contest, Gesami would have been cut to size and that would mark an end of the road for his political future. Given the ODM politics, Nyagarama would be celebrating early victory. 

In the second scenario, if Gesami wins the contest, Nyagarama is most likely going to hop, to say, Wiper Party. Being the incumbent be sure he won’t be quitting that easily. This will succeed in dividing the Omogirango votes right in the middle.

The second scenario provides the perfect opportunity for the gubernatorial aspirants from Kitutu Masaba to unite behind one of their own and give both Gesami & Nyagarama a bitter contest. Kitutu Masaba has two heavyweights competing for the Jubilee ticket, Mr. Nyambati (former MP) and Mr. Mochama. Whoever gets clearance from Jubilee party to run for Governor is likely to sail through much to the chagrin of the ODM fraternity and Omogirango as a whole.

The people of Kitutu Masaba who are the biggest supporters of the Orange party, led by their own Mr. Timothy Bosire (MP) will put party loyalty aside and elect their own if that opportunity was to present itself. 

Unfortunately, we have to contend with the fact that electoral choices in 2017 elections will not be based on merit or individual competencies, but on ethnic persuasions. In future, this could change when the electorate gets more enlightened than now.

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