The departure of the former secretary-general Onyango Oloo of The National Alliance Party (TNA) from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s camp to join the Orange Raila Odinga’s Democratic Movement (ODM) is a major development that must teach regions like Western and Coast regions indelible lessons.
It clearly indicates that the party that dissolved into the former Jubilee coalition that has since transformed itself into a political party has got its owners who are none other than the Gikuyu Embu and Meru (GEMA) tribal groupings where outsiders have no say.
In Central Kenya, Rift Valley, Nyanza, and Eastern the tribal equation is without question deeply entrenched the worst aspect being in Central Kenya where the Kikuyu’s view themselves as the owners of Kenya and people from what they refer to as “Andu wa Nyumba Nene” – people of the big house while the rest of the ethnic communities are merely third class citizens.
Therefore Oloo may have been a Secretary General of the T
NA as a mere dressing to give the party some kind of national outlook but the real power calling the shots remained in the owners of the party, specifically President Kenyatta and now with the emergence of Jubilee Party with Raphael Tuju yet another dressing the power remains with Kenyatta because the party is still a GEMA entity.
Therefore in Central Kenya and it’s GEMA lot anybody aspiring to get any elective job right from Membership to the County Assemblies (MCAs) through the Members of Parliament the Governors to the Senators once you succeed securing a Jubilee or formerly TNA ticket you assured of getting that job without much sweat.
That is why personalities like Martha Karua though since she lost out at the last general elections has been over years consistently with the opposition personalities in Cord was forced to make a complete about turn and to the support of President Kenyatta when she declared her desire to vie for the Governorship of Kirinyaga County.
The same applies to Peter Kenneth who is aspiring for Governorship at this year’s general elections but with a long term interest in vying for the highest office in the land that is the Presidency possibly in the year 2022 general elections where Deputy President William Ruto hopes to secure GEMA support for the same office but has already been forewarned that that may not be forthcoming.
The Deputy President’s United Republican Party (URP) has already been swallowed by the GEMA Jubilee a development that resulted in the defection of many URP members and leaders to other political parties and the creation of yet a new party by the Bomet Governor Isaack Rutto – otherwise that was virtually purely a Kalenjin political party through which any member of that community who secured that party’s nomination was sure of winning any elective post at any level.
The other alternative that the Rift Valley’s Kalenjin community have is the former ruling party Kanu headed by the retired President Daniel Arap Moi’s son, Gideon Moi the Baringo senator thus competitors within the same community and that is why Gideon Moi is always perpetually at cross roads with Deputy President William Ruto.
What is clear is the fact that those allied to Ruto could easily clinch their way to any elective office in the Kalenjin nation through URP and those allied to Gideon Moi through Kanu which could explain why Governor Rutto had to form his own party but many URP followers may have been orphaned with the party’s dissolution to form Jubilee which remains to be seen how acceptable and effective it will be in Kalenjin Rift Valley.
On the other hand the Luo Nyanza has always had its kingpin in Raila Odinga whose stranglehold on the community through the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is yet to be proved otherwise and goes a long way in explaining on why Oloo is defecting to that party to be received by its leader Raila nowhere else other than Kisumu where he (Oloo) has aspirations to vie as MP for one of the constituencies in the area.
It goes without saying that without such a move he cannot hope to win any election in Luo Nyanza on a party like the defunct TNA or the new creation called Jubilee, but once he secures a nomination on the ODM ticket Oloo will be virtually assured of winning whatever seat he will be contesting for in that region.
Jubilee’s Raphael Tuju is yet another living example from Luo Nyanza whose political career completely came to a standstill when he chose to be at cross roads with the community’s leader Raila Odinga and his political party ODM forcing him to be a political refugee among the Kikuyu’s of central Kenya who are sustaining him as a dressing to give their Jubilee a semblance of a national party.
Previously when Odinga defected from Ford Kenya whose founding personalities was his late father Jaramogi Odinga after disagreeing with the late Wamalwa Kijana over its leadership to start the National Development Party (NDP – Tinga) that was the party of choice for one to win any elective post in the Luo Nyanza region while among the Kisiis from the same former province they had the Ford People led by former cabinet minister Simeon Nyachae from the same community its longtime leader and spokesman.
The story does not stop there since the same state of affairs has been exactly replicated in Eastern among the Kamba’s with Kalonzo Musyoka being that community’s apparently un-disputed kingpin complete with the Wiper political party through which virtually every elected leader from that community has been elected into office through that very same political party.
Even the Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua who broken ranks with Musyoka to find his own political party known as Maendeleo Chap Chap was elected on Wiper’s ticket but it remains to be seen whether his new political party is going to make any difference, but what is clear is the fact Wiper is the Kamba peoples’ political party to catapult them into any political party of choice as long as one has secured nomination to vie for the seat on that party’s ticket.
It is from this background that the Communities’ of the former Western and Coast provinces have been largely left orphans without their own dominant political parties and community kingpins to articulate their peoples’ interests and direction thus automatically making them easy hunting grounds particularly for the national presidential elections vote.
Though Ford Kenya’s founding leaders were from the region including the original FORD (Forum for the Restoration of Democracy) like the late Masinde Muliro, Martin Shikuku and Wamalwa Kijana it failed to have any meaningful impact on the ground apart from Bungoma and Trans Nzoia Counties as the rest remained orphaned and political party less.
That is why when the communities of the region rebelled against Kanu at the 2002 general elections after retired President Moi coerced Musalia Mudavadi to stand as running mate to President Kenyatta they largely voted for the National Rainbow Alliance Coalition (NARC) candidate retired President Mwai Kibaki just like their party less counterparts from the Coast Province.
Come the following elections in 2007 the western Kenya communities like their coastal colleagues were swept away by the Odinga’s ODM and kept enslaved there even at the last general elections the Kalenjins swarmed to URP and Kanu with the GEMA lot to TNA.
This time round there must be a complete turnaround game changer like Former TNA’s boss Oloo is going by going back home to his roots which brings us back to Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) and his crowing as the western Kenya communities spokesman after being found the most preferred by a study conducted by the University of Nairobi.
The most critical issue being whether there is any reason why the communities of this region and the Coast cannot do what the GEMA, the Kalenjins, the Kamba’s when it has been statistically proven time and again that they are the second largest population group in the country? If the ODM belongs to the Luos, URP and Kanu to Kalenjins, TNA/Jubilee to GEMA, Wiper the Kamba then why not ANC to the Luhyias, Tesos, and Sabaots of Western Kenya?