Raila party seeks to revamp after poor showing in polls
Opposition leader Raila Odinga is taking a chance with youthful leadership for his party three years after a similar effort produced what is seen as below par performance.
In 2015, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) unveiled what looked like an energetic youthful leadership to re-energise the party ahead of the 2017 polls.
It included John Mbadi as chairman, Paul Otuoma as vice-chair, Ababu Namwamba as secretary general, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho as deputy party leader, Elizabeth Ongoro as deputy secretary general, and Junet Mohamed as director of elections.
A general feeling within the party that the team failed and Mbadi never quite fitted in Henry Kosgey’s shoes is said to have informed the move to set up a taskforce to review the party’s performance in 2017 polls.
The taskforce membership includes Catherine Mumma (chairperson), Prof Larry Gumbe, former Embakasi South MP Irshad Sumra, Alfelt Gunda and Tony Moturi as secretary (ex-officio).
The team has been tasked with providing an honest review of the 2017 election and chart a way forward for ODM to ensure the party wins more seats in future elections. It is also mandated with reviewing the party’s performance in 2007, 2013 and 2017 elections with specific reference to processes and procedures.
“As you are aware, the National Governing Council of the party met on February 23, 2018 at Orange House and among the resolutions passed was the establishment of a panel of eminent partymembers to conduct a review of nomination and election rules, nomination structures, review of party ideology, electoral platforms and coalition building and management,” ODM’s new secretary general Edwin Sifuna said.
Nominated Senator Agnes Zani, who was appointed on an acting capacity as SG, fizzled out as both Namwamba and her failed to fit in the shoes of Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o. In 2013, the party had about 100 MPs. In 2017, the number fell to just over 60, a situation blamed on the party’s leadership.
Youthful leaders turned their attention to local county politics. Mbadi focused on advance battle against Gladys Wanga for Homa Bay gubernatorial seat, undermining his performance as national chairman. On the other hand, Junet was fighting for his survival in Suna East while taking on Governor Okoth Obado who had crossed from PDP to ODM. Ongoro and Otuoma later decamped afterlosing in party nominations.
In the new line-up, lawyer Edwin Sifuna is the ODM secretary general. Zani – the former secretary general – replaces Ongoro as deputy secretary general.
Joho and his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya retained the two positions of deputy party leaders. Mbadi remains the ODM national chairperson with two deputies: Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok and Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ongera.
The two vice-chairpersons replace Paul Otuoma and Adan Keynan who left the party, with former Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire remaining the national treasurer and his deputies are Ogla Karani and Hilda Siang’a.
Kajiado Central MP Memusi Kanchori replaces the late Grace Mboja as the new secretary for special programmes and social Welfare while former Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito was appointed the new secretary for national security to replace Sirisia MP John Waluke who ditched ODM.
Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris is the new secretary for international affairs after former Taita Woman Representative Joyce Lay joined Jubilee.
Noah Kala is the new director of campaigns and politician Steve Mbogo – who lost the Starehe seat – is secretary for science and technology.
The team is also expected to consider and review the party’s legal, policy and institutional framework governing the electoral processes and consider and propose specific recommendations to the legal regime governing the party’s electoral processes.