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Blamuel Njururi – Nairobi, July 25, 2914. Opposition Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) leaders led by Raila Amolo Odinga have been declared unpatriotic Al Qaeda ally, Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab, sympathizers pursuing chaos and anarchy agenda in Kenya.
Chairman of the Parliamentary National Security committee Asman Kamama Thursday, said CORD leaders were unpatriotic because they were pushing for Al Shabaa’s demand for Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) to be withdrawn from Somalia where they are safeguarding national interests and at the same time they wanted KDF removed from the security operation in Lamu to pave the way for Al Shabaab take over in Somalia and north eastern Kenya. Kamama’s argument was that the position taken by CORD and its followers was unpatriotic betrayal of the Kenyan Nation by leaders who want to cause chaos and anarchy in the country.
Kamama’s position was shared by among other MPs, the leader parliamentary majority Adan Duale who said that indeed the CORD demands for KDF troops to be withdrawn from Somalia were the same as those of CORD leadership. To CORD critics, it had become the political wing of Al Shabaab while pretending to speak for Kenyans whose country has been terrorised by Al Shabaab in recent years.
Raila and his fellow CORD co-leaders, former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka and former foreign minister Moses Wetangula, may find it difficult to explain themselves out of the accusation which is supported by their utterances in public rallies and by their followers in Parliament. It will also be extremely difficult to convince Kenyan voters that they should expose themselves to Al Shabaab menace by supporting a referendum Raila is pursuing.
Intelligence and political analysts are of the view that CORD leadership could be in a grand conspiracy to discredit KDF role in Somalia in order to have them withdrawn leaving the country open for invasion by the terrorists. If the terrorists invaded north eastern Kenya they would rekindle secessionist quests by Somali’s and trigger similar demands by other communities to effectively dismember Kenya as a unitary state.
In a bid to discredit KDF, Raila’s cousin and deputy minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo claimed that KDF forces were charcoal smugglers in Kisimayu. His efforts to get Duale to withdraw claims that CORD and ODM were political wings of Al Shabaab flew threw parliamentary windows as many other MPs concurred.
The hostility towards KDF displayed by CORD comes after futile claims by ODM secretary general Senator Anyang’ Nyong’ that the military was involved in last year’s election rigging. Raila on his part continues to denigrate himself in the eyes of the armed forces leadership that has never forgiven him after over 1,000 young soldiers were killed in his abortive coup of August 1, 1982.
Nyong’o also claimed recently that the military barred Kenya media houses from broadcasting live the Saba Saba rally called by CORD on July 7th. Raila is reported by some of his confidants to have planned to call on the masses attending the rally to march to State House and evict President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Saba Saba agenda was a resounding fiasco following unprecedented massing of security forces in the capital city.
Meanwhile, the two star CORD/ODM general continues to widen his political isolation as much as he claims to lead a people-driven call for a referendum-cum- Okoa Raila movement. The isolation of Raila following his inciting call for conditional national dialogue failure to which he will mount a peoples revolut ion on Saba Saba day accelerated last week.
It began after he was prevailed upon to cancel the Kisii rally when Kisii ODM leaders and elders would have none of it. The Nakuru rally was cancelled after hate leaflets against his Luo people spread. But in typical double speak; Raila claimed the rallies were cancelled to allow mourning of the Mpeketoni massacre. Strangely, Raila went ahead with rallies in Kakamega and Kibra as if these were not Kenyans “allowed” by Raila to mourn.
The isolation was symbolic of a lone ranger. At Kakamega, Raila was a lonely heifer after the bullfighter Bonny Khalwale, he of the “two communities” read Kikuyu and Kalenjin, hate campaign, took flight and avoided the rally. Luhya ODM luminaries gave the dull rally a wide berth. ODM SG-elect Ababu Namwabwa and former AG now Senator Amos Wako went missing as Paul Otuoma who spoke on behalf of dissenting ODM MPs said they wanted dialogue over the disrupted ODM elections first.
“Dialogue starts at home. Let’s first put our house together before demanding dialogue with others”, Otuoma stated. Otuoma will certainly get supporters sharing the same view from the Coast region which is incensed by Raila’s dictatorial posture.
Some ODM MPs from the region last week skipped the Iftar (dinner to break the Muslim fast during Ramadhan) organised by Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, and attended by Raila as well as Wetang’ula, Senator Hassan Omar, Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi and his Nyali counterpart Hezron Awiti.
Raila was bitterly angered by the snub and blamed National Assembly Minority Whip and Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro, who was subsequently removed. Joho asked local politicians, he said have a foot in the Government and another in CORD, to quit and seek a fresh mandate “if they think they are strong on the ground.”
The fallout in CORD started last month when William Ruto visited Kwale and Kilifi counties to preside over high-profile meetings before President Uhuru Kenyatta visited Taita Taveta last week.
ODM, Ford Kenya and Wiper held separate parliamentary group meetings last week. Yesterday’s meeting was meant to establish a common resolution binding CORD members to pave way for disciplinary action against the rebels.
And there is no let up in western Kenya. Hitherto allies former speaker Kenneth Marende and Cyrus Jirongo minced no words telling Raila they would not allow him to recruit the Luhya into his “hidden agenda” through deceptive calls for national dialogue. Addressing Senator Moses Wetangula who is the only remaining Raila alter boy in western, Marende was equivocal;
“Luhyas should analyse opposition critically. These people (Wetangula) are being used by some (Raila) outside forces to take over leadership by dubious means”, he said.
In Kibera, Raila was surrounded by his motley Luo journeymen. Other than the fawning George Aladwa the dais was made up of the remains of Luo sycophants from Nyanza.
Missing in action has been Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka whose trip to China was convenient and so are all his Ukambani MPs. This would be revealed by Wiper chairman Senator David Musila when he confessed that save for Muthama, Wiper party was opposed to the rallies.
Incidentally, the schism in Cord stems from Raila’s struggle for hegemony and uses his co-principals Wetangula and Kalonzo as mere pawns. This is seen in disagreements over fielding of candidates that have resulted in a beating for the Cord parties in by-elections.
In Bonchari, Wiper was miffed that ODM fielded a candidate in a seat Kalonzo’s party sought to defend. Cord was handily given a thrashing by a huge margin of 6,000 votes. Ford People’s Zebedeo Opore got 10,947 to beat ODM’s John Oyioka 6,977 and Wiper’s Joel Onyancha 5,171.
Same as in Bungoma County in Misikhu ward by-election where Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani Coalition affiliate New Ford Kenya (NFK) inflicted another painful thrashing of Wetangula’s Ford Kenya (FK). Amani whitewashed Cord coalition when NFK’s Robert Mwembe won Misikhu Ward with a huge landslide beating FK’s Milly Masungo with over 2000 votes. Mwembe got 4120 votes against Masungo’s 1977
Mudavadi’s UDF party did even better when it merged victorious, pulling off a major coup in Jubilee heartland of Meru County where it beat both TNA, APK and ODM in Maua Ward.
That fortunes of ODM are in freefall decline is seen in the paltry hundreds of votes garnered in ward by-elections despite general Raila’s direct campaigns. Despite hosting Meru MCAs in Nairobi to ensure a win for an ODM candidate, UDF’s Duncan Kagwana Miriti emerged winner in a tough contest with 1825 votes against TNA’s 1268, APK 1004, SAFINA 752 and ODM came alt with only 46. He personally campaigned in Misikhu but the ODM candidate Aron Masinde only managed 184 votes.
If the latest ODM-CORD showing in by elections is what will drive the Referendum victory for Raila, he surely is in for a shock. Women voters are praying for the defeat of what they are calling kitendawili pepo, while the youth are more anxious to benefit from the Youth Fund and Uwezo Fund than chase empty political promises.