Africa-Press – Kenya. Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo wants to be the Orange Democratic Movement’s secretary general. The second-term lawmaker revealed this Friday even as claims emerged that he is a mutineer in the party.
“I am going to be the next ODM secretary general come next year. It is just a matter of time,” Odhiambo told the Star.
The legislator said he is set to meet key ODM stalwarts who are willing to endorse his bid. The ODM’s secretary general position is currently occupied by Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna.
Odhiambo did not campaign for the ODM candidate in the recently concluded South Gem by-election. An independent candidate, Brian Anyango was declared the winner of the poll outcome, trouncing ODM’s Polycarp Wanga.
The ODM campaigns had been spearheaded by Siaya Governor James Orengo and Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo. In a video currently circulating online Odhiambo is seen chiding Orengo and the rest of the ODM team following Wanga’s loss.
He says, in the video, that the ODM candidate lost the seat because he, as the area MP, was not consulted before the candidate was arrived at. Further, Odhiambo hinted at having supported Anyango who won on an independent ticket.
“Here, in Gem, if you don’t consult me then you are going nowhere. Wealthy people like Orengo, TiJi (Timothy Odende) and Abala (Abala Wanga – Kisumu city manager) spent Sh14 million. I only came for two days and my strength was felt,” Odhiambo said.
Governor Orengo and a host of Siaya MCAs have since fired political salvos saying Gem is an ODM zone, under the stewardship of party boss Raila Odinga.
Last Sunday, Orengo said they (ODM brigade) are not going to allow anyone to disrespect them in Gem. Raila’s wife, Ida Odinga, hails from Gem and Raila from Bondo; all in Siaya county. Speaking at Yala Catholic church, Orengo and team said they won’t allow Raila’s in-laws to be the first to rebel against him.
“Some people think they are the strongest. Let them ask me: I have lived in jail in Naivasha in Kamiti; the police have lashed and broke my bones. I don’t fear anybody except God,” Orengo said in apparent reference to the alleged rebels in Gem.
Despite losing the South Gem seat, a furious Orengo said non of the alleged rebels can match his winning record. “I defeated people even before I got a wife, car, house or cow to pay dowry,” Orengo said.
While making his intention of vying for the SG position known, Odhiambo challenged his critics saying there is nothing significant that they have done to grow the Orange party.
As such, he wants them to shut up; adding that he has the experience and knowledge on how to make a perfect party spokesperson and revamp the political vehicle whose engine power has been waning over the years.
Odhiambo further called on his critics to focus on development in their respective seats, instead of locking horns with him unnecessarily. The Orange party is still the most dominant in Nyanza region.
Fears are that the party could soon die or lose its political grip in the wake of heightened rebellion by its former foot soldiers; who have since pledged support for the Kenya Kwanza administration.
The rebels include former governors Okoth Obado, Evans Kidero, James Ongwae and Jack Ranguma. Also, former senator Fred Outa, former MPs Edick Anyanga and Nicholas Gumbo, and vocal Kasipul politician Odoyo Owidi.