A visit to Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) website will leave you inspired. It’s filled with messages of hope and love for country. ODM, to a stranger, is the party to join as it captures the aspirations of all Kenyans. As the Eternal Party Leader puts it:
If they believe in defending the Constitution, they belong in ODM.
If they believe in a Kenya free of corruption and impunity, they belong in ODM.
If they believe that devolution is the way to go, that counties must be protected and not undermined, ODM is the place for them
From the outset, ODM is the Political Party to join. Sadly, ODM happens to be everything but what it claims to be. Before you ask why I picked on instead of Labour Party of Kenya, for instance, know this: ODM is hawked from one rally to the next as the best and (in some regions) as the only option. Their incessant “holier than thou” message is provoking.
You are expected to accept ODM as the beacon of democracy, when it stinks dictatorship. You are to believe its leadership is the most visionary, when all they exhibit is the basest version of retrogression. You are to find sound policies in a heap of disorganization.
So, without wasting another second, let’s look at a few instances of double standards in ODM…
ODM claims to be a democratic movement. In fact, they move as if they were unique. In Kenya and beyond, ODM is sold as the only real political party. And it doesn’t stop there; ODM allegedly believes in social democracy. For those who don’t have a clue, social democracy is advocating a gradual and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means. Put differently, it’s a democratic welfare state that incorporates both capitalist and socialist practices.
Assuming that all ODM members know what social democracy is, do they practice it? I mean, is ODM democratic as they insist? I don’t think so! Looking for instances of democracy in the party is akin to finding water in hell. From bungled nominations to militant opposition to divergent views, ODM is the undisputed headquarter of political double standards in Kenya.
Dear reader, listing all instances of dictatorship in ODM would require acres of pages. So, I ask you to revisit a classic case of bungled nominations (i.e. The 2015 Homa Bay Senatorial By-elections). Please flashback to drama at Kasarani (Feb 2014) for a sample of botched party elections. And don’t forget what Hon. Magerer went through (OCT. 2014) for holding divergent views.
Nothing interests more than listening to an honey-tongued ODM leader give a lecture on leadership and integrity. You’d be nothing but humbled, if not hypnotized. But disappointment awaits you, should you choose to find out if there is anything to back the flowery lectures. ODM leadership is known for incompetence and corruption. Forget their so called anti-graft crusades, ODM is simply playing politics.
Not only do they lack the moral authority to speak against poor leadership, they are the last people group who should preach about integrity. In more than several instances, ODM has shamelessly defended people accused of corruption (Governor Kingi of Kilifi), stood in solidarity with hate-mongers (Muthama, Junet et al) and cheered inciters (Aladwa and Co).
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According to ODM, corruption can only happen in Jubilee. Any accusation against the Party Leader is quickly labelled as political witch-hunt by the same bunch that would believe every weird allegations against Uhuruto (evidence or none). Their Governors are whistle-blowers and should be emulated, but everyone else is treated as suspect and must step aside.
ODM MPs would skip parliament sessions, spend their days dancing in funerals only to blame Jubilee’s tyranny of numbers for the passage of an ‘unpopular bill’. Check their record, they rarely table bills in parliament and when they do, it’s personal. Their excuse, they lack the numbers.
To them, the Constitution can only be followed when it’s convenient. ODM has no problem using extra-constitutional means to have their way. Remember the violent “IEBC Must go” demos? Well, that’s how much ODM believes in the rule of law.
1. ODM, under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, seems to operate on a Zero Contact with the government. They have succeeded in painting Jubilee, not as a political opponent, but as an enemy. That is why most supporters will find you uncouth, bitter, lazy, traitor and a mole if you appear to even remotely support Jubilee. Surprisingly, the Party Leader can dine and feast with the ‘enemy’ at his place of choosing amid cheers.
If you saw them heckle Kidero, discriminate against Mungaro or insult Alai..it must have something to do with them visiting the statehouse or smiling with Uhuru. Remember, only the party leader can interact with the enemy because ‘Baba knows what he is doing’.
2. Fundraisers (aka Harambees) are backward and incapable of uplifting communities. They remain avenues for theft and money laundering. ODM leaders, ironically, conduct fundraisers. Just that theirs is a wonderful idea..something that should be embraced. Harambees are bad when Ruto/Kidero are involved but godsend when Raila/Loyalist is in charge.
3. It doesn’t matter your crime, anyone who defects to ODM or declares support for the ODM leader, instantly becomes a clean reformer. Remember Kalonzo Musyoka? The one they used to call a wishy-washy traitor? Well, he is currently a bold reformer. Since he joined Raila. I hope he doesn’t leave because he will be renamed a watermelon.
Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth were ‘liberated Kikuyus’ and even received a standing ovation when they joined the Okoa Kenya Initiative. That ended when they endorsed Uhuru’s reelection. Today, they are ‘unprincipled Kikuyus’ among other ugly attributes.
4. In case you’ve forgotten, there was a time ODM leaders were combing Western Kenyan, parading as the voice of the voiceless sugar farmers. They were against an imagined plan to import sugar from Uganda. ODM went on and on explaining how such a move would kill the local sugar industry. They looked too genuine to doubt.
A few months later, they all trooped to Mombasa to defend their Deputy Party Leader, who was allegedly illegally importing cheap sugar into the country. Note that ODM leadership didn’t deny the importation of sugar, they sanitized the business. Somehow, they forgot there was a local sugar industry to protect.
If ODM claims to have a toolbox to unite this country, laugh that off and remember that the likes of Aladwa, Muthama, Khalwale were heroes among ODM supporters because they were ‘bold enough’ to speak against the ‘wrong community’.
If the Party promises you mature and peaceful politics, shake your head so hard in protest and refer to the recent Homa Bay Armageddon that saw Hon. Kaluma fall under heavy jabs from Dr. Washington (an aspirant) as ODM Party Leader watches. By the way, Homa Bay Governor spent time weeping like a widow.
I could continue till kingdom come. Just know that, unless our friends practice what they preach, there will always be an exodus of leaders and staunch supporters from ODM. As Mandela said:
When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw
Feel free to share more instances of double standards in ODM via the comment box below.