I AM IN CONTROL OF ODM - RAILA

Written By Michael Maunda on Saturday, November 8, 2014 | 11:41 PM

ALL IS WELL: Funyula MP Paul Otuoma and Cord leader Raila Odinga at Aga Khan Hospital yesterday where they visited Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang?ula.Photo/Maurice Alal
ALL IS WELL: Funyula MP Paul Otuoma and Cord leader Raila Odinga at Aga Khan Hospital yesterday where they visited Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula.Photo/Maurice Alal
 
CORD leader Raila Odinga yesterday rebuffed critics questioning his grip of ODM and maintained he is in full command, even as some politicians upped calls for internal elections to fix what they called ruinous mismanagement. 

Polls do appear to be in the offing, perhaps early next year, as the National Governing Council is to meet late this month to set a date.

“May you rest assured that ODM is alive and will not disintegrate,” Raila told thousands of supporters in Kisumu's Kondele grounds.

“I call on you not to panic as I am in control of the party. Nothing will go unresolved. The swelling of frogs cannot deter cows from drinking water.” 

The Orange party leader downplayed mounting assertions that the country's single largest political entity was headed for disintegration, terming them wishful thinking by his opponents.  But several MPs speaking in Mombasa told Raila he needs to clean up the party "mess" and schedule new internal elections.

The last party polls were broken up on February 28 by hired "Men in Black" as a younger generation of leaders appeared poised to take over from the old guard. They have not been rescheduled.  The outspoken MPs includeAbabu Namwamba (Budalangi), Manson Nyamweya (South Mugirango), Ken Obura (Kisumu Central) and Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South).

  They spoke to the press after a meeting of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, which Namwamba heads.  “ODM is like a beautiful apartment block.

Our duty is to ensure  we clean up this house — we fix roof, fix the floors and make sure that we keep the tenants within and attract even more people,” Namwamba said.  “It is symptomatic of systemic failure and institutional collapse. We have a responsibility as a party to arrest this malaise.
That is why I am calling upon my party leader, whom we all support, to take firm control and lead us on a path to clean up this mess," he said. 

In Kisumu, Raila tried to reassure his ODM supporters at a time of crisis following the physical assault and ejection of  executive director Magerer Lang'at from office last week and claims that party rebels are plotting a breakaway party  Raila was accompanied by Senators Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma) and Bonny Khalwale (Kakamega). Wetang'ula had been discharged from hospital in Kisumu where he was treated after collapsing. He said it was caused by fatigue. 

Raila addressed the crowd as it emerged he could have given the nod for fresh polls, overruling hardliners supposedly opposed to leadership change in ODM.  In the clearest indication that repeat polls could be held soon, the National Governing Council will met on November 28 to set the date for elections. It brings together governors, senators, MPs, women and youth leaders.

"The National Executive Committee agreed that the governing council be convened to plan elections, so these matters can be put behind us and we can  focus on strengthening the party,"  an NEC member told the Star on the phone. 

Speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, he said elections are likely to be held early next year though people surrounding Raila want them delayed to mid-2015. 
The Star has independently established that supporters of the status quo were behind the hounding out of Magerer Lang'at to take control of the delegates register because they fear elections. 

The position of chief executive officers is powerful because he is the custodian of crucial party documents, including contentious lists of delegates ad members. 

MP Obura (Kisumu Central) told the Star in an interview: "A small clique of individuals who fear internal elections are hell-bent in scuttling party polls as long as they are the ones in charge.”  “Anybody who opposes them is branded a mole. That is dangerous for the party. Only proper elections will salvage the party,” he said.

  MP Nyamweya said:    “I urge the party leader to spend much more time in ODM than dealing with Cord affairs, unless the coalition will be transformed into a political party."  MP Onyonka said it is high time Raila took charge and called for elections to rebrand and reposition ODM as a party for the future.

Otherwise, the party is "doomed," he said.  “We are aware that the process of ousting Magerer in that uncouth manner is a precursor for the elections to be rigged. The party is getting finished because some people don't want to listen to divergent opinions,” he told the Star on phone. 

Meanwhile, Magerer has told the Star he will probably not honour the party summons to appear on Tuesday before tuesday before a disciplinary committee looking into the troubles at Orange House, the ODM headquarters.  “I am not aware of the summons. I will make up my mind after reading it, but from the way things are going, I might not honour it."

Source: the star