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Friday, October 12, 2007

Cabinet Minister John Koech’s Defection To ODM: What Impact?

The most significant thing about the defection yesterday of Regional Co-operation Cabinet Minister John Koech is that he does not speak DhoLuo and neither does he hail from the Luo community.

The reason why this is important is because it could finally jolt President Mwai Kibaki awake to the very real danger of suffering a landslide defeat in the forthcoming general elections to a man whom many of his aides (still living in the 60s had declared unelectable). There was a time that even Kumekucha himself had many doubts as to how viable a Raila candidature for the presidency would be. The supposedly rabidly tribal Kenyan electorate has surprised as all.

Many of the same Kibaki aides have clung to the view that ODM yawa is a political party that has support only from Luo Nyanza. John Koech’s sudden and decisive move yesterday tells a different story and confirms a lot of what we have been saying here in advice in recent days to the president’s campaign team.

It has not helped matters that President Kibaki’s campaign has stubbornly stuck to a course that is clearly doomed to failure. The idea has been to spread fear in the electorate over the fact that a Raila Odinga presidency is too unpredictable to call and could easily plunge the nation into chaos and stone-throwing. That is a line the electorate have refused to buy and is increasingly sounding more and more ridiculous by the day.

The move also confirms what our information...

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Taabu said...

Koech's defection and Ngilu's before him exposes either incompetence or disregard of NSIS. An effective intelligence service must have known these moves and passed the info to the BOSS. And politics being what it is Emilio would have stole the thunder from these defectors by sacking them before they decamp. Failure to pre-empt these embarassments points to hidden HUGE VACUUM somewhere.

ODM may be in a roll but they must be a live to MURPHY's law. They would better consult Gordon Brown who was ahead of the conservatives less than a week ago and is now trailing David Cameron's party buy close to 10%. If a day in politics can be so long then 70+ days is surely a LIFETIME. One goof and your goose is fried, digested and expelled from the rear orifice.

Being number one is easier than staying there. The phrase 2007 Kenyan polls are ODM's to loose couldn't be more apt. And losing it is more cheaper than living to the present rating. That may as well with the litmus test that with ODM's handling of its nominations. They play it safe and without repproach and the political coast is clear for them to conquer. Any other gimmick will see the ODM ship develop irreperable holes that will surely sink it titatic style.

My singular fear for an ODM win is the POTENTIAL (and sure) subsequent political disintegration in the opposition.

kalamari said...

Me thinks every 'high/low' profile defection to ODM plays on the voters' psyche even when its translation in votes is not forthcoming. Every defection to ODM, even if it's Kamangu down the street, so long as it makes the news or is televised, it's good bankable news.
Now, as the pentagon wet their palates to the juicy cabinet-insider-news, they too must be wary of NSIS-behaving defectors. At the end of the day, we may discover that some of these defecting jamaas are indeed spies on covert operations. Who wouldn't pay to know which house Raila sleeps in and in which room and under what bed?

As far as the impending ODM nomination fallout, shouldn't the strategy include being the last major party to hold nominations?-no brainer. But still even if they were first, to which party would the losers decamp to? PNU? ODM-K? I have a feeling it will clearly be wiser for the losers to remain in the party likely to make the next government. It is during that time of concessions and horse trading that a dream such as ours can turn into a sleepless night. Let's be watchful who ODM accepts from the Pitiful National Union.

Vikii said...

John koech is not a very colourful politician but I admire him for one thing;his forthrightness. He does what he thinks is right and it matters very little what other people think about him. This is a guy who will not go around kissing your ass and that's just him. I remember his hand-written resignation letter faxed to "The Nation" that Friday in 1996. That is not the way to resign from Moi's government. Astonishingly, he was in office the following Monday and when asked what the hell he was doing there, he said that Kipkalya Kones had promised Moi in his presence that he will behave. His independence of mind has also seen him fired twice. That is what I call proper politics. Bootlicking politics suck.

I believe that Mwai Kibaki will not fire this guy coz he never did anything wrong (He just exercised his democratic right) and better still that is not Mwai Kibaki's style of doing things. Dishonest people here led by Chris are comparing Charity Ngilu's 'defection' with Koech's. Ngilu was not fired coz of her support for raila but for the nasty things she said about the Kibaki administration, an administration she has been at the centre of for the last five years. She said inexcusable stuff.One of the reasons she gives is the firing of the LDP ministers. I can quote in Swahili the very abusive language she used against the LDP men at a rally I attended. She always told kibaki to fire them. In short, she deserved to be fired, john Koech doesnt although he is a man who feels Kibaki did not need to hire ministers from the opposition.--Why he didnt turn down the offer, I do not know.

What I dont understand is how smart his move to the ODM was.Coming from a constituency being contested by 43 people all gunning for one party's ticket, he should have waited to reap from the expected fall out after the ODM nominations. I honestly dont think the ODM has what it takes to manage a possible fallout in many constituencies where the party is extremely popular. The current affinity for the party ticket will undoubtedly prove to be the party's achille's heel. They will lose seats due for that reason.

Defections per se will not win ODM power. They need votes, not defections. We had crucial defections in 2002 but the kind we are seeing today is "movements with no corresponding motions" (I am a keen note taker).I also know of an Ukambani assistant minister planning to join ODMK but I am not sure about his value. What we had in 2002 were regional kingpins themselves defecting not their apprentices. I agree that perception is everything in politics but in my opinion the kenyan voter was decided long time ago. A few fellows trying to remedy their sinking careers is a negligible distraction. Some of them will require the skills of seasoned public Relations artists to remedy the damage already caused.

John koech is not a luo, but Linah Kilimo is kikuyu huh!

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