, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5 – The Orange Democratic Movement has approved a new list of the party leadership that installs Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba as the new Secretary General.
The move brings to an end nine months of uncertainty in the orange party following the botched election in February.
In his acceptance speech, Namwamba said the new team which he christened ‘Collabo Kali’ is up to the task to rejuvenate the party’s popularity in the grassroots.
“If indeed we needed a test of the strength of the character of this movement and the mettle of this great party the last 10 months has done exactly that and that is the spirit that has brought us this far,” he said.
His immediate predecessor, Kisumu County Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o said he was glad to be handing over to a youthful and energetic team after having served in the position since the party’s inception nine years ago.
“I have done some work for this party, and you know it. Every time I have done something it may not have pleased everybody but I did it in the name of the party,” he told the delegates.
Nyong’o added: “Ababu Namwamba, let me tell you something, as a Secretary General you will have to bare a lot of burden, you will be a beast of burden, because you must protect the party leader and you must protect the party and the members will expect you to keep going.”
Deputy Party Leader, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, and National Chairman Suba MP John Mbadi said the new leadership extended an olive branch to a section of ODM leaders who opposed the party’s new list released after the party’s National Executive Council meeting in Naivasha two weeks ago.
Party leader Raila Odinga on his part said the endorsement of the new team is clear testament that there is need for negotiated democracy in the running of political parties.
“February 28 was our lowest moment as a party, it gave political pundits and our competitors alike, an opportunity to write our obituary for the last nine months today we have put them to shame to tell them ODM has risen from the ashes to become stronger and stronger again.”
The NGC is made up of 47 county chairpersons, Council of ODM Governors, Senators and Members of the National Assembly. It is also made up of NEC (national officials), 20 national representatives of the Youth League and 20 national officials representing the Women League. Members of County Assemblies are not part of this team unless they are officials in the two leagues.
Namwamba fiercely fought for the position with nominated Senator Agnes Zani who was associated with a rival camp said to be favoured by Odinga. In the proposed new line-up, Zani and nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro have been named deputies to the Secretary General.
In the lead-up to the bungled polls, Namwamba’s camp had Joho and Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok, who is designated as one of the two deputy national chairmen.
The other deputy national chairman is Funyula MP Paul Otuoma, who is among those who have rejected the list and demanded competitive elections.