By our investigative reporter In Homa-BAY Town

The CORD leader Raila Odinga’s weekend trip to the Southern Nyanza region met with a mixed reception that the ODM supremo would very much like to forget quickly.

Raila’s team of his close confidants and political crones visited Homa-BAY county last weekend. They were among the thousands of mourners who attended the burial of ex-senior Chief Omolo Anditi at Wanyama village in Rusinga Island last Friday.

The team also attended the burial of the former Planning Minister Dr Paul Adhu Awiti at his pala Kanjira village in Karachuonyo within the Homa-Bay County in west Karachuonyo.

While en-route to Karachuonyo, Raila and his companions made a brief stop in Homa-BAY Town There, he made a futile attempt to endorse the ousted former County branch chairman of the ODM, Sen. Otieno Kajwang’, and met with the wrath of the rowdy youths who shouted anti-Kajwang’ slogans, forcing “Agwambo” to climb down from the makeshift dais and dash to the waiting car.

The youth shouted “Ogin, ogin”. Ogin is the name of the former Hoima-BAY mp Martin Otieno Ogindo, the man who was recently elected and crowned by delegates from all eight parliamentary constituencies that forms Homa-BAY county.

The group then drove on to Karachuonyo and made another brief stop at Kadel and Kandiege to drum up support for the ODM candidate Kennedy Ondiek who was an ODM official candidate in the KibirI Ward by-election. The shouting match had intensified in all the two stop-overs, with some of the youth being heard saying “Ok Wadwar Bado Kuna Mapambano” [we don’t want the inventor of Bado kuna Mapambano lyrics].

AS if the three incidents of heckling were not enough for Rala to learn that the Homa-BAY senator was not popular with the party supporters, Raila repeated the same calls to the residents to endorse Sen. Otieno Kajwang’ to continue as the County branch chairman as CORD was preparing to battle with its rival Jubilee in the forthcoming referendum.

While the CORD leader was witnessing the change of attitudes displayed by the party hitherto very loyal youth in HOMA-Bay town, Raila former Chief of Staff at his former Prime Minister’s office Karoli Omondi was firing his first salvos at his former boss at a well attended Harambee meeting at Magunga in Suba South constituency within the same Homa-Bay County.

Omondi once served as the top aide of Raila Odinga, when the latter was the Prime Minister in the LDP/PNU coalition government, headed by the retired President Mwai KIBAKI. Omondi proclaimed that the Cord coalition alliance will not lead Kenya unless it cleanses itself internally first. He added that Raila will not be the President of Kenya unless he drops his dictatorial tendencies to pick unpopular candidates without allowing the electorate to vote for the men and women of their own choice.

He rubbished Raila’s close political confidants, especially those who have been polluting the air with the now stale and endless lyrics of Bado Kuna Mapambano, adding that the party lost the last year’s elections to JUBILEE because those close political associates of Raila had became irrelevant to the electorate and lost touch with the Wananchi.

At the Kanjira home of the fallen former Karachuonyo MP, it was a total display of political might of the Odingas cronies that Raila brought with him, the entire Odinga family, members of the cronies and close political partners and associates from Siaya County. Among them were his elder brother, the nominated MP Dr Oburu Odinga, his wife Ida, his sister Ruth Adhiambo Oginga, who is the deputy governor of Kisumu County, his cousin the GEM MP Jakoyo Midiwo, his close friends Oduor Ong’wen, SIAYA Senator James Orengo, Homa-Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’.

Speakers at the MP’s funeral were discriminatingly selected. They were not chosen by the bereaved family, but by Raila’s political surrogates, who seemed to have had instruction to sideline all the MPs from the Southern Nyanza region who were present. The exemptions were the area MP Eng. James Rege and one ward representative and Kabondo Kasipul MP Silivance Oselle. Those excluded from the list of speeakers included Madame Millie Odhiambo {Mbita}, Opondo Kaluma {Homa-Bay town} , George Oner {Rangwe], Rege the area MP , former MP Mrs Phoebe Asiyo.

Also ignored were Martin Otieno Ogindo, the man who had ousted Otieno Kajwang’ from the County ODM branch chairmanship. His branch team attended the funeral, but they were also ignored.

At the rowdy HOMA-bay meeting, dissenting voices of those objecting to Raila’s dictatorial leadership in ODM were heard loud and clear. Most of them also shouted that they were ready to ditch the party for another.

It will be remembered that about three months ago, after refusing to call the County ODM branch executive committee meeting, a group of politicians from all the eight parliamentary constituencies met at the HOMA-Bay Farmer’s Training School and voted Kajwang’ out. But in defense of Kajwang’, Raila put up a spirited defense of Kajwang’, arguing that the meeting that ousted him from the branch leadership was unconstitutional because it was called only by the branch secretary, ENG. Rege, whereas the party constitution is clear that it is the responsibility of the chairman to call such a meeting and not the secretary.


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