Saturday, December 6, 2008



By Athman Amran

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka may have effectively locked out his critics from ODM-Kenya while at the same time attempting to quell discontent within.

Fierce critics of the party leader, MPs Kiema Kilonzo (Mutito) and Charles Kilonzo (Yatta) failed to clinch top positions at last week’s National Delegates Conference (NDC).

The two did not even attend the NDC at Kasarani, Nairobi, and according to sources, they neither sent apologies nor were they considered for any post.

Charles was said to be attending a workshop in Mombasa, while Kiema was out of the country.

But Mr David Musila, one of the four national vice chairmen, said Kiema sent delegates to the conference. But neither had signed forms expressing interest in any national party seat.

The two have fought Kalonzo since the beginning of the year when it emerged the VP ignored their list of nominated councillors.

They openly allied themselves with Kalonzo rivals — ODM party leader, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Narc leader Charity Ngilu and Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya leader Harun Mwau.

Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti of Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) also joined forces with them.

At one point, Kiema boasted he was galvanising countrywide grassroots support to oust Kalonzo allies at the conference.

Musila, however, said last week the party wanted to mend fences with the two MPs.

"There are 13 party positions, which the National Executive Council was given the mandate to fill," Musila said.

First national vice-chairman Joe Khamisi says the NEC meeting may be held this week, and the ‘Summit’ reconstituted.

Summit members will comprise members from the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) and the National Labour Party of Kenya (NLPK), which are allied to ODM-Kenya.

And as the party handed over its papers for registration with the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), it legally got rid of chairman Daniel Maanzo. In Maanzo’s place is now Information minister Samuel Poghisio. Maanzo told The Standard on Sunday as a civil servant he could not comment on politics.

"So long as they have complied with the law, that is okay," he said.


Maanzo handed over ODM-Kenya to Kalonzo last year after the VP and Raila split over leadership wrangles. This was just before the party’s presidential nominations. Later it emerged that Maanzo and LPK leader Dr Julia Ojiambo were at war with Kalonzo for not nominating them to Parliament as promised.

Maanzo had stepped down from the Makueni parliamentary race for Peter Kiilu, who went on to clinch it in last year’s General Election. He was allegedly promised nomination to the august House. The two ODM-Kenya nomination slots went to Mohammed Affey and Shakila Abdalla instead.

Maanzo now has no leverage over Kalonzo.

Another affected party critic is Mr Fred Muteti. He was the party’s national coordinator until allegations he was passing party secrets to Raila surfaced. Muteti, who has denied the allegations, had also been personal assistant to ODM-Kenya secretary-general Mutula Kilonzo.

Former party youth leader Anthony Kibagendi, whose party Vijana Progressive Alliance had gone into an alliance with ODM-Kenya last year, is also out.

"I cannot work with Kalonzo because he does not care for the youths and women," he says.

It is now only Ojiambo’s party and Kitutu Masaba MP Walter Nyambati’s NLPK, which are ODM-K’s coalition partners.


Some Coast delegates are however still grumbling after Khamisi failed to clinch the party’s chairmanship from Poghisio.

Khamisi now has to wait for five years when another election will be held as per the party constitution.

However, 21 ODM-K branch chairmen at the Coast will meet on December 13 to discuss the way forward.

Khamisi says Kalonzo will meet Coast party delegates in January "to heal wounds".

Sources within the party want Poghisio to step down after being sued for allegedly falsifying mileage claims. Musila is also among sitting and former MPs taken to court by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.

It was a relief for those who were not happy with the nominations of Affey and Shakila when the two failed to get any party post.

Shakila failed to retain her seat when Jennifer Massis from Rift Valley staked a claim on it.

Hussein Sasura, who did not attend the NDC, was the compromise candidate after North Eastern Province delegates were said to have rejected Affey.