Ken Obura(Kisumu Central),
Omondi Anyanga (Nyatike)
Jame Rege (Karachuonyo)
BY KENNETH OGOSIA
Political leaders from Luo Nyanza who have been lukewarm in supporting anti IEBC demonstrations have their careers on the chopping board.
Indications are that like the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials, set to be sacked, a number of MPs and MCAs in Luo Nyanza could also be packing their belongings.
Like the proverbial hare (Kaka sungura) Senators and Governors in the region grabbed the opportunity to jump onto the anti-IEBC band wagon led by Cord principal Raila Odinga to ensure they remained in ODM’s good books.
MPs already feeling the heat over their failure to fully participate in the anti-IEBC demonstrations include Ken Obura(Kisumu Central), Gedion Ochanda (Bondo), David Ochieng (Ugenya), Eng Jame Rege (Karachuonyo), George Oner (Rangwe), Agustino Neto (Ndhiwa), George Ndege (Suna West), Omondi Anyanga (Nyatike), Dalmas Otieno (Rongo), and Senator Machage (Migori).
In Migori, Homabay, Kisumu and Siaya Governors staged some of the most bloody riots leading to injuries and deaths.
A political analyst, Dr Stephen Oluoch, said ones development record in the region was not comparable to Mr Odinga’s change agenda and those seen to be fence-sitters waving development record cards can as well know their days are numbered.
“Some of these leaders wallow in academics of development records yet the public are focused on Raila’s presidency. The latter counts in a country where when one community gets power then all goodies are seen as belonging to that particular tribe,” Dr Oluoch said.
Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo is out of the frying pan but could land into fire for remaining aloof yet he wants to be the Siaya Governor.
He has been accused of hijacking development records of former MP Raphael Tuju and the windfall created by the tenure of Mr Odinga as Prime Minister to cast aspersions on other leaders on the reforms front line.
Opposition supporters in different parts of the country clashed with police officers as they heeded their leaders’ call to storm IEBC offices countrywide to force the electoral body’s commissioners out of office.
In Kisii, the demonstrations were led by County Governor James Ongwae and Senator Chris Obure.
“The commission cannot be trusted to oversee a free and fair election in the country. We therefore demand that it is disbanded and replaced by a new body,” said Governor Ongwae and Senator Obure said.
Governor Ongwae said the drive to disband the commission was not an opposition issue but a public one.
“It is time for the government to listen to the voice of the people. We wish to live in peace, but at the same time we must have a commission that represents the wishes and aspirations of the majority of Kenyans,” he said.
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) youth leader Eric Janganya, one of the demo’s leaders, said the party would not relent until the commission is disbanded.
“We will be back next Monday and every other Monday until the commission us disbanded,” he said.
In Kisumu, two MCAs, an activist and an ODM official are nursing serious injuries after they were allegedly beaten by anti-riot police during the anti-IEBC demos.
Nereah Okombo (Manyatta B) and nominated member Pamela Odhiambo were rushed to hospital following injuries sustained during the protest.
An unknown number of people were also injured during the protest against the IEBC. Upto six people have been killed since the demos started.
The riots attracted a bigger crowd that split itself in three groups, a change of tact that creating a challenge to the authorities.
Ms Okombo suffered head injuries after she was hit by a tear-gas canister while Ms Odhiambo was roughed up by officers from the Quick Response Team wing of the Administration Police.
Just before Ms Odhiambo was attacked by the police officers, she was standing a few meters from the IEBC Nyanza regional office washing her face after she was overwhelmed by tear gas.
The activist, George Obala, was cornered with three others and also beaten before being chased away from the scene.
He was later rushed to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital while Kisumu Central ODM Treasurer Edward Ogolla was also taken to Aga Khan Hospital for treatment.
However, the IEBC’s fate seems to have been sealed after Cord and Jubilee agreed that a Committee of Parliament should spearhead IEBC reforms.
The rules of engagement for the committee, expected to conclude its work within 30 days, include resolutions being made through two-thirds vote in matters where there is no consensus.
The teams have resolved that the committee, to be co-chaired by both sides, will have 14 members and each side will nominate seven representatives. Parliament will provide the secretariat to serve the committee, but each side will also nominate two rapporteurs backed by experts.
Prior to the tabling in Parliament of the bill arising from the deliberations, sources said it had been agreed that the leadership of the two coalitions -Uhuru and Raila- will issue a statement rallying their members to support the proposed law in the House.
The proposal is apparently informed by the fact that the two, as they are not Members of Parliament, cannot contribute from the House, unlike what then President Kibaki and Mr Odinga did in 2008 when they attended a special sitting to lobby their troops to pass the National Accord.