How Odinga’s Azimio consigned Ababu and Washiali into political oblivion

Ababu Nmwamba with DP William Ruto campaigning in Busia just before Christmas in December 2021

A senior Busia County ODM branch official Peter Khasamule Odima said: “It must not be forgotten that this is a man whose political career was natured by none other than Raila Odinga, the Azimio la Umoja architect. The naturing saw Ababu Namwamba rise from zero in politics as a young obscure lawyer to becoming the ODM Secretary-General

By The Weekly Vision Online

Presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his powerful Azimio movement are already sweeping political opponents in the former Western Province into political oblivion, especially sitting and even former Members of Parliament (MPs).

Indications on the ground clearly show that the movement is not going to spare those aspiring for elective positions like Senatorial, Governors, Women Reps and even Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs) on different political formation, away from Azimio. Some of the victims have already thrown in the towel, declaring that they are either not going to contest or defend their seats in this year elections for fear of being humiliated at the polls.

Former Cabinet Minister and Budalang’i constituency legislator Ababu Namwamba and Mumias East Legislator Bernard Washiali have already publicly declared they will not contest for any posts, many more are expected to follow as the Azimio movement hurtles towards the August 2022 election date. Ababu Namwamba had earlier shown an interest in reclaiming his former Budalang’i seat from current MP Raphael Wanjala on United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket, but Azimio seems to have forced him out.

Raila Odinga in Bukhungu, Kakamega Coutny

The former legislator backtracked soon after he made the declaration obviously fearing a humiliating defeat. Multiple sources within the UDA party divulged to The Weekly Vision Online that Mr Namwamba is now planning to concentrate his energies to campaign for DP William Ruto.

A senior Busia County ODM branch official Peter Khasamule Odima said: “It must not be forgotten that this is a man whose political career was natured by none other than Raila Odinga, the Azimio la Umoja architect. The naturing saw Ababu Namwamba rise from zero in politics as a young obscure lawyer to become the ODM Secretary-General, one the country’s top two powerful political parties.”

Busia’s Budalang’i is a constituency that is heavily populated by people from the Luo community where they have lived since time immemorial and only found themselves in the former larger Busia District when the colonial government curved out boundaries that now make Siaya and Busia-Peter Khasamule Odima

 Mr Odima an expert on Busia County politics said that Mr Namwamba committed political suicide when he decided to abandon ODM to join the Jubilee coalition after being lured by DP Ruto. That is why he was beaten easily by Hon Wanjala who had moved from Ford Kenya to ODM soon after Ababu abandoned the party for Jubilee. ” Mr Namwamba’s early meteoric political rise was pegged on the influence the Luo people in Budalang’i constituency, you can only under-estimate their influence at your own peril,” said Odima.

MP Ben Washiali with DP William Ruto

He said that apart from being neighbours to Siaya County, Busia’s Budalang’i is a constituency that is heavily populated by people from the Luo community where they have lived since time immemorial and only found themselves in the former larger Busia District when the colonial government curved out boundaries that now make Siaya and Busia. The other critical point is the fact that the Banyala people and their Luo counterparts have heavily inter-married over the years, they speak both Kinyala and Kijaluo simultaneously to the extent that an outsider may not easily differentiate who is Luo or Manyala. The ODM Busia County branch official said: “Forget about Ababu, today even at the branch level, we do not have room for him after he betrayed the entire party organ.”

In Mumias East, legislator Ben Washiali also finds himself in the raging Azimio tornado, a powerful storm that has forced him to steer clear from defending his MP’s seat at this year’s general elections. The legislator who is notoriously known among his colleagues as having an unquenchable hunger for money is also widely known to be one of DP Ruto’s die-hard supporters in the National Assembly.

Unfortunately for him, Mr Washiali has this time round found himself in the Azimio storm that is sweeping western Kenya, he also faces the realization that he will be facing a humiliating defeat. “It is this realization that that has forced him out,” said Rodgers Murunga a veteran political leader and analyst from the Mumias.

Mr Murunga said that those who are still stuck with UDA should have learnt their lessons after the Matungu East by-elections last year in which the party’s candidate came a distant third with a paltry number of votes compared to the eventual winner despite DP Ruto having campaigned for him on many occasions, flooding the constituency with huge amounts of money.

The winner Joseph Nabulindo on Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) ticket has now declared his support for the Azimio tornado to save his fledgling political career from being doomed to oblivion. It has also emerged that Hon. Namwamba and Ben Washiali have been given the mandate to manage DP Ruto’s presidential campaigns in the former western province. Sources say that the understanding is that in case the DP bags the Presidency, one of them will be nominated to the National Assembly while the other one will be in Ruto’s cabinet as CS.

Their mandate has been divided into two to cover parts of the former Western Province Counties, with Namwamba being in charge of Busia County and parts of Vihiga while Washiali takes charge of Kakamega County and another section of Vihiga. The others like Bungoma and Trans Nzoia have been slotted to other personalities from the region to take charge of Ruto’s interests.

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