I’m writing this piece to express my displeasure in the manner nomination matters are currently handled in our party. In particular, I’m writing to demand an explanation on what is happening in my constituency, Ruaraka.
Ruaraka is one of the constituencies that came to life after the passing of the new constitution. Together with Roysambu, Interim Independent Boundaries Commission divested it from the larger Kasarani constituency, which was once led by the late Adolph Muchiri and afterward William Omondi and Elizabeth Ongoro.
Ruaraka is the bedrock of ODM in Nairobi, as it is one of the two constituencies that delivered all the five wards to the Orange party, the other being Lang’ata constituency. Also though the defunct Kasarani had two successive MPs allied to Raila, yet Jubilee leads Ruaraka’s other two siblings. The loyalty of the party supporters in this constituency is unquestionable.
“We are asking the party to intervene and give us a liberal candidate, and not those praying to sip from the Cup of Absolute Power one more time. We would like to see young people offered equal opportunities in the party like women and old guards.” – Walter
This geographical area has often attracted a host of aspirants. In 2002, there was a host of candidates including the current Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang, William Omondi and Adolph Muchiri who was then defending his seat. Omondi carried the day but based on the agreement of sharing the then eight Nairobi parliamentary seats between NAK and LDP of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).
In 2007, the race even got stiffer, with the Hon. Elizabeth Ongoro, Roslyn Okumu, and TJ Kajwang both eyeing to unseat Hon. William Omondi. We recall that nominations at Mathare 4A turned chaotic and the entire process disrupted. While Roslyn Okumu seemed to have won the nomination in the other wards, the party denied her the certificate to the chagrin of her supporters and Hon. Ongoro was assigned the orange flag to face off with the PNU mandarins and affiliate parties.
In 2013, we had the former Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa, Eng. Opiyo (aka Nyorosha), Geoffrey Owino (aka Mwangaza), and the current MP both eyeing the seat.
As you can see, in all the three previous elections, Ruaraka has attracted quite a number of aspirants on Raila’s party ticket. We are therefore surprised that this year we only have TJ and Senator Ongoro on our party ticket. Earlier, the youthful Jim Clement Ayungo, the former National Youth Council Chairman, had expressed interest and had made inroads in all the five wards of the constituency. However, he retreated citing bias within the party.
We now face the prospects of choosing to continue with the unpopular TJ or revert to the old pitiful Ongoro. Neither of the two candidates has the charisma, gusto, and bravado possessed by the energetic Ayungo.
Hon. Senator Ongoro is known to play aggressive politics of pitting youths against fellow young people. TJ is also known for his violent nature. As I write this, we are mourning a young person who succumbed to a fatal stub. It is hardly a month since Ongoro declared her interest and we are witnessing death, and other youths are in police cells. Is this the politics our party ascribes to?
What is happening in Ruaraka is not different from what we saw in Gatundu South in 2014. I imagine a puissant hand controlling things in Ruaraka, and I want to say that it is doing more harm than good to our first agenda, toppling the Jubilee Government. Indeed if the “D” in our party’s abbreviation means what is purported, there would have been a level ground, and more aspirants would have contested the Ruaraka seat. But it seems the Orange party has already determined that it is a Mitumba that will lead Ruaraka.
For young people like me, who have watched TJ segregate the people of Ruaraka, turning it to a small Homabay County, we cannot line up to vote him. We cannot vote a man who judges us by the geographical regions we come from; one who has neglected not only other tribes in Ruaraka but also Luos from the other three counties. A man who cannot point a single project that he has started and completed with the over Kshs. 400 million Ruaraka has received over the past four financial years.
But neither can we vote an old lady with a lifetime of scandals and corruption as her name tag, a husband barterer and one who only sees violence as the right way through an impasse. We will not elect a woman who is not here to serve the people, but desperate for dominance and power that she would rather see her constituents, the very people she expects to elect her, die than let go her pursuit.
It is us young people that fight for Raila. It is us who attend rallies and demos called by the party. Then why are we discriminated against when it comes to enjoying these power that we fight for?
We are asking the party to intervene and give us a liberal candidate, and not those praying to sip from the Cup of Absolute Power one more time. We would like to see young people offered equal opportunities in the party like women and old guards. Failure to do this, many young Ruarakans will not any reason to their vote for the MP, which may go a long way in affecting our quest to making Raila Amollo Odinga the president of this republic.