The dust is settling and victors are savouring their win as losers run and hide. There is tears of joy in one camp, and bitterness in the other.
Meanwhile, we have a responsibility to congratulate David Ochieng and wish him well in his new role as the MP Ugenya constituency. He deserves his win. Congratulations also go to his supporters.
The defeat of Karan is big news and has the potential of reshaping the political landscape in the entire country. It also fires a warning shot to parties in as far as running party affairs, moreso nominations is concerned.
The constitution is clear in nominations and parties have right to nominate whomever they wish. It is obvious some candidates are better than others. Parties will therefore have to balance between recruiting popular guys and holding on to founders who rightly think the party belongs to them.
The upshot is, parties must be allowed to have a life of their own. They must not be micromanaged as personal properties. Parties carry the aspirations of the people and betraying the same is akin to committing treason against the millions who subscribe to it’s ideology.
Parties do not exist in a void. There are founders. There are funders. Then there are those who sit at the fence, waiting for the opportune time to reap from where they did not sow.
Parties must design mechanisms for identifying potential leaders from the populations. The same should be approached and indoctrinated into the party ideology and if they refuse, they people must eventually be denied party tickets should they approach the party for the same at the eleventh hour.
The party will equally have an obligation of explaining to the people the reasoning behind such acts. Forcing candidates on the throats of voters will force them to revolt.
David Ochieng and Karan have a history of close fought battles. In the last general elections, The difference between them was a mere 300 votes. It was bitter and had to end up in the courts.
Just before the elections, The party had seen it right to give Karan the ticket, disenfranchising thousands who had hopes in Ochieng.
Karan should have read the mood on the ground and it was incumbent upon him to work to turn the tide in his favour.
Instead he went and sat pretty, isolated himself from the people and even became closer to the party. This even further isolated the people from him.
Meanwhile, Ochieng, knowing that he stood a good chance at winning in the courts, continued endearing himself to the people. Politics is about being smart and on this Karan was bested
Karan failed to read the mood of the people. He failed to appreciate the danger he was in. He failed to anticipate and therefore could not appropriately design his campaign to meet the challenges.
He also failed to appreciate that the election was going to be won on turn out. He did not put measures in place to ensure people came out to vote. 30% of people who voted in the last elections did not turn out for the repeat.
Looking at how close the last contest was, his hopes lay in the this group, a group that did not turn out. It would be correct to say this group did not turn out because Karan did not inspire them. They did not see any need to help him defend himself
It was his duty to design campaign messaging lines. ODM bigwigs are in Nairobi and cannot appreciate the local dilemmas people are trapped in. He had to be a good conductor of his campaign choir. What we had was a cacophony of mismatched voices.
Karan has failed himself . He has failed the party and the wider luo community.
He did not appreciate David Ochieng’s potential and therefore did not tweak his messaging appropriately.
It was Karan’s duty to bring his contingent up to speed with issues pertinent to the people…instead he turned the campaigns into a dance-fest featuring Makamu..
The verdict is out and it is clear the people no longer buy noise.
It is almost impossible to beat an incumbent! They win 85% of the time with modern democracies going as high as 98%. Incumbents win all the time besides they have a lot going for them.
Incumbents who lose, lose because of their personal failure. They fail to communicate clearly and that’s exactly what happened in Karans case. He failed to rise on recognition which comes with office. He failed himself, the party and the wider luo community. He has exposed his people to ridicule.
Political mercenaries are now out insulting luo leadership, maybe rightly so. Strangers are taking credit, and millenials with limited history are joining in the insults, not appreciating the danger the luo community has weathered in post independent Kenya.