The dust is settling and it is time for those counterfactual thoughts. And they’re aplenty. The Ugenya debacle has left many egos bruised and it is now time to apportion blames.
ODM insiders say the moment Jubilee failed to present a candidate for Embakasi, Sumra was a beaten man. He did his best but many odds were stacked against him. Tribal dynamics were greatly at play.
Ugenya looked a clear cut case and it was deemed fit that the leader of Minority in the Senate take the lead in campaigning for the party.
James Orengo comes from the area and has fanatical following. Orengo is the kind of guy who can win an election without campaigning. He is revered and loved in equal measure.
James Orengo and David Ochieng share a bitter history. In 2002, Karan was the most popular candidate in Ugenya but it was Orengo who shortchanged him and gave the ticket to little known Ochieng.
Ochieng being a smart guy, worked his way around the constituency and endeared himself to the electorate, wining their hearts. He soon saw no need to continue kowtowing to Orengo and they fell out.
Meanwhile Karan, still smarting from being denied the ticket kept away from the people, waiting for the 2017 elections to take what was rightfully his, or so, he thought.
The 2017 nominations came and Karan narrowly beat Ochieng for the ticket. There was no imposition by the party. Karan beat him! Narrowly though. Ochieng would not take it lying down and came back with an alternative party. When the votes were counted, The difference between them was a mere 300 votes. Karan had won again.
Courts came and the rest is now making history. Karan has been his own enemy. Colleagues say he was very disorganised in the campaigns, always leaving his team in the dark. Karan did not even have one minute, I repeat, ONE minute, for party agents.
It is party agents who protect the integrity of all ballots. It is a surprise too, that Orengo did not push to meet the party agents, his agents! An agent is the eye of the party, left exposed, all cards fall.
I want to posit that it was the duty of Orengo as the senior guy to organise things and put karan’s political house in order.
Karan did not have talking points. His rallies were haphazard with guests grappling in the dark, looking for what to say to keen voters. Agnes Zani came all the way from the Coast but all she was treated to were crazy dances by one Makamu. In the absence of local talking points, she had to go national!
Orengo had a simple duty! Sit Karan down and have him straighten his game. Karan’s win was going to be his win! Perhaps Orengo did not realize that the Ugenya election was a watershed moment for him.
Many people are looking upto him to step into Raila’s shoes. He is increasingly becoming the go to guy. His new office gives him gravitas and all he had to do was throw his weight around for things to take shape
Questions will obviously be asked as to whether he is safe to be entrusted with sensitive missions.
Orengo had a simple duty! Sit Karan down and have him straighten his game. Karan’s win was going to be his win! Perhaps Orengo did not realize that the Ugenya election was a watershed moment for him
The time for counterfactuals is now and the same must be used to shape the party’s approach to future elections.
Ochieng’s win leaves his credibility seriously dented and he has to seriously look at how political lieutenants below him carry themselves. His political capital is eroded and he has to work to ensure nothing of the sort happens again.