Ababu Namwamba, Timidity is Dangerous

winners and losers
Budalang'i Mp, Ababu Namwamba

Ababu Namwamba

By Dikembe Disembe

Today Hon. Ababu got a good platform and a great opportunity to push his case for ODM Elections. I have asked an MP who also attended the meeting and he’s told me the man was ever on his phone, on his facebook, on his WhatsApp; making inboxes and sending messages. 

Recently, in a soliloquy in the Standard entitled ‘In the Face of evil, silence is not golden’, Hon. Namwamba laboured to prove to his readers that there is no award in playing safe politics.

He invited his readers to his world, from the King of Syria to Machiavelli to Robert Green. Essentially, Mr. Namwamba was driving a very important point home: That it will be his way, or, God forbid, the highway.

Many of us in ODM, especially we ‘young people’, still do not agree with the reasons often peddled by top party honchos for bungling the Kasarani Elections. We have reason to put a brave face and tell off other political outfits in Kenya (some which are more sacco-like than parties) to mind their own businesses when it comes to internal party democracy.

Take for instance TNA. Who knows how Onyango Oloo (who recently scientifically elected Moses Kuria to parliament) became its Secretary General? Was he appointed? Was he elected? By who? and where? When?

And URP? How did they recycle the 80-year old former speaker Francis Ole Kaparo to be its chairman? Who is its SG? Where is the horn party’s offices?

I do not wish to talk about UDF as I don’t want to get in trouble with Mary (Othaya).

So, really, when recently Aden Duale spent a whole time discussing ODM as a ‘dead party’, some of us grinned. Here is the largest party in East Africa’s biggest economy and strongest democracy. Here is the only national party by ethnic and geographical distribution. Here is the only party with ideology!

But I digress. Back to Hon. Namwamba.

I am mindful of the contribution that Mr. Namwamba has made to ODM and our party leader, Hon. Raila Odinga. One such contribution, which his friends keep pointing to us using their middle finger is that ‘he swore in his name in 2007’.

Well, that happened. However, it is not the only thing which was significant during that time. In fact, it may not have been the most remarkable stuff. There were the talks at Serena, the gunshots in Kisumu and the disappearances in Rift Valley. There was also Kipkemoi Kirui, the diligent parliamentary staff whose conscience couldn’t allow him to sit well with the events at KICC that December.

We were also there; spending two months of active school time as our peers in central gulped up the secondary school syllabus. Of course, they did not reduce the university cut-off marks for us.

So, really, if it’s about sacrifice, we, ordinary people, unknown by names, did extraordinary things, survived extraordinary situations, to ensure the survival of democracy in Kenya.

Fact is, no one person, none, gave more than the rest of us.

Be all these as they may, Hon. Ababu’s agitation for the post of ODM Secretary General has clouded his mind and given him a sense of ‘first-among-equals’ that betrays him. To Ababu, reading through his recent public utterances (including the Facebook ‘shit’ from the wife), one is left with this nagging feeling of a debt not yet paid. A debt accrued from a sacrificial past.

But we all gave something.

It deeply infuriates us who supported Ababu during the February fiasco that he seems to have forgotten it wasn’t about him. It was about the team. About all of us.

And when it failed; we moved on.

I do not know when the party will conduct its national elections; all I do know is that right now isn’t the right time. There are more pressing issues ‘of the nation’, like Okoa Kenya and Pesa Mashinani. There is the Sh8 billion and another Sh.300 billion.

No party, not TNA, not URP (I don’t want to talk about UDF) is engaged in internal party matters now. All parties are sorting out ‘national issues’. So, really, Mr. Namwamba, this isn’t the time to drag us with ‘internal party elections’.

If, as you claimed, silence isn’t golden in the face of evil, why didn’t you speak today at the ODM PG? Why didn’t you make Raila Odinga ‘catch hell’ as Malcolm X would put it?

You should have told Raila Odinga to his face that you want to be SG and you want it now. Mundu-khu-Mundu. That you collected a few journalists and bribed them to write the stuff you couldn’t be man enough to say has really disappointed me. Even as I wait to read the ‘work of your mind (and money)’ in tomorrow’s dailies,know you’ve really disappointed me!

“Timidity is “dangerous”, you said. Over the weekend, you called on us young people in ODM to be bold. You told us that any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected by more audacity.

Today, Mr Namwamba, you failed to be audacious. You were not bold. You let us done.

Now, as to what you’ll do next is wholly for you to decide. Don’t hesitate generali. Remember, “We are living in times when we cannot afford to play neutral or timid”.

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And Generali, your online soldiers aren’t the type who argue out ‘below the belt’ stuff like this soberly. They behave like TNA youths from central. Matusi kila wakati. Teach them to learn to live in a big family. #WeAreOne.

Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (


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  1. I smell a rat;something must be very wrong in ODM,and by etension,CORD.Why is it that any member who has a dissenting opinion is always branded’a mole’? Raila Odinga is a very good product that is being marketet and sold by very wrong people and through archaic means.It’s high time Agwamba had seriouse lleaders like General Ababu closer to him if he really wants to be president in2017.

  2. You have the right to narrowness. Your mind seems screwed up like a jubilee mole. Ababu is not timid at all. Write facts at tyms. nktest

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