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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 9 November 2014


There are many forms of silence between individuals, lovers, man and wife and parents and offspring.
All silences speak volumes. But political silences speak loudest, especially those between national figures and their confidants or chief strategists.
The silence emanating from Senator James Orengo and Cord supremo Raila Odinga is the resounding type.
Not a squeak or even a word has been heard from Orengo in recent weeks as Raila wobbles and slowly loses his grip on  ODM and Cord.
Orengo’s studious silence has many diehards in the opposition worried. But one man, who stands heads and shoulders above millions of Kenyans, is the most worried; Raila.
Raila is enough of a judge of character and personality to be aware that Orengo’s total silence, like proverbial still waters, runs  deep.
From where Raila is sitting, Orengo’s silence is both a psychological torment and a harsh judgment.
Nothing hurts a man more, particularly great leaders who have long enjoyed fanatical support and commanded multi-million vote blocs, than the silence and harsh judgment of a true friend.
Raila’s most ardent supporters and fiercest foes are agreed on one thing – he has long been bold, courageous and brave, the man without fear.
However, those closest to the man they call Baba and Jakom are noticing the Big Man is beginning to learn the meaning of real political unexpected in the face of Orengo’s massive silence.
The greatest dread that Raila is quietly undergoing is fear of what Orengo will actually say when he eventually breaks his silence.
The judgmental quotient in Orengo’s silence against the opposition supremo has two layers of fear on Raila.
The first layer is the fear that he has been weighed by Orengo after the third defeat in the presidential polls and been found wanting. Two of those three failures have been consecutive; 2007 and 2013.
The second layer of fear is that Orengo now considers Raila unable of commanding anymore the votes he has gathered in his last two bids for State House. Raila’s greatest fear however is that Orengo will, any day now, pronounce him to be unworthy of carrying the opposition’s hopes for change.
All these fears await Orengo’s big declaration. It is being said deep in diplomatic, intelligence and media circles that if Orengo were to betray Raila early in 2015 by declaring him unfit to shoulder the opposition’s great expectations, the resultant split would be fatal to 2017 anti-Jubilee efforts.
The intelligence community in particular is increasingly convinced that if Orengo were, like former Odinga personal aide Miguna Miguna, to write an explosive tell-all book on the opposition supremo, it would be the leader’s end long before 2017.
  When the Orange Democratic Movement sabotaged its own national delegates convention and internal elections on February 28 2014, it did not know what it was doing.
The ejection of Magerer Lang’at from an ODM meeting was the straw that broke the ODM camel’s back.
Lang’at, the party’s executive director was forcibly evicted from a party leaders’ meeting by rowdy MCAs in full view of Raila and secretary general Anyang’ Nyong’o.
After Magerer’s humiliation and Raila-Nyong’o’s reaction, politicians started openly challenging Raila’s leadership of both the party and the coalition. Others are conducting themselves as if he is not there.
Ababu Namwamba, whose bid for ODM secretary general was torpedoed by the men in black episode at Kasarani in February, paid Raila back in his own coin when, as chair of parliament’s public accounts committee, rubbished the leader’s claims about how Sh15 billion was carted away from the Central Bank of Kenya in the transition from the grand coalition government to the Jubilee administration.
And it  has emerged that, behind the Okoa Kenya referendum campaign is another political  scheme –Raila’s allies have quietly registered a new party.