–No room for Speaker and County Assembly leaders as the ODM Party kicks off nation-wide membership drive with Siaya rally
By Godfrey Wanzala
The beleaguered Siaya Speaker George Okode and his Assembly have taken plenty of blows, but the contempt served upon them by the Azimio Coalition Leader was the most inflicting, especially for a man who runs Siaya County Assembly with fiat for self-protection like Gaius Caligula did to the Romans.
During the launch of ODM membership recruitment and verification drive at the Awelo Grounds in Siaya, Mr. Odinga gave the speaker and Siaya MCAs a wide berth by neither acknowledging their presence nor granting them the chance to speak in his function.
Our reporter can authoritatively confirm that Mr. Odinga is not happy with Mr. Okode and the MCAs after the much published outcry by Siaya residents that they (MCAs) were sabotaging the County’s development because of their insatiable greed. At the time, the MCAs were trying to cajole Governor Orengo to award them 15m worth of tenders each.
It is reported that a furious Mr. Odinga called the speaker Okode and chastised him for propagating discord in Siaya. Since then, the speaker has worn a forlorn figure, even as he outwardly tries to project an all-is-well face. His woes are further compounded by the DCI, KRA, KEBS and EACC who have all zeroed on his Victoria Comfort Hotel and Otro Club for investigation of possible economic crimes.
Prior to Mr. Odinga’s arrival at the venue there appeared to be a serious standoff pitting the protocol officers against the MCAs after the latter were denied access to the dais, allegedly from Mr. Odinga’s firm instructions.
The MCAs who tried to speak before Mr. Odinga’s arrival, were all booed off the stage except Hon. Madialo and Hon. Otare who are regarded to be supporting Orengo’s agenda.
The leaders who addressed the really included Mr. Odinga, Governors Orengo and Prof. Nyong’o, Prof. Wajakoya, Senator Oburu, Hon. Wandayi who is the minority leader in the National Assembly, MPs Hon. Otiende Amollo, Hon. Nyikal, Hon. Ombaka and Hon. Atandi. Hon. Wandayi also introduced Hon. Moses Ogeto, the Majority Chief in Nairobi County Assembly and Hon. Wilfred Ondalo the Chairman of the Finance Committee. Ordinarily, it is the speaker Okode who would be introducing the two guest MCAs.
Immediately the leaders finished addressing the well attended rally, Mr. Odinga and the leaders rose up to leave, much to the bewilderment of Mr. Okode who was expecting to be given a chance to speak and introduce the Siaya MCAs present.
This was a departure from usual county functions where Okode has always transformed himself into the Master of Ceremony, dominating the event senselessly as was witnessed during the recent Community Health Promoter’s kitting event held at the Governor’s residence. The Speaker dominated the event much to the chagrin of Mama Ida who was the Chief Guest who had to speak while it was raining, having to wait for Okode for nearly one hour. Similar insensitivity to protocol was witnessed during the swearing-in of Chief Officers, CECM Water and Board Members of the Ugunja and Bondo Municipalities.
Conspicuously missing was East Asembo MCA, Hon. Onguru of UDM party who reportedly steered clear of the function fearing that what befell him in Ukwala where angry mourners bayed for his blood during the burial of Mama Musando could again implode on him at the rally.