“Words don’t explain everything,but silence never fails to mean something.”~Alan White
The former premier and the city governor say
they enjoy a cordial relationship although this has
not convinced some ODM party members who feel
that Dr Kidero could be plotting to backstab Mr
“I enjoy perfect relationship with our party leader
Raila Odinga, and there is no question about that,”
Dr Kidero told Sunday Nation.
But Mr Odinga has been accused of fomenting the
perception through his silence.
“It may just be a perception, but the popular view
right now is that Mr Odinga does not support Dr
Kidero, and his silence has only served to convince
the people,” Maseno University Political Science
Lecturer Tom Mboya––no relation––argues.
He says the Cord leader should consider speaking out
in public to end speculation.
And in a demonstration that the feeling is also within
the party, Mr Odinga attended a meeting in his Upper
Hill office this past week where he is said to have
distanced himself from claims that he could be using
his aides to frustrate Dr Kidero.
A source at the meeting said Mr Odinga assured
those assembled that there is no animosity between
the two men.
“Some party officials asked for Mr Odinga’s word on
whether sections of ODM MPs and some leaders who
have publicly chided Dr Kidero claiming he
represents interests of the Jubilee government are
acting on his instructions, but he was categorical that
he had instructed no one to throw mud at the
A similar meeting was held in Kibera, this time
around organised by some city politicians who are
not very comfortable working with the governor. And
although they could not agree on the way forward
largely because this was not a meeting sanctioned by
ODM party organs, participants agreed that there
was a need to tame Dr Kidero’s popularity among
other Cord-affiliated parties Wiper and Ford-Kenya.
“Those in ODM trying to intimidate the governor
must know that he is a product of Cord and not ODM.
They also need to know that he was a consensus
candidate, and any attack on him is an attack on
consensus. I encourage him to reach out to all
leaders for the good of the city dwellers because he
will be judged by his track record and not party
politics,” says Wiper vice-chairman Mohamed Affey.
Suffice it to mention that Mr Odinga has never paid a
courtesy call on Dr Kidero since he took office, and
analysts like Prof Nyaga Kindiki feel such is an
indication that the two are not on the best of terms.
“In politics, every slight action or inaction tells a lot,
and this is one such loophole. Remember President
Kenyatta has visited him in that office, Cord
principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula
have been there as well, and so Mr Odinga’s absence
is so loud,” he said.
Mr Mboya advises the former premier to move fast
and dispel the cloud of enmity because for him, the
fact that Dr Kidero hails from South Nyanza, which
forms the bedrock of Mr Odinga’s political support in
Luoland, would not be good for him. Residents from
this area might choose to see Mr Odinga as unfairly
targeting a son of the soil.
“He would not want to upset the loyal following he
has had there, and again Dr Kidero must also be
careful to be seen as scoring for his party because
any contrary view can still be used against him, even
on his home turf,” Mr Mboya said.
He said voters from this region believe that they
have supported Mr Odinga throughout his political
career more than their counterparts from Central
Nyanza where he comes from, so “it would therefore
be fatal for him to rub them the wrong way.”
But in the game of political positioning, Prof Kindiki
says Dr Kidero comes out as an astute leader whose
star is very promising, but he has to overcome a
number of challenges if he wants to climb the
political Everest — to the presidency or a higher
office for that matter.
“He is more of a townie, and although this worked
well for him with youths in the city, he will need to do
a lot of homework to appeal to the rural voters who
may not warm to him so easily,” he said.
The professor noted that the Nairobi governor has
adopted a bipartisan approach in the conduct of his
politics, something he said is rare among the ever
combative Cord members.
Dr Kidero told our sister publication, Saturday Nation,
that he had no apologies for doing what he was
“I don’t know what being loyal enough [to ODM and
Raila] is. If increasing the water flow to our people by
40 per cent is disloyalty then I am quite happy with
that. I was elected by Cord, and I am in Cord in mind,
soul and pocket.”
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