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HomePOLITICSRaila Convenes ODM Crunch Meeting

Raila Convenes ODM Crunch Meeting

Raila Convenes ODM Crunch Meeting

Tomorrow, Raila Odinga, the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), is scheduled to convene a significant gathering of the party’s highest body. The agenda will center on election procedures and navigating the intricate dynamics of succession, which pose a potential risk of factionalism within the party as Odinga prepares to step down.

Mr. Odinga is anticipated to lead the party’s Central Management Committee Meeting at Chungwa House. There’s ambiguity surrounding the scheduled ODM elections this month, as well as tension stemming from his potential departure from the party leadership if he assumes the chairmanship of the African Union Commission (AUC).

Yesterday, ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna confirmed the meeting scheduled for the following day but refrained from providing further details about the agenda.

“It’s a regular meeting of an organ of the party. A brief of what is discussed will be issued after the meeting,” Mr Sifuna told Gossipa2z.com.

Gossipa2z.com has confirmed that the gathering will reveal a plan for party elections, discuss the issue of succession, and Mr. Odinga’s aspiration for the AUC position.


The ex-Prime Minister discreetly returned to the country before the Easter holidays following a two-week hiatus during which he engaged in confidential discussions regarding his candidacy for the AUC’s highest position.

On Sunday, the leader of the ODM suggested the potential for agreement within the party considering his potential departure for Addis Ababa, the African Union’s headquarters.

“I am pursuing the AUC position, but I’m still around. If Baba will be away, we shall sit as ODM members and agree because the party needs Joho (Hassan), Oparanya (Wycliffe), and all members of this party to remain strong,” Mr Odinga said during his visit to the Coast region.

He warned against attempts to divide the party along regional lines.

“Let’s not divide this party along regional lines of Western, Nyanza, Nairobi, or Coast. Let us all be members of ODM. If ODM wants to do elections, it will be conducted as a united ODM because if we divide the party along regional lines, we shall break it,” he said.

Tomorrow’s meeting anticipates Mr. Odinga’s involvement in navigating the complex realm of ODM elections, especially addressing the contentious issue of succession.

ALSO READ: Raila to ODM Leaders: Stop Dividing Party With Regional Succession Campaigns

However, the direction the party membership seems to have been preparing for may not materialize, as the ongoing dispute within the 19-year-old organization could result in nothing more than “aligning the elections,” to prevent a significant contest that could fracture the party.

“Fearing a bloodbath and complete demoralization of some faithful members who have shown interest in positions, the party is toying with the idea of having a managed and negotiated process rather than a full-blown contest,” an impeccable source within the party Gossipa2z.com.

The party might consider filling empty positions through “compromise” rather than holding full-fledged elections.

Two clear factions have arisen under the leadership of Mr. Odinga’s deputies – former governors Mr. Joho (from Mombasa) and Mr. Oparanya (from Kakamega). However, several other leaders, such as Mr. Sifuna, ODM Director of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi, Chairman John Mbadi, and Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, have also been mentioned in the succession discussions.

Mr. Joho’s group is presenting itself as the one capable of infusing the party with renewed vigor and new members.

They say they want to relieve Mr. Odinga of “shouldering every party burden” from raising funds to organizing anti-government agenda and grassroots activities.

Mr. Joho’s team, comprised of political strategists possessing strong grassroots connections and fundraising capabilities, seems to have gained momentum.

Yesterday, Gossipa2z.com reported that Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga is poised to enter the race for the top leadership position within the ODM party. She is eyeing the Deputy Party Leader role, which will become available if either Mr. Joho or Mr. Oparanya is promoted.

ALSO READ: Why I Deserve to be ODM Leader if Raila Wins AU Job – Joho

“Should she join the race, she will fight from the Joho side, joining hands with Junet Mohamed, Babu Owino, and other young leaders to push for the transfer of party leadership to Joho and seek to lead the Nyanza campaign alongside others to champion Joho’s bid,” an ODM insider told Gossipa2z.com yesterday.

Ms. Wanga is presently benefiting from strong approval ratings and aims to leverage this advantage to secure a position within the prominent ranks of the ODM party.

She would become the initial sitting governor and female to announce her intention for the highest party position.

Sources intimated to Gossipa2z.com that Ms. Wanga may declare her candidacy in the coming weeks “in line with the thinking in the Joho camp.”

It’s reported that Mr. Joho’s team is enthusiastic about a plan that guarantees effective representation from the Nyanza, Western, and Coast regions in the party’s leadership. They aim for a youthful structure capable of energizing the party and driving it to greater success leading up to the 2027 elections.

“The group would prefer an arrangement that retains John Mbadi as chairman while another person from the region gets the deputy’s position,” the source said.

Mr Oparanya is also leaving nothing to chance and is assembling his troops.

He is rallying a section of Western Kenya MPs to his fold.

If the party opts for harmonization, it’s uncertain if this will pacify the restless young leaders.

Some contend that although implementing harmonization might bring stability to the party by allowing even “weaker leaders” to maintain their positions, it may not generate the necessary momentum for the party leading up to the 2027 elections.

Kisumu Woman Representative Ruth Odinga yesterday said several factors must be considered in the event of succession in ODM.

Raila Convenes ODM Crunch Meeting