Why MCAs are unwilling to play ball in Obado ouster bid

Monday, October 5th, 2020 00:00 |

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I said in these pages last month that removing Migori Governor Zachary Okoth Obado from office would not be a walk in the park.

He survived several attempts to oust him last month, with chaos or legal hurdles throwing proceedings at the County Assembly in disarray each time the motion was brought on the floor of the House. 

ODM’s push for the governor’s impeachment has returned to haunt the party.

They will have to return to the drawing board to send the governor home before his term ends in 2022.

Insiders confide that it will not be easy for members of the Assembly to impeach Obado. And here is why.

The governor is in good books with many of his MCAs, majority from ODM. He understands his MCAs’ needs and has provided for the needs so well that it would take a very daring MCA to ‘betray’ him. 

Secondly, the party is pushing for his impeachment in a way that is popularly been seen as vendetta.

Although there is public outcry about poor service delivery even before Obado was taken to court to face corruption and other charges, the court of public opinion has swung against ODM.

Thirdly and which may be closely related to the second, the manner in which ODM party chairman John Mbadi used to push for Obado’s impeachment bordered on arrogance.

Mbadi made the party of choice in this part of the country look dictatorial and undemocratic.

By summoning MCAs to Nairobi and reading a Riot Act, that they toe the party line or forget tickets in 2022, something he reiterated in Migori in a follow-up meeting with the MCAs, has confirmed fears the tickets are given to undeserving individuals, rather than genuine winners of primaries.

Fourthly, Obado whose previous utterances suggested he owes loyalty to other entities outside the sponsoring party has conspicuously changed tune.

He no longer attacks party chiefs or makes remarks that only add fuel to the flames that is his relationship with party chiefs and authorities.

Fifth, Migori, although cosmopolitan, is predominantly Luo. Many of them are not comfortable with the top seat going to another community. 

And lastly, Migori MCAs and by extension the larger public, are convinced there is a bigger war elsewhere and that their governor is only a pawn in the war.

That it is all about 2022 elections, and not really about corruption and misuse of public funds in Migori as such. 

These factors have conspired against the party and left a foul taste in the mouths of Migori residents.

However genuine the party intentions, the manner in which they are being executed are portraying Migori leaders as dunderheads who must be whipped in public to toe party line.

Obado may sometimes be very uncouth, but majority of people here, and especially from his Kanyamkago backyard are fine with that.

Beneath the veneer of that uncouthness, or, to some people, primitivity, is a ruthless and calculating politician who will not stop at anything to achieve his end.

ODM will eat humble pie and await the outcome of the court case against the governor.

But if they think MCAs will impeach him, then they can await a little longer. That simply won’t happen.

Not in the foreseeable future. They would rather use a different method other than bringing the motion of impeachment to the Migori County Assembly. [email protected]

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