ODM boss defends himself, party over claims of favouritism

Saturday May 20 2017

Suba South MP John Mbadi addresses the press

Suba South MP John Mbadi addresses the press after casting his vote at God Oloo Primary during the repeat ODM primary on May 10, 2017. Mr Mbadi is fighting a plethora of accusations from many in ODM. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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For Orange Democratic Movement chairman John Mbadi, Nigerian literary icon Chinua Achebe may as well have had him in mind when the acclaimed writer penned his novel No Longer at Ease.

For the troubles that now hound Mr Mbadi draw fine parallels from those that courted Obi, the central character in Achebe’s book.

Mr Mbadi is fighting a plethora of accusations from many in ODM, who believe he has short changed them from attaining their political goals.

But the brilliant and sharp debater has termed his accusers as insincere.

Yesterday, Mr Mbadi told the Nation that he is a soft target for politicians who are afraid to face Mr Odinga over their political woes.

One of his accusers, Mr Silas Jakakimba, a former aide to National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga on Wednesday, accused him of blocking his bid to represent the party at the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala).

Mr Jakakimba went ahead to blame turmoil in Homa Bay county politics on Mr Mbadi’s action.

He claimed the Suba South MP is  preparing ground to run for Homa Bay governor’s seat in 2022.

“Mr Mbadi has set his eyes on the Homa Bay County governorship post in 2022 and is therefore scared of my political rise,” Mr Jakakimba claimed.

Mr Mbadi and Jakakimba are both from the Suba Community.

Mr Mbadi has also been accused by ODM Party nomination losers in Nyanza of engineering their loss by favouring their opponents.

Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo - who is seeking Siaya governorship seat on an independent ticket after losing to Governor Cornel Rasanga in disputed nominations - had in the past accused Mr Mbadi of meddling in Siaya County politics.

Mr Mbadi had reportedly endorsed Governor Rasanga’s re-election bid.

Former minister and Rongo MP Ochillo Ayacko, too, accused him of drumming up support for Migori governor Zechariah Okoth Obado.

Mr Ayacko has since sought independent ticket, which he is going to use to face Mr Obado.

“I have become a soft target for politicians who are seeking Mr Odinga’s attention. I am diligently performing my duties as Orange party’s chairman,” Mr Mbadi said.

Mr Mbadi says his accusers are not happy with his straightforwardness in how he wants the party to be run.

“Some of my accusers want shortcut to leadership yet that is not possible. They should not direct their anger to innocent people,” he said.

He has denied playing a role in the botched ODM nominations in Nyanza which has led to massive fallout.

Mr Mbadi has explained that his participation in the exercise against his fierce competitor Caroli Omondi was a real example on how the party is committed to free and transparent process.

“If I am the chairman of ODM but I refused a direct ticket and opted for a nomination exercise with my competitors, who can accuse me of biasness?” he asked.

Mr Mbadi has been very vocal and instrumental in parliament.

On September 2012, Mr Mbadi was appointed the assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, a position he held till the 2013 General Election.


He was in the Public Accounts Committee that looked into the National Youth Service scandal.

According to Mzalendo.com, an online accountability initiative monitoring performance of MPs contribution in parliament, Mr Mbadi has spoken 4,454 times in National Assembly.

In 2013, Mr Mbadi sponsored the Value Added Tax bill seeking to curb prices of essential commodities in the country.

Mr Mbadi was first elected to Parliament as MP for Suba South in 2007 having succeeded Zadock Madiri Syongoh who was elected in 2002.