Meet Raila's Most Powerful Aide

  • Raila Odinga, the African Union envoy and chief opposition leader in Kenya has had lots of prominent and powerful people around him over the decades he has traversed the political atmosphere.

    Odinga has transformed from a liberation fighter to the father of democracy to a leading political strategist.

    However, one man within the inner circle of Odinga runs his key secretariat. According to the ODM Party website, Oduor Ong'wen is the cog in the wheel in Odinga's party.

    Raila Odinga with Oduor Ongwen (r) in a media address. Ong'wen is a key figure in Odinga's inner circle.

    Ong' wen, ODM's executive director heads the National Secretariat and was appointed by the party's National Executive Committee.

    The secretariat is the oil that runs through the engine of the party and links all the other party organs according to the party website.

    Odinga's aide oversees four directorates within ODM; Finance and Administration, Communication, Political Affairs and Strategy, Memberships Recruitment and Retention.

    Ong'wen manages party operations and implements key party decisions and has been described as a no-nonsense aide who is loyal to Odinga. 

    On Friday, August 30, Wafule Buke, who served as director of political affairs and strategy, took to social media to announce how Ongw'en initiated a move that led to his ejection from the party after he irked top ODM officials.

    "I ruffled snakes and have received my feedback. I disagree with you so I will see what to do about that. I just lost income but the struggle for a better ODM is for us all," Buke posted on Facebook. 

    Ong'wen is one of the few trusted allies Odinga has entrusted with his 2022 strategy as he oversees Party policy and research and campaign strategies. 

    He oversaw ODM's office shift from Orange House to Chungwa House at Loyangalani Drive in Lavington, Nairobi as the party strategise for 2022 elections. 

    Oduor Ong'wen who runs Raila Odinga's party ODM. He is a silent but key figure in Odinga's inner circle