ODM's Hearty Way of Honouring Their Fallen Leaders

  • The ODM party during a rally on October 27. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga led the party in drumming up support for Imran Okoth who was in line to replace his late brother, Ken Okoth. File
  • Since its inception in 2005, the Orange Democratic Party (ODM) became, and maintained its status as a force in the Kenyan political scene.

    The Raila Odinga-led party has in the past rubberstamped its support bases, with its latest being branding Kibra, its "bedroom", symbolising the former premier's 25 years as the MP for Lang'ata out of which the new constituency was carved.

    In the concluded November 7, Kibra by-election, ODM party candidate Bernard 'Imran' Otieno Okoth was elected Kibra member of parliament, taking over from his late brother, Ken Okoth. 

    Ken Okoth(left) was on November 7 succeeded by his brother, Imran okoth  as member of parliament for Kibra.
    Ken Okoth (left) was on November 7 succeeded by his brother, Imran Okoth as the member of parliament for Kibra.

    Imran's win followed in the footsteps of a number of similar nomination trends by the ODM party.

    On June 10, 2008, Bomet East MP Kipkalya Kones and Sotik constituency MP Lorna Laboso, both of ODM, died in a plane crash.

    As a symbol of 'gratitude' that would later become a pattern, the ODM party chose to field relatives of the late legislators to take their place.

    Beatrice Kones took over from his late brother, Kipkalya Kones as Bomet East MP whereas the late, former Bomet governor Joyce Laboso took over from her late sister, Lorna Laboso as Sotik MP.

    Beatrice Kones(left) succeeded her late husband, Kipkalya Kones(right) as member of parliament for Bomet east after he died in a plane crash in June 2008
    Beatrice Kones (Left) succeeded her late husband, Kipkalya Kones (Right) as the Member of Parliament for Bomet East after he died in a plane crash in June 2008

    Whether the nomination of the replacements to the late legislators is done based on merit or sympathy is not clear, however, the ODM party's trend did not stop there.

    On April 27, 2013, the then elected Makueni County Senator, Mutula Kilonzo passed on.
    Kilonzo was elected to the Senate on an ODM ticket.

    After his demise, the former senior counsel was succeeded by his own son, Mutula Kilonzo Jr who ran on a Wiper Democratic Movement ticket. Mutula Kilonzo Jr was fully backed by the ODM party.

    Mutula Kilonzo(left) passed on in April 2013 and was succeeded by his son, Mutula Kilonzo Jr as Makueni county senator.
    Mutula Kilonzo(left) passed on in April 2013 and was succeeded by his son, Mutula Kilonzo Jr as Makueni County senator.

    In the bitterly contested 2013 elections, the late Otieno Kajwang was elected to serve Homa Bay County as a senator. Upon his death on November 19, 2014, his brother, Moses Otieno Kajwang won the election to succeed him as Homa Bay senator on an ODM ticket.

    Moses Kajwang'(left) succeeded his late brother, Otieno Kajwang'(right) as senator for Homa Bay county.
    Moses Kajwang'(left) succeeded his late brother, Otieno Kajwang'(right) as senator for Homa Bay county.