The Secretary General of the defunct TNA Onyango Oloo on Tuesday announced his defection from Jubilee Party to Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
The move has elicited contrasting opinions from supporters of ODM and Jubilee, with political pundits interpreting Onyango Oloo’s unprecedented shift in party as a survival tactic.
The move has left Jubilee and ODM supporters in a catch 22 situation, not knowing whether to embrace it or treat it with malice.
A section of Jubilee supporters have labelled Onyango Oloo as a Raila mole in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s camp while some have praising him for seeking to shield himself in ODM while gathering much support for Uhuru in Nyanza.
ODM supporters have also expressed mixed reaction with some, including ODM Communications Director Philip Etale expressing suspicion.
Not even his statement on Tuesday that he would move to ODM with the entire Jubilee brigade in Nyanza and support Raila’s 2017 presidential bid has quelled the suspicion that has greeted his defection.
Others have however seen the positives in his defection to ODM.
After all is said and done, Oloo’s defection is pegged on his interest in the Kisumu Central parliamentary seat, currently held by Ken Obura.
Mr Obura has been under sharp criticism for years over his close links with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his zealous campaigns to pull his constituents to Jubilee.
The choice between Oloo, regarded as a close ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his point man in Nyanza and one of the founders of TNA, and Obura an open adorer of Uhuru, will pose a challenge for the people of Kisumu Central.
The defection also puts ODM leader Raila Odinga on the spot on whether or not to support him, in the walk of speculations that he may be a Jubilee mole seeking a home in ODM.
Onyango Oloo’s political move has some comparability to that of Isaac Mwaura, an ODM nominated MP who defected to Jubilee in August last year.
Unlike most defection cases, Mwaura’s was odd, as he visited Raila, thanked him for supporting him throughout his political journey, and even took pictures with him.
Evidently, and as he has inadvertently stated, his key reason for defecting was not advised by his intolerance of ODM and its policies but his political interest.
According to political pundits, and like is the case with most politicians, Mwaura said he had consulted the people of Ruiru where he wants to run for MP and had been advised to join Jubilee – reason being Jubilee is an easy sell in the region.
The current Ruiru MP is one Esther Gathogo.