The ODM leader and Premier-designate Raila Odinga has lately been on a charm offensive. Raila has met with former opponents Karua, Kiraitu, Kimunya and on Friday was hanging out with Jimmy Kibaki and Fidel Odinga. The thawing of relations which was at first just between Raila and Kibaki seems to have spread to the surrogates of the president.
That said, I am still not convinced that things are going to be fine. One Francis Muthaura has already thrown some spanners into the works by his “clarification” the other day and I am sure the naming of the new cabinet will further reveal the differences that these two sides seem eager to hide. I am also not convinced because the love seems to be directed at only Raila and not the other top members of the ODM. For this thing to work it should not be just about Raila. The whole of ODM was aggrieved by the results of the elections and therefore all of ODM should be part of the ODM-PNU alliance.
Increasingly it seems like Raila is hogging all the attention as the rest of ODM hold their breath waiting for the cabinet appointments. I suspect that after the cabinet has been named cracks will start appearing in ODM if Raila is not seen to be fully inclusive of his pentagon colleagues in his engagement with PNU. ODM, although still very rough on the edges, is a promising political party with a national reach. If the party bosses want to be around for some time, they should use this time to cement institutionalism within the party and avoid the culture of personality politics that continues to render our political parties mere vehicles to power, devoid of any ideology or values.