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February 19, 2019

Prodigal son Oloo sees the light

Prodigal son Oloo sees the light.
Prodigal son Oloo sees the light.

 Former TNA Secretary General Onyango Oloo suffered a 'Lazarus Moment'. Hope vanished when it should have been renewed on the eve of the 2017 general election.

Last week, the former spokesman of the President's faction of the ruling coalition, Jubilee, had a 'Damascus Moment'. Like Saul became Paul on the way to Damascus, the former TNA hawk discovered he had kept the wrong company for five years. The realisation illustrates the brutality of low-value politics, as defined by Michela Wrong's title, It's Our Turn to Eat. It turns out insiders savour the perks of power, while Oloo salivated on the sidelines. He says the 'hyenas' who were not in the hunt grabbed everything as he salivated.

The pain is not so much for those who watch as insiders enjoy choice helpings of the national cut. It is those who suffer the aroma from under the tables inside the citadel who understand the trauma of exclusion at a closer range.

While at the head of the secretariat of the party that took President Uhuru Kenyatta to State House in 2013, Oloo hoped his efforts would be rewarded. First, he missed being appointed a Cabinet Secretary, as he may have expected. But he got appointed as the chairman of the Lake Basin Development Authority. Meanwhile he was biding time for an ambassadorial posting, or some substantial appointment. This did not happen. He endured the spite as he waited, until he could not take it any more.

Even the little Oloo had while he waited was taken away from him. Oloo's slices were served to someone he knows well. Raphael Tuju was not around much of the time Oloo passionately pushed the TNA agenda, with the passion of an outsider seeking to attract the attention of the king.

Tuju, a former Rarieda MP, replaced Oloo as chairman of the Lake Basin Development Authority. Tuju also replaced Oloo as the regime's rooster in Nyanza, after Jubilee parties — TNA and URP — merged last September.

Tuju was earning favour with the citadel, as Oloo was losing presidential attention. Tuju did not intercede for Oloo, even when he knew they were two of a kind trying to sell fridges to Eskimos. Tuju saw his brother being edged out of the dining hall, but he did not stand with a kinsman in need.

The poor Lazarus of the gospels suffered such torture, while surviving on crumbs from under the table of the rich man. The rich man enjoyed the choice fruits of status, as sick Lazarus yawned from under the table. Meanwhile the royal dogs licked Lazarus's wounds, adding pain to the sorrows of the dehumanised man.

The biblical imaginary captures the experiences of the former honcho of a faction of the ruling coalition. Oloo now discovers he was always an insider who was actually an outsider. The good news is, Oloo, the prodigal son, declares he carted away files of Jubilee 'secrets'. He promises to share rigging secrets with his new party, ODM, five years after the fact.

Kabete MP Ferdinard Waititu can now confirm Oloo was always treated with suspicion: He was an outsider in their ranks. Waititu, a carpetbagger, aka 'Baba Yao', confirms the irony of politics in a tumboracy. "We know that he was a traitor from within Jubilee." The double 'O' in his name betrayed Oloo.

But Oloo is not the only one with 'secrets'. Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri also has a 'secret' file on Oloo, from the LBDA, where the Kisumu man was chairman. "Oloo can run, but he is not going to hide. He should be reminded that his last work station falls under my ministry."

"He knows the mess he created. Oloo knows for sure that after the investigation, he might belong in jail. He might get protection from where he has defected, but we will find him." Kiunjuri adds, "When he is prosecuted, he will evoke the tribe to defend himself."

Kiunjuri may also have forgotten he had a 'secret' on Charity Ngilu, a former Water minister during the coalition government of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Kiunjuri and Oloo have the same message: The kettle need not call the pot black. Kiunjuri is telling Oloo, keep quiet on us, and we may keep quiet on you.

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