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Edwin Sifuna to Jalango: Your political career is finished

By Winnie Mabel September 12th, 2023 3 min read

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, who is also the Senator of Nairobi County, has told embattled first-time Langata Member of Parliament Phelix Odiwuor, popularly known by his comedic name Jalango, that his political career is over after ODM expelled him and other rebel MPs.

Speaking during an interview on Radio 47, Senator Sifuna also told off critics who thought ODM did not mean business when it expelled nine members in 2016 including Salim Mvurya and Isaac Mwaura and the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal agreed with them.

“What happened back then was we had entered the electioneering period ahead of the 2017 election so by-elections wouldn’t have been possible. I want to tell Kenyans that the fact that our laws do not work as they should, does not mean that we are party will not take action. We will do what we can. I remember when we tried to expel Aisha  Jumwa and she took us on many rounds in several courts. It took such a long time but let me explain this to you, no matter how much time it takes, we must do what the law says and what the Constitution states.

This time we started early (with the expulsions) and we still have time. You can already see we are done with the Disciplinary Committee, recommendations are already with the National Executive Committee (NEC) – our party constitution outlines the processes because as a lawyer, I know the importance of giving someone a fair hearing. When this matter leaves the NEC, I am going to call for a National Governing Council meeting to sign off on these decisions that will be passed by the NEC.

After the NGC, your expulsion case is done with. What I know as the ODM SG, everyone in ODM agrees with our decision to expel them. Should they run to the courts to seek assistance- you know how our courts are- that is no longer our issue. As a political party, we are going to follow our Constitution and the law, and once we are done with our processes we will let the courts do as they want.

What I know, and I have advised these brothers of mine-, like Jalango. I have moved around Nairobi with him looking for votes and I told him to stop being incited by other people. I told him that even if he manages to stay in office until 2027- you know these young people, I knew we would walk with them politically for many years- using court orders, he won’t clinch the Langata seat again,” said Senator Sifuna.

He also said no one should lie to Jalango that he will get the seat because he already has a name in political circles.

Jalango became famous for being a comedian. He featured in the long-running Papa Shirandula show that brought him into the national limelight after years of being known on the streets. He heavily campaigned using Raila Odinga’s name and won the seat on his first try.

However, within months, to ODM’s chagrin, Jalango began ‘working’ with President William Ruto contrary to the party’s position. Often, Jalango defended himself that he was working with President Ruto for the sake of development for his constituents but his excuses no longer held water with ODM.

Last week, ODM expelled Jalango, Elisha Ochieng’ Odhiambo (Gem), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), and Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda for supporting the activities of a rival political party. However, earlier today, the Political Parties Tribunal Dispute temporarily stopped ODM from expelling all the aforementioned politicians pending the hearing and determination of cases filed challenging their expulsions.

The affected lawmakers have indicated they will challenge their expulsions in court.

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