Is Hon Rachael Shebesh Headed to TNA? (Updated)

Shebesh and Uhuru at Magugu’s funeral in Kiambu this week. She has been missing at ODM functions

Hon Rachael Shebesh is an ODM nominated member of parliament and for the second time in as many months, she has been forced to come out and deny allegations that she is finding favour in Uhuru Kenyatta’s TNA and that she has already been lined up as the party’s candidate for women’s representative for Nairobi.

Since the start of the 10th parliament when she was nominated to parliament by ODM, Shebesh has curved a solid reputation as a fearless defender of the ODM and its leadership. Things appear to have taken a turn for the worst in July this year when during the Orange Party Women’s Congress at Bomas of Kenya, Shebesh led in expressing accusations of imposition of leadership into the ODM National Women Democrats League leadership amid chaos during the announcement. The elections turned chaotic with a furious Shebesh almost roughing up Philip Okundi, the then ODM National Elections Board chairman. Okundi was whisked away by police officers. It is instructive that Shebesh no longer attends ODM party functions and was prominently absent during recent campaigns for the just concluded by-elections in Ndhiwa and Kajiado North.

Then in August, eyebrows were raised when Shebesh attended NARC’s Charity Ngilu presidential campaign launch where she paid glowing tribute to the water minister and declared her “the best choice” for State House.

This week Shebesh was pictured together with Uhuru Kenyatta and other TNA leaders in Kiambu attending the funeral of former cabinet minister Arthur Magugu. That led to speculation that she is warming up to TNA and is only a matter of time before she officially defects from ODM.

In her facebook wall yesterday, Hon. Shebesh denied that she had left ODM but also asserted that she would leave if her stay became untenable.

In the meantime, the ODM Elections Board has been reconstituted and the Party Leaders have ruled out handing direct nominations to any elective seat. ODM candidates were also assured of free and fair nomination exercise.

Stop Press: Rachel Shebesh attends TNA Strategy Meeting in Naivasha

Following our post above earlier today, it is emerging Sunday afternoon that the Hon Rachael Shebesh has gone back on her word and attended a TNA strategy meeting for members of parliament in Naivasha.

Shebesh is among a group of 35 MPs currently meeting under the umbrella of TNA allied MPs in Naivasha for strategy on the 2013 general elections. Shebesh has not officially announced her defection as she has repeatedly promised to do in case it happened and continues to serve as ODM nominated member of parliament.

More updates to follow.

20 comments on “Is Hon Rachael Shebesh Headed to TNA? (Updated)

  1. this is the funniest story ever
    so PNU is entering into a “coalition” with TNA. the conditions are that no PNU candidate will be fielded, any PNU candidate going for a post must do so on a TNA ticket.

    hehehe who are these guys kidding, just fold up the party and stop wasting breath folks,

    its either TNA or if not then its TNA or possibly maybe TNA 🙂

    ‘acheni ku tu enjoy


  2. Shebesh is now officially Uhuru Kenyatta’s shadow. Seen again today attending a TNA forum with Uhuru. Cuts a pathetic reformist literally begging for direct nomination in Nairobi or Kiambu TNA Women’s rep position. TNA delegates do not want her they have identified their own preferred candidates for these positions and TNA honchos have to look at how they’ll juggle positions to satisfy all supporters, and especially those currently defecting from other parties. It will be an interesting spectacle to watch.


    • it is just a matter of time before all these regional parties get inundated with defectors expecting nothing but a through pass to nominations. the problem is that some of these parties are so vindictive that once in, they will crush you if you try to leave, as they will soon discover. besides, after a while people get tired of defectors. as see from the link by einstein where Ida says that the women rejected shebesh at the grassroots level, it appears she is more of the kalonzo style where she wants endorsement from the top, and pays little attention to the grassroots

      btw phil, i’ll bet you Kshs.10 that uhuru will directly endorse her candidature, sometimes a big catch is just that


      • @tnk
        If an aspirants misses nomination on a particular party ticket, the law states they cannot defect to another party since party memberhsip forms are to be submitted by 18th Oct 2012, and IEBC shall only accept nominations from individuals whose names appear on their data base for the parties they are standing on.

        The era of direct nomination is over and this was one of the pledges Uhuru had to give when launching TNA. It is normal for everyone to want to be associated with a new party like TNA. But that is just he beginning.


        • hehehehehe. Exactly. With an abundance of professional thugs like Kabogo, Waititu, Sonko and the Boss himself herding folk like sheep into TNA I have been actually waiting for this kind of thing. This is nothing compared to what we are going to see in the nominations which will be life and death this time around since there is nowhere to defect to. And this is before the pre-election deal with Ruto and his URP toy.

          Coming to a movie theatre near you.

          here we go:


        • hahaha adongo

          we’ve been hearing terms like primitive, sijui nini when its ODM now the ball is in their backyard, na bado. am guessing that guy in the picture can be described to be “airing” his opinion, and exercising his democratic right to throw a different opinion

          TNA thugs in action

          what i’ve been saying is this, if uhuru comes to the realization that he has to leave everything else and focus on ICC, somebody tell me who thinks that onyango oloo and sakaja can step on a platform in kiambu or wherever and raise an audience


  3. Rachel Shebesh may be the type that will never add you any votes, but then they may as well lose you plenty of votes. ODM will definitely need to handle her type very carefully because most of the defectors always play victim when moving to the other side. The more people defect, the more their claims will gain traction despite how weak they are on the grassroots.


  4. Learning that Rachael Wambui Shebesh is rumoured to be abandoning Nairobi and is instead gunning for Women Rep in Kiambu County. She insists that she is running in Nairobi but probably announce this in her press conference later this morning.


    • Phil,
      One of the most popular bands in Kenya Les Mangelepa used to sing “kijiko cha jikoni hakiogopi moto”. Now this “kijiko” called Rachael Wambui Shebesh is running scared of “moto”. I knew that Nairobi would be a tough nut to crack. TNA might rig her in during nominations but heck; she will sweat come March next year. It’s one thing “kusema” yet another thing all together when it comes to “kutenda”. Shabesh might have simply have jumped from the frying pan into fire.

      So, its the people of Kiambu who will let her walk in unopposed? I dont think so.


  5. @akinyi – good catch, and yes rumours do have some basis.

    overall, i think this is the time for true ODM supporters to exercise tough love on the party. this ranges from issues such as violence and intolerance, the perennial bickering on non-issues, inefficiency, poor resource management, inadequate attention to critical and sensitive issues, poor response to crisis, inability to effectively counter negative propaganda, lack of proper direction and coordination on pro-active agenda, unresponsive to feedback from supporters or lack of proper and effective channels. etc

    lets for a moment stop with the favorite view(s) that shebesh was in a power play, or had one foot in the other out and what not.

    lets just also consider that maybe shebesh has left because TNA is a better party. i.e is more attractive than ODM. lets find out why TNA is a more attractive party, lets forget cash handouts, and lets find out why Sakuda, Shebesh and other high profile leaders are bailing out.

    for as long as ODM and supporters remain in denial, then we can expect more fall out.

    of course, ODM in turn is also receiving a large number of defectors from other parties. can it also be said that “money is exchanging hands”? i don’t think so

    we need to be honest with ourselves, interview those defecting into the party, and explicitly capture the reasons and amplify them, and also listen to those defecting out and address some of the concerns. e.g the automatic clause cited by mudavadi on exit has been sufficiently addressed, this should be amplified.

    am also aware that many leaders who have achieved prominence through the ODM structures, have turned around to claim that they are the sole reason for ODM success and feel slighted for not being given even more prominence – e.g ruto and the RV crew, miguna miguna, and now shebesh, but what is the party doing about that? because no matter what the reason, this still hurts the party image and it doesn’t help to be brave about it, we need see practical steps to address and counter the impact.


    • You are obviously a deep thinker and a friend of the party. the ODM needs your likes. I personally like your ideas and your proposals. I will try in as much as I can to put suggestions to some ODMers based on what I read from you at this board.


    • Akinyi, koro :), where there is smoke, there is fire so they say. Shebesh had issues and TNA preyed on a vulnerable member. This morning promises to be full of drama. Given the forces lined up behind her, I would not be surprised if Shebesh resigns from ODM. Several prominent ODMers are already pursuing her to get her back, but me thinks its too late. The political platform changes every day. 2013 will be a completely different ball game and the player may not even be those we see today. As far as I know, Bishop has also been approached but stands firm with the prime minister. It is not just them who are attracting defectors. Many of them are with ODM and things will become much more clearer when the 10th parliament is dissolved.


      • hehee phil am smiling right back at you…where did you get that smiley face?
        Anyway, right after the women’s convention when things didn’t go her way, i knew Shebesh would start getting jittery. my fears were further confirmed the moment she started giving ‘ultimatums.’ She was a strong woman and am sad to see her go but, the party is bigger than an individual. Could the party have done anything to stop Ruto crew, Balala, Mudavadi, Sakuda or Shebesh from bailing out? probably not.
        why did shebesh for example move to relatively new TNA? Why not Charity Ngilu’s party? I understand Sakuda left ODM because the party ‘abandoned’ him after he ‘lost’ to Saitoti? as tnk rightly pointed out, it might be worth amplifying known facts about some of these high profile defections.

        tnk, you raise some very important issues which i hope DELEGATE phil will discuss with the party honchos, especially now that they are about to embark on the delicate issue of party nominations. satisfying the more than 6000 applicants who expressed an interest in vying for various posts through the party will not be easy. if the ndhiwa case is a pointer of things to come, then we’re in for a turbulent couple of months.


  6. Phil,

    The defection, if it really comes to that, of Shebesh has zero consequences for ODM. If anything she owes everything she has earned politically to ODM. Being a nominated MP she never added much votes into the ODM final vote tally in 2007.

    Of course, it would be nice if she remains in ODM. But should she really decide to join TNA, then hakuna ubaya. Tutaonana kwa debe mwaka ujao!

    But from her action, you can see how people can be unprincipled! It is just amazing!


    • @einstein, I agree. Shebesh opted for the easier way out. Money works wonders I tell you. She claims to be an ODM life member yet she is caught pants down cahooting with TNA. It was wrong to hand her nomination. There are a lot more deserving cases!


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