Why Raila Odinga will win the 2017 general elections

Mudega Oscar 
Fri 25th Nov 2016 11:43:52am

Raila Odinga Speaking

Let it be crystal clear that I am not from any big and politically active communities that have long dominated Kenya’s political sphere since independence. In precise, I am from the “other communities”, small and insignificant. I however note with deep concern that the sins of the Jubilee administration are just so conspicuous and will haunt the party come the next general elections.

Over fifty years after independence my community particularly has been politically sidelined until at least the time devolved government sprouted. Most of my folks that escaped the western snare have found themselves guarding gates for the rich and powerful in the city, doing construction and other manual jobs. Even in 2012 when one of my own folks tried his bid on the presidency he was labeled “Shetani wengine” which literally means “The other devils.”

Kenya has long been dominated by tribal politics but I think Raila Odinga is an authentic and charismatic leader that would make Kenya great again. I am not politically inclined to the troubled Cord coalition and especially the way it has embraced a head-on combat with other institutions like the IEBC, but I believe Odinga is the only viable option for 2017, should the Jubilee government not change tact on the way it is handling crucial matters like fighting run-away corruption.

Odinga is certainly not the best Kenya would wish for judging by his past miserable performance as a long-time Kibera legislator and equal coalition partner in the grand coalition government when he served as Prime Minister, but at least he knows what he stands for and if not he stands to be judged more harshly than any other leader Kenya will ever have should he fail to walk the talk that has characterized his sanguine political life.

In 2012 the Jubilee government came into power with the promise to end corruption as well as address the rising unemployment which currently stands at 40%. It’s worth noting that the government has irredeemably failed this task. I would gladly talk of the positives of the Uhuruto regime but there is little to point at. The Jubilee administration has lost both the heavens and the earth and is desperately dangling and panicking as its miserable pre-election promises chokes it to its untimely death.

I, just like millions of Kenyans feel utterly disillusioned at the slow pace at which the government has implemented its pre-election manifesto in fighting massive corruption in ministries and other government agencies. The regime has completely failed to create employment for thousands of graduates leaving them languishing in abject poverty. It has further glorified corruption by failing to prosecute a single suspect involved in mega scandals like the NYS and the Euro-bond. Precisely, it has endeavored to maintain status quo where the rich not only steal public money but also get away with impunity.

All these evils and miscalculations have only succeeded in making Raila Odinga and his troubled political faction the only alternative for 2017. It is the electioneering period and once again politicians are re-aligning in readiness for 2017 showdown in the East Africa economic powerhouse, but the errors, misconduct and obvious miscalculations of the Jubilee government have only worked to empower, embolden and reshape the political career of Raila Odinga to occupy state house in the coming general election.

Baba Or Burst

By Edwin Sifuna
I am not in the habit of talking about things I do not know. When i told you Ababu had been bought by Jubilee some thought I just wanted to be ODM SG. Well, hate to say i told you so.
Let me tell you something else. My brother Enoch Wambua was my editor at the Sunday Standard. He is now a Senatorial Aspirant for Kitui County. That should put his column in today’s Standard into perspective. I do not blame him for wanting to appear to be Kalonzo’s biggest supporter. Its what you do in Kitui.
Here is what he and his Kalonzo mates must know. The NASA Presidential Candidate is Raila Odinga. Threatening us with 5 more yrs of Uhuru is not a strategy. ODM has stared tyranny in the face and beat it back but somehow everyone in Wiper thinks they can scare us. We have done more than 50 years in Purgatory…whats another 5?
The people you call “traitors” in Wiper are the true patriots who are willing to tell Kalonzo this hard truth. We do not want a President who “doesnt evoke strong emotions of fear and resentment” from the thieves and tribal cartels that have captured our state. Thats exactly what we want these people to feel. Fear and Resentment.
What i do not understand is this argument that Kalonzo will somehow get us votes from “the other side of the Political divide”. First because Kalonzo has run for President before and got zilch from that other side and Second because whoever Raila “fronts” will receive just as much resistance from “that other side” as he would himself. When you reject a man, you reject everything he stands for including his choices.
We have been trying to get our “partners” to gently swallow this reality but time is coming when we will have to force feed you people.
Wacheni kusubiria embe chini ya mnazi.

Who is Raila?

By G. A. Ojay

Once one wades into the pool of Kenyan politics, it becomes clear that you cannot do without an education on the person of one Raila Amollo Odinga. The Odinga name is one of historical importance in Kenya, stamped first into public conscience by the first Prime Minister of the newly formed republic in 1963 in the person of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

Kenya had just shaken off the independence struggle and stood on the edge of a promising future. On one hand she had produced Mzee Jomo Kenyatta who was secured at the head of the government and on the other she had given Jaramogi Odinga who was leading an invigorated opposition. What could not be known was the quasi-dynastic struggle that had been kicked off as forty years later the sons of these two great men would be, as it were, playing into a similar script. One son embodying the die-hard opposition, the other the subject of his rivals’ efforts and 50 years after independence one, Uhuru Kenyatta (son to Jomo) would bear the title President and Raila Odinga (son to Jaramogi) would cling to the title Prime Minister in respect to an office held faithfully in service of Kenyans for five years prior.
Raila Odinga, however, is more than a former holder of high office. He is a political maverick with involvements tracing back to the upheaval of the 1982 failed military coup with some suspecting a direct involvement by him in planning or agitating for it. It remains an allegation to which he seldom speaks and yet from this failed grab for power by some elements in the military, Kenya experienced some severe changes. Overnight, Kenya developed into a dictatorship under the vice like terror of Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, a terror that prevailed for the better part of 24 years.

But from within this darkness the rattling of Odinga could be heard. He pushed for the restoration of multi-party politics in Kenya alongside notable names as Kenneth Matiba, Koigi Wamwere, Kijana Wamalwa and President-to-be Mwai Kibaki. They suffered exile, harassment by the authorities, unlawful detention and threats against their lives. But they persisted in their stand against Moi’s unchecked rule. More patriots got up and joined the fight. Nobel Peace Prize winner-to-be Prof. Wangari Maathai whose notoriety was pegged on stopping the construction of Nyayo era buildings in Uhuru Park and Rev.Timothy Njoya became targets for repression within the dictatorship.

Their persistence bore fruit when, in 2002, the duo of Raila and Kibaki engineered the ouster of President Moi and secured Mwai Kibaki as Kenya’s third democratically elected president in what was seen as a peaceful electioneering and transition period. The political alliance between Kibaki and Raila would be broken on account of the proposed constitution which Raila had agitated for and promised while on the campaign trail leading up to the 2002 elections. He however, became convinced the draft document was not in the interest of majority of Kenyans and should be looked at again.

Failing to reach an agreement, a referendum was called on the proposed constitution. The pro-constitution side led by President Kibaki argued that a new constitution was necessary and desired changes could be made after it had been accepted. The anti-constitution side was led by Raila and insisted it would be too late and too difficult to change the constitution once accepted. In 2010, the referendum was held by way of popular election. The draft constitution was accepted by the people of Kenya by a narrow majority and was promulgated later in the same year.

Defeat, however, is not something new to an Odinga and in the aftermath of the constitutional referendum Raila rallied his forces, adopted the symbol of the constitutional rejection (the electoral body had indicated on the ballot paper an orange for those opposing the draft constitution and a banana for those in favor of adopting it) and formed a political party. This he used to charge into the furor of the 2012 general elections.

Here he went up against Uhuru Kenyatta and lost the contest but not the hearts and minds of many Kenyans. So influential is the character of Raila that even four years out of government has not dulled his effect on active politics. He is still referenced as the second ever Prime Minister of the republic and more potently the official leader of the opposition in Kenya.

With the 2017 general elections looming on the Kenyan horizon, it would be amiss to assume the Odinga effect will be missing from the proceedings. He will form opinions, he will advise strategy, he will unite and divide. But above all, he will be the undisputed son of Jaramogi and a continuation of the political history of Kenya.