BY THOMAS KARIUKI.
He has been described as an enigma in Kenya’s politics, the father of the freedoms Kenyans are enjoying today, the lubricant that has tirelessly rolled the wheels of institutional reforms, championed democracy and good governance. However, the expiration of a reign as king and a god is inevitable.
Allow me to confer a few events that proclaimed the fall of a hulk, man who served in Kenya as a Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister, Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition, a man the world knows as a beacon of democracy in Africa, the Rt. Hon Raila Amolo Odinga.
There is one thing, so minute that Mr Odinga did not do during his 2017 presidential campaign. He was never in charge of his campaign.
What am saying is this; Raila sat down, folded his hands pretty, enjoyed amusements, was invited to address the public, followed his advisors to the latter, was thrown in a shallow well and he is been urged to continue digging. Now, what effect do all these true events have on his person?
Raila sat down
Mr Odinga sat down and watched people do things for him. Behind his back, Raila was made to look stupid in the eyes of the public. It is during his campaigns that there were botched nominations awarding cronies of his cronies, it is during this time that Raila had two manifestos whose ultimate revelation was a plan-less leader, it is during this time also that Raila’s agenda was made to look like a revolution. I remember an article written in a local daily on how Raila tried to overthrow the President Daniel Moi’s government. He sat down and did nothing.
Raila folded his hands pretty
Raila watched (clueless) as deserving or undeserving leaders were brought to him as close allies (to whom?) and others thrown under the bus. Raila did not reign on errant party secretariat despite accusations by members of the public that they ruined his party’s nominations. Raila folded his hands and these cronies were brought to him as leaders chosen by the people- someone somewhere knows better. Raila also watched as nomination certificates were dished out like cashew nuts, his close friends for years Paul Otuoma, Nicolas Gumbo just to mention but a few were not needed any longer.
Raila enjoyed amusements and was invited to address the public
Raila Odinga was cheated to grasshopper dances which were a clear opposite reflection of the reality. Raila was happy to see big crowds wherever he went. One of the many tasks given to his campaign team was to make Raila look strong in the eyes of the public- the politics of impression. This is to say that it did not matter how the crowds would appear but one thing for sure is that they must appear. Did it translate to votes? This can only be answered in an evaluation report by the party. Raila was made to believe that he had the backing of his strongholds, I remember him say in a rally that his strongholds were intact. Now, what happened in the perceived strongholds? Raila shared his fortunes with Mr Kenyatta on a lesser margin and if not Mr Kenyatta beat him painstakingly. An example is the Kisii and Western regions. Raila, not taking charge was invited to address the publics, at one point it seemed he was following Mr Kenyatta’s plan, like when Mr Kenyatta went to Western, the next day Raila would go to that region. Meaning, Raila abandoned his plans and worked with Jubilee plans. Raila in complete opposite of his 2013 presidential campaign strategy that was principally successful, did not hack plans to meet the people but was invited to meet and address the public contradicting the notion of who needs the public, is it the public that needed Raila or Raila needed the public?
Repeat Presidential Election
The king is naked; no one will tell or even cover him. Witty as he is, Raila Odinga greatest undoing is that he trusted his friends christened advisors so faithfully that he misconstrued the friendship or advice to believe that their interests were his interest. These friends misguided, disallowed or hid the path of ascension to power from Raila. It is Raila advisors and Campaign team that asked him to boycott the repeat presidential election of 2017. Why boycott, what was in, the benefit and or loss for Raila if he boycotted, was it a good decision, what is the way forward for Raila?
The decision to boycott I can vividly tell you, it was not Raila’ decision. A decision was made by a few of the secretariat members, advisors and or a politician (s). I will tell you without fear that it was a stale idea; it did not kickoff, fly-off or paddle-off. The thinking behind it was meant to steal a match but instead stole a match against the initiators. The risk was extremely risky and can be likened to suicide. What benefit was it to Raila, everything that he championed for in his irreducible minimums to the IEBC was swept off like a river. The boycott did not benefit Raila or any other Kenyan. If the opposite happened, i.e. Raila participated in the repeat poll; these irreducible minimums could have formed the basis of him rejecting the poll outcome. Right now, Raila cannot discredit the poll which he never participated in and this assumption can be confirmed by the decision by the Supreme Court of Kenya denying him participation in the second Presidential petition.
In addition to this, the same people or person has advised Raila to swear himself in as a people’s president on December 12 2017. What is the ultimate effect of this? Raila can swear himself in; however, Mr Kenyatta’s presidency has been recognized by the international community having been elected as per the constitutional order in Kenya. Swearing him or purporting to swear himself as the people’s president, Raila actions will be treasonable and as such will not be allowed to participate in any other election as a presidential candidate let alone guarantee his safety. It is a self-defeating idea which will destroy the image of a great man. I wish to know who benefits if Raila is out of the picture. Is it the clamor for a new Luo leader?
Allow me to confirm that it is time for Raila to leave the dance arena. He has danced the best way he was able to and their no point of him saying the DJ or the music is not good or the dance floor is slippery. He can exit the arena honorably, Kenya’s greatest songs are still unsung, and her greatest heroes are still unborn. It is time to call off the campaign. Raila will be remembered for the good things he did and the important decisions he made when the country needed him most. He doesn’t have to destroy a legacy he has built for decades, let others make their own.
This is my thought, one can take it or wholly disregard it, and it is just my thought.