By: Egesa Ronald Leonard
Raila Amolo Odinga remains an enigma to many Kenyans and global citizens. On 30th January after the ‘swearing in ‘ of the People’s President, I listened to Tamale Mirundi make what I regarded as a flawed analysis on the latest Odinga move. Later on in a telephone conversation, I shared my take with Mirundi and he bought into it. Here was my take;
1. Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta are more than friends, just like their fathers were. They have already cut a deal to allow Kenyatta to govern, but also see Odinga get something and also prepare his daughters to carry forward the Odinga brand and strengthen the Odinga dynasty.
2. The swearing in ceremony presented Raila with the best opening of dismantling the NASA coalition which had already outlived its usefulness. Coalitions are primarily setup to seize power. If you do not seize power, you have no business staying in a coalition.
3. By gaining the courage to take part in a swearing-in ceremony that was shunned by his co-principals, Raila Odinga had managed to endear himself to his radical support base. This denies any of his principals the chance of inheriting this base, except the one that Raila will himself annoint.
Fast forward to Friday 9th March 2018 and boom!!!! Raila and Uhuru emerge from Harambee House to jointly address the press. Done and Dusted! I must give credit to Uhuru and his team of strategists. Here is why I credit them. Team Uhuru succeeded in dismantling NASA by engaging the weaker co-principals in night meetings and once these night meetings resulted in the shunning of the People’s President oath that turned out well attended by Raila’s supporters, Team Uhuru was more than convinced that Raila remains the Oga and is the person they must cut a deal with – ignoring page boys and flower girls.
Unlike the night meetings with Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetangula, Uhuru cut the deal with the main man in broad day light and this was a stroke of genius on his part. Uhuru has started regaining the legitimacy that has been largely lacking following the largely boycotted repeat Presidential election of October 26th 2017. By agreeing with Team Uhuru to shun the January 30th People’s Presidential oath, the 3 NASA co-principals drunk from the cup of the poisoned chalice. One can argue that they succumbed to international pressure, but who of them has a larger international image to protect than Raila Odinga?? On the other hand, by taking the oath, Raila proved to Team Uhuru that he has support and his supporters only ask how high he wants them to jump when he commands them! This is a serious lesson for political prostitutes and hypocrites.
Another point that Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta pulled off with their presser and ‘burrying of the hatchet’ was that of letting the world know that Kenyan problems are solved by Kenyans. It cannot be denied that the UN, EU and US have been exerting pressure on the two principals to dialogue and work together, but the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a signal to the two principals that the US wants to use that opportunity to force them to the negotiation table and take credit for solving the Kenyan political impasse. The two could not allow it to happen. Indeed, their reunion and pledge to work towards uniting and prospering Kenyans has taken away the limelight from the visit of Mr. Rex Tillerson.
They may fight and talk tough to each other when on political rallies, but the Kenyatta and Odinga families were joined at the hip. They simply use the ordinary wanainchi to nourish and sustain their political dynasties. Not so long ago, Uhuru Kenyatta commanded his Parliamentary troops to ensure that Raila’s elder brother Oburu Odinga goes to EALA yet Raila was still stirring up the masses with claims that he does not recognise Uhuru Kenyatta as a legitimate President of Kenya. Cue in billionaire tendepreneur Jimi Wanjigi – son of Moi-era Cabinet Minister Maina Wanjigi. Wanjigi is tight buddies with both families and it is this friendship with the dynasties that has enabled him to live a mafioso-like lifestyle and to wield a lot of power even when he has never held any office in government.
Kenyans have reason to worry. The State continues under the tight grip of the Kenyatta and Odinga families. Watch out for the increasing roles of the Odinga daughters especially Winnie. Rosemary is sick, but she would be right there as well. For now, a Kenyatta will remain in State House and an Odinga will continue to dictate the political direction of the nation called Kenya.