Is Raila self-destructing politically?
By Blamuel Njururi – Nairobi, July 15, 2016
Rao’s buccaneering career is a thoroughfare of political disappointment, broken promises, shattered dreams and betrayal of those he encounters politically
Kenya opposition maestro Raila Amolo Odinga alias Rao, alias Tinga, alias Agwambo, alias Baba is staring into his sunset years with great consternation and uncertainty following hitherto unprecedented stampede by politicians fleeing from his Orange Democratic Party (ODM) and inevitably its appendage Cord.
Rao, who operates best under crisis is facing one that has mutated beyond his vitenda wili and can easily lead to his political demise if he continues to recklessly pursue ODM political intolerance trajectory. He is gazing at his political stars fading on every horizon in Kenya’s landscape except in areas where telling the emperor that he is naked, when he is overwhelmed by self-importance is suicidal and court jesters abound.
Increasingly it is becoming evident that Rao’s worst enemy is Raila Amolo Odinga. He values no political ally except those willing to surrender their political lives to his full control 24/7. Any criticism about his political decision is a voluntary early retirement request, which is swiftly executed.
It is Roa’s father and genuine democrat Jaramogi Oginga Odinga who said if you stand in the way of change resisting its force, it will change you. Dictator Daniel arap Moi did not believe in change and eventually Kenya’s baba na mama Kanu party was swept from power by forces of change in 2003.
Rao has resisted internal democracy within ODM and by extension Cord far too long to maintain his family’s firm grip on the political life in the Luo Nation. He ignores or is oblivious of the fact that the entire Kenyan Nation is throbbing with newly found democratic freedoms anchored in the New Constitution.
The Mulembe Nation is a victim of the national reverberations of the newly found freedoms that have thrown doors wide open for the Luhyas to exercise personal liberty to decide one’s political preferences. So can all the Cord allies roped by Rao for ease of domination now free to exercise their political self-determination.Their desire is however being hampered by self-enslaved Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula – two political opportunists without a vision jointly or separately.
On February 28, 2014 ODM Men in Black were called in to scutle a National Delegates Convention elections because it would have placed Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho as chairman and Ababu as secretary general. It was clear that Rao did not wish to surrender ownership of his party to strangers he could not control directly. Rao later handpicked his tribesman dimwit John Badi and planted him as ODM chairman. That explains why Ababu ended up as a general holding a gun without ammunition.
Rao appears to be in a deep slumber and unable to hear loudly intoxicating noises from former cabinet ministers. He ignores staunch ODM Western Kenya supporter Fred Gumo alias Kaa Ngumu on matters affecting top party organs like the office of secretary general and by extension the Mulembe Nation seeking liberation from political oppression. The Luhya support that Rao thinks he commands is slipping though his fingers never to return.
Political rebellion is highly contagious and can sweep across communities like wildfire. It is surprising that a person who has been so good in weaving inter-ethnic support but destroying them a few months to election cannot learn from his own mistakes and ends up claimsing his elections are stolen.
Rao very good at weaving inter-ethnic support
In the run-up to 2007 General Election Rao came up with the ethnic line up of the ODM Pentagon that delivered his Luo community, Kalenjin community through Rift Valley powerhouse William Ruto, now Deputy President, Coast communities fished by Najib Balala, Luhya votes delivered by Musalia Mudavadi and some fragments of Central Kenya voters through Joseph Nyagah.
After forming the nusu mkate coalition government following 2008 Post Election Violence, Rao could not keep his team together and booted Ruto pretty early by way of sacking him from the cabinet. Others all fell by the wayside before 2013 General Election.
He had also dumped his initial cabinet appointees after he delivered National Democratic Party (NDP) MPs in a brief case to dictator Moi after 1997 Elections. NDP soon after dissolved to form New Kanu with Rao as secretary general ousting then fiery Joseph Kamotho. Rao had parted company with Kijana Wamalwa in 1994 after he failed to inherit the Ford-Kenya party from his father.
Rao thereafter took over briefcase NDP and subsequently led all the Luo politicians out of Ford-Kenya except for a few principled leaders like Ramogi Achieng Oneko (RIP), James Orengo (now Rao’s court jester), Joe Donde, Otieno Kopiyo and a few others who stood by Wamalwa and remained in Jaramogi’s party. All of them would suffer banishment from Luo Nation politics except those who went back literally on their knees to beg for forgiveness from Rao – notably Orengo and Anyang Nyong’o and it paid handsome financial dividends when they were elevated to cabinet ministers.
Kibaki tosha fallacy
Rao has on many occasions claimed he propelled Kibaki to power with two words proclamation Kibaki Tosha. The LDP team had not planned to join Kibaki election bid. Its first port of call was at Serena where Rao agreed to team up with former Finance Minister and Leader of Ford-People Simeon Nyachae, who had declared his presidential ambition. Nyachae met with Rao team at Serena Hotel and as old Kanu buddies agreed on an MoU to back his presidency. They sealed the deal with a sumptuous lunch.
As they drove away from Serena they noticed huge waves of wananchi amassing at Uhuru Park where Kibaki, Wamalwa and Charity Ngilu were hosting a public rally. Totally uninvited, Rao and his LDP team gatecrashed at the meeting and Kibaki, being the gentleman he is. allowed them in but kept Rao and Wamalwa as far apart as possible. Rao had deserted Kibaki, Kijana and Ngilu, who were seeking a joint opposition candidate to remove Moi, to join the dictator who in turn later forced him out.
Calculating the benefits of having Rao on his side and the Luo vote, Kibaki happily allowed him to address the mammoth rally.
Wamalwa: Raila was unable to grab Ford-Kenya from him
Rao is not known for his impromptu public speaking eloquence and as he struggled with what to say, Balala seated nearby prompted Rao ambia waKenya Kibaki Tosha (tell Kenyans Kibaki in enough). Rao roared back Kibaki Tosha and the crowds went wild. He has since boasted of how he supported Kibaki with those words equating them to his father’s well thought out and original statement to British colonial government that Kenyans would not accept independence without Kenyatta being released from detention in 1962.
A thoroughfare of political disappointment of broken promises
Rao’s buccaneering career is a thoroughfare of political disappointment, broken promises, shattered dreams and betrayal of those he encounters politically like Wamalwa after failing to grab Ford Kenya and led Luo MPs out. Then Moi after he took over NDP and delivered Luo MPs to Kanu, only to lead a walkout leaving Uhuru and Moi’s Kanu a much weakened party. He then acquired LDP to join Kibaki in Narc in 2002 only to lead another walk out in 2005 and form ODM after leaving Kibaki a much weakened man in the run up to the 2007 elections.
As the battle for Cord flag bearer looms large Rao will soon find himself where put Kibaki in 2007 and Moi in 2002. When NDP merged with KANU Rao anticipated he would be Moi’s chaoice for State House after Moi publicly said he did not consider his then vice president George Saitoti presidential material. The NDP leader became Kanu General Secretary further enhancing his ambition to succeed Moi.
However, the short gun marriage was to be short lived when Moi announced Uhuru Kenyatta as his successor. Uhuru was subsequently confirmed by a KANU Governing Council in October 2002. Rao who witnessed manipulated lists of Kanu delegates flying all over, stormed out from the congress together with his followers from the former NDP and was joined by a number of KANU politicians who protested against Moi’s manipulation of the party choice in favour of his chosen candidate. (Same scenario is likely to happen during Rao’s Cord flag bearer selection exercise.)
Rao’s new group, which included Saitoti, Balala and Kalonzo Musyoka called itself the Rainbow Coalition, quit the ruling party Kanu. Soon after Rao procured then insignificant Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) which was to be one of the founding members of the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) that swept them to power in the 2002 presidential and parliamentary elections under President Mwai Kibaki.
Note that Raila parties have always encrypted the world “Democratic” in their names – National “Democratic” Party (NDP), Liberal “Democratic” Party (LDP) and Orange “Democratic” Party (ODM). The same goes for Coalition for Reforms and “Democracy” (CORD) which is a cut and paste copy of his father’s Forum for the Restoration of “Democracy” (FORD). That is a well consealed deception that the man is himself democratic.
ODM Secretary general Ababau Namwamba has placed Rao in the same pedestal the ODM Alfa and Omega put Moi in 2002 and Kibaki in 2005. It’s payback time as key ODM officials scramble away from a seemingly sinking ship as it happened to Kanu. Rao’s demagogic party dictatorship is no different from Moi’s – both of them for over two decades. Like Moi in 2002, Rao will have to sleep on the bed he has been making for 24 years since he took over NDP as his first personal political party.
ODM uses violence as an instrument of party policy
ODM embraces gross political superciliousness, hostility, offensive social hatred and vulgar abuses in which those accused of ethnic hate mongering are feted by none other but Rao himself and ODM top officials in city hotels and entertained in lavish home-coming extravaganzas to glorify social animosity deep into the rural grassroots. Rival political party Jubilee is not seen as a competitor within political space and ODM politicians don’t think twice when telling their supporters that “Jubilee is our enemy” in the real meaning of the word. ODM uses violence as an instrument of party policy.
Dissenters are described as having been bought by the “enemy” and ridiculed in public rallies regardless of the fact that they are elected by Kenyans as their political representatives. Such political bigotry and intolerance can only breed rich reservoirs of ethnic haters amongst youth, professionals and politicians themselves. Worse some ODM women MPs, Senators and Women Representatives behave as if they have snake venom running through their veins. They attack fellow politicians in a demeaning language never heard in Kenya since independence. in 1960s they would qualify to be “calicos” – crude primitive maids.
How can a well bred, educated and elected member of Parliament explain such unkind and unbecoming behaviour as to pour water on a fellow woman’s well groomed hair in full view of fellow MPs and millions of Kenyans watching live Parliamentary proceedings. That kind of behaviour can come from poor upbringing, poor schooling, poor marriage and personal indiscipline. It is an act of impulsive hate towards the holder of Deputy Speaker in the August House grounded on ethnic animosity. Speaker Justin Muturi is not spared either.
Chaos in Parliament: ODM democrats at what they do best.
No word of caution came from Rao on party discipline yet he aspires to be the president of 45 million multi-ethnic Kenya. That is abetting outright ethnic contempt of Parliamentary conduct displayed by his MPs. That is the same person who relentlessly criticizes other leaders of failing to promote ethnic cohesion.
The recent violent anti-IEBC demonstrations quite obviously show that Rao did not learn anything from his 2008 Mass Action monumental losses in human, commercial and national reputation to his motherland Kenya. Political indiscipline, corruption and social disruptions have cost Kenya her place of esteemed international community on civilized nations as she struggles through primitive village tribal politics.
ODM-Cord is holding Kenya hostage with threats of renewed IEBC demonstrations over issues already before Parliament as the competent authority to deal with removal of commissioners or the entire body. Kenyans must say no to politics of destruction ODM inherited from Moi when Rao used NDP to join Kanu and became its secretary general. He never tendered his resignation yet ODM is asking Namwamba to submit his resignation as ODM secretary general. Rao does not seem to heed the only sensible political advice Moi gave Kenyans – Siasa mbaya, maisha mbaya – a common phenomenon in Nyanza.
There are hundreds of families that live in poverty because their loved ones were killed or their businesses destroyed in August 1, 1982 abortive coup in which Rao claims affectionate relationship. Thousands more families were drowned into the sea of poverty Rao’s Mass Action destructive journey in 2008 in which 1,500 lives of innocent Kenyans were violently cut short, 650,000 families rendered internally displaced persons (IDPs) and billions of shillings in economic losses inflicted upon motherland Kenya. How long will political terrorism that destroys lives, property and economy continue?
Rao surrounds himself with lawyers Weta and Kalonzo who offer no legal advice to promote his image and that of ODM-Cord. They condemn Jubilee, president Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy president William Ruto for wholesale corruption, even by ODM politicians as well as police brutality but defend wanton destruction by ODM-Cord hooligans on police. The trio is in court denying responsibility on burning of a poor woman’s matatu by their followers demonstrating against IEBC in Huruma Estate, Nairobi where no IEBC commissioner lives.
The trio ignores the fact that “Kapenguria six” were not jailed because of administering Mau Mau oath or killing white settlers during Mau Mau insurgency, but for crimes by their followers. Even lawyers Weta and Kalonzo ignore the fact that former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president Pemba has been jailed for 30 years for crimes against humanity committed by his followers. Raila and his co-principals too should shoulder responsibility for the crimes committed by his followers.
Rao would have endeared himself to the matatu owner and many voters if he offered to replace the matatu for as little as Ksh 5 million but as Kalembe Ndile says, he is as mean as miser. He loves to have all the money accruing to ODM but hates to spend it on any one outside his tightly knit circle of relatives. That explains why Kangundo Senator Johnstone Muthama alias Baba Madini of HSBC Bank offshore accounts, has found a front seat in Cord for which he pays dearly.
Self-serving politics supersede national and social responsibilities of Kenyan leaders as the country hurtles aimlessly while politicians bank accounts inflate out of taxpayers’ sweat. Why is Nyanza and Coast regions eating fish imported from China when Rao was a cabinet minister and Prime Minister coordinating government ministries for five years?
Why does Kenya import tooth picks, match boxes, pencils, pins, stables, stationery and simple-to-manufacture basic products from China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore when leaders spend time engaging in political rhetoric, lavish home-coming parties after elections and court appearances in an environment of a deep ocean of poverty, youth unemployment and crime? What leadership is that?
Rao compares himself with Senator Bernie Sanders in United States Democratic Presidential race, but Sanders is man enough to accept defeat when beaten even by a woman unlike Rao whose defeat ends up with claims of “stolen election”. Rao has been overtaken by Kenya’s political evolution and is currently self-destructing.
Interestingly, Kenya will be going to polls in August next year some 35 years since the August 1, 1982 abortive coup staged by Kenya Air Force wing of the military. Will the same month that a coup Raila fondly associates himself with as part of his democratic struggle heroism sweep him to State House. Will the Kenya Defense Forces Rao disparages as charcoal sellers in Kisimayu accept him as its Commander in Chief. Will the National Intelligence Services and the Army that Raila alleges conspired to rig 2013 election in favour of Uhuru accept him?
Next Friday: Kenya’s elusive unity and cohesion