Raila Amolo Odinga: The King of MoUs
By Blamuel Njururi, Editor-in-Chief, Nairobi – May 16, 2017
If NASA is already sure of ten million votes out of the 19-odd million of registered voters, why would Raila and Kalonzo be worried at the level their victory will be announced?
Do YOU know the King of secret MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) Raila Amolo Odinga signs them on the eve of elections giving the other party inadequate time to read and comprehend the contents and their full implications. 2017 marks his 20th year in the game of MoUs always crafted to satisfy his desire for the coveted post of President of the Republic of Kenya.
- In 1997 Raila Amolo Odinga surprised President Daniel arap Moi when he arrived in his office with a briefcase full of Liberal Democratic Party (LPD) Luo MPs and sought a merger MoU to form New Kanu with Raila as Secretary General. The move was calculated to place Raila as Moi’s heir apparent ahead all other politicians in Kanu. Moi was desperate for a political successor and with Luo support he thought his potential heir would win.
However, Moi did not have Raila in mind, not after he had tried to overthrow him in 1982 during which over 1,500 Kenyans, many of them young military personnel died and Kenya’s economy was adversely torn apart. Moi paid Raila with the same coin when he announced his successor would be a political new-comer Uhuru Kenyatta Muigai in 2003, at such short distance to elections that Raila could not mount a Presidential campaign on his own.
- In 2003 a distraught Raila second MoU was with Ford-People’s Simeon Nyachae as Presidential Candidate and Raila as running mate at Serena Hotel. Raila was using a makeshift Rainbow Coalition party that included Kalonzo Musyoka, George Saitoti and Najib Balala who had quit Kanu in a huff after Moi named his preferred successor.
The MoU with Nyachae had been crafted in Raila’s self interest to make him vice president. He did not care about the political fate of his compatriots Saitoti, who had been Moi’s vice president for ten years or former cabinet ministers Balala, Kalonzo and William Ruto.
The ink on which the Nyachae-Raila MoU had not dried before he jumped ship to join Mwai Kibaki mammoth rally at the neighbouring Uhuru Park. The Kanu defectors were not sure Kibaki would embrace them but the then opposition was anxious to get every support even from the devil – if need be. The team was welcome and the famous “Kibaki tosha” acclaim born.
Once perched in Kibaki’s team, Raila was at his MoU drawing room again. He crafted an MoU that would, in self-interest, make him Prime Minister and Kalonzo second vice president after Kibaki’s choice of Wamalwa Kijana. Raila had abandoned Kibaki, Wamalwa and Charity Ngilu working on a joint opposition presidential candidate after 1997 election to join dictator Moi in Kanu.
- Using National Aliiance Party of Kenya (NAK) and Rainbow Coalition merger that formed Narc, Raila crafted the MoU with Kibaki (on wheel chair) creating office of Prime Minister, which was not provided for by then Constitution. Kibaki also secretly refused to be dragged through unconstitutional terrain and declined to endorse the pact.
Angered by Kibaki’s position, Raila would later in 2005 lead the opposition against the proposed new Constitution that led to the birth of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) – Orange was the symbol for NO campaigners while Banana was for the YES team symbol.
- Towards 2007 General Election Raila entered a Secret MoU with Coastal Mvita leaders to pursue pre-independence Majimbo government system for their support as ODM candidate. Raila’s selfish presidential pursuit forced Kalonzo to ran away with ODM-Kenya. Fortunately for Raila there was a lawyer who had registered ODM as a political party and he quickly bought it for Ksh 10 million.
- Raila put up a spirited fight against Kibaki and almost wrestled the presidency from him in 2007 if Kalonzo did not strike him with the bad omen of joining the Party for National Unity (PNU) president to become the vice president. There is no doubt that Kalonzo is bad omen for Raila and will go down the history as the man who denied him the presidency three times in a row – twice as a running mate.
- Early 2008 following the election Raila paid Kibaki and Kalonzo back with vengeance by disrupting their government with the notorious “Mass Action” whose tide of human blood swept him to the office of Prime Minister. The Constitution had to be quickly changed to create Raila’s office and avert wanton killing that had gripped the country and for which he has never apologized – just like the 1982 abortive coup.
- When the two met later in 2013 Kalonzo had changed the name of his party from ODM-Kenya to Wiper. He had just been jilted by Uhuru and Ruto who he had hoped would give him the presidential flag as they sorted out their International Criminal Court (ICC) cases. Instead the two teamed up to run for country’s top seats and Kalonzo in desperation went looking for Raila.
- The opposition doyen (to give him the tag his father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga enjoyed for years as he too sought his way to State House relentlessly) was at it again. He fashioned an MoU to favour himself as the presidential candidate and Kalonzo as running mate and promised to support Kalonzo for presidency in 2017. He lost and now argues he never got the presidency so he has nothing to give to Kalonzo. The 2013 MoU, like the one with Kibaki in 2003 was never made public and Kalonzo had no grounds to walk on chasing Raila.
Raila’s latest MoU with Kalonzo, Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi and a belated Izaac Ruto followed the same beaten path of all Raila MoUs. It came late in the evening when the so-called opposition leaders were all panting out of breath in desperation as the August 8th election approached. The NASA MoU has no succession plan but promises unconstitutional offices to Mudavadi, Wetangula and latecomer Ruto.
The MoU is as cunningly crafted as they come. It presents Raila as a one term president but does not explain how a man who has sought that office since August 1, 1982 would happily vacate it on August 8, 2022 after a short stint of five years with an option of additional 5 years. The MoU however, gives Raila a window when it states that any of the signatory can quit, including himself, after which it would lose its bonding glue. It is worth noting that Raila is nominated by ODM as its presidential candidate not NASA.
That means it will be within Raila’s right to call a bluff of the MoU and Kalonzo will have no recourse. Similarly the MoU does not categorically state who would succeed him after the one term reign. That was left out when the other NASA leaders threatened to quit if Kalonzo was made the automatic successor. In simple terms the MoU is as not worth the paper it’s written on.
Worse Kalonzo cannot be Raila’s running mate unless he is a member of ODM party under Section 28 of the Elections Act No.24 of 2011(Amendment) Act 2017). Under the anti-party hoping law IEBC can technically bar Kalonzo from being a running mate because he should have resigned from Wiper Party to join ODM. in 2013 Deputy President William Ruto had to abandon URP to join Uhuru in TNA. Once Kalonzo joins ODM he will cease to be Wiper leader and the NASA MoU will no longer bind him or Raila. Indeed, Raila and Kalonzo will cease to be signatories of any legal force leaving Musalia, Wetangula and Ruto marooned and drowing in political high seas.
As a junior member of ODM he will have no political backing to pursue the presumed one term Raila Presidency. The NASA MoU is as good as toilet tissue paper if not worse. Any Kenyan can also challenge Kalonzo nomination as Raila running mate within the stipulated time if he did not resign from Wiper Party as stipulated in law if allowed by IEBC because NASA is not a political party and is not on the ballot in 2017 elections. Any Kenyan voter being cheated there will be a NASA government in Kenya should on August 8th carefully check for NASA symbol. There will be none.
It was drawn to fulfill Raila’s long held ambition for the presidency. It was influenced by huge sums of money to buy the NASA principals especially Kalonzo who in the last few days was threatening to bolt out like he did in 2007. Raila had to fall back to his political bankrollers to buy loyalty. Dubai based wheel dealer Jimi Wanjigi provided super glue to bond NASA principals together and throw their weight behind Raila, albeit with empty unconstitutional promises.
It is within Raila’s modus operando to create unconstitutional offices, disregard the Constitution when it comes to removal of constitution officer bearers, like in the case of Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and now the Court of Appeal over presidential election results level of announcement. If NASA is already sure of ten million votes out of the 19-odd million of registered voters, why would Raila and Kalonzo be worried at what level their victory (God forbid) will be announced?
These are people on mountain tops cursing the Jubilee government for corruption and foreign debts including Eurobond but never, for a moment, stop to figure out the billions of shillings Kenya suffers economically during election violence and public demonstrations they sponsor. Kenya has lost trillions of shillings in economic losses since 1982 in politically-related destruction and in thousands of human lives lost than Jubilee has borrowed or lost in corruption.
Even the Moi-era massive looting and corruption was triggered by 1982 abortive coup that led many Kenyans to steal from their motherland and bank in foreign countries just in case the country is plunged into chaos as NASA leadership plans. The politically instigated violence has also scared away investments to the tune of billions upon billions accelerating youth unemployment currently plaguing the country.
Bur Raila is a worried man however brave face he shows in public view. His political bravado floats on a thick layer of uncertainty of losing his bid for presidency once again. To cover up his deep injury on his ego, he is quick to declare hi victory has been stolen twice. It is difficult to believe that two parliamentary back-benchers. with less than half of political experience enjoyed by Raila and Kalonzo, were able to steal victory from sitting Prime Minister and Vice President while at the same time facing trial before the International Criminal Court and Western nations hostility. The two are just unelectable on grounds of cultural, ethnic and political leadership styles.
Both are currently facing hostile backlash from their own ethnic followers. Kalonzo is under attack from his erstwhile financial Johnstone Muthama among other Kamba politicians who consider him a political turn coat of a dictator. Some Luo politicians including Raila’s cousin Jakoyo Midiwo and professionals are bitter with him and predict Raila’s day of reckoning is some two months away.
Midiwo was reported to have claimed he bribed Raila with Ksh 50 million to get ODM nomination. Neither the claim nor the money surprised those who know that ODM provides bumper financial harvest for Raila at election time. What surprised many is the courage Midiwo had gathered to take on Raila and his elder brother Oburu and accused them of running down the seemingly dying family party.
A Luo lawyer, who lost ODM nomination gas this to say on faceBook; Raila Odinga’s pay-back time is coming in August 2017
I squarely blame Raila Odinga for mischievously instigating SELECTION of the ODM Parliamentary candidate for Kibra Constituency for the August 2017 elections.
I have information at my disposal that a decision had already been made by Raila himself a while back to block Owalo in Kibra based on issues which are already in the public domain. For the record, I repeat that I have no regret or apologies to make to anybody whatsoever for my past stand on Raila’s parochial political interests in Kibra.
I have done a lot of soul-searching sine last night and come to the decision that because as a professional I do not want to subject myself to an environment where my fate will be subject to the level of sycophancy I portray to Raila Odinga both now and in the foreseeable future, I will mind my own business and therefore neither contest yesterday’s results nor run for the Kibra Parliamentary seat altogether in August 2017.
I’m however eagerly waiting for the results of the August 2017 Presidential elections in which I believe Raila will have no option but to come to terms with the sad reality that Malipo ni Hapa Hapa Duniani.