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KITONGA: What I Envision of a Raila Presidency


With four unsuccessful aims at the presidency, the first being in 1997, followed by the controversial 2007 general election, the 2013 contest and the annulled August 2017 polls, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga proves to be a consistent fighter aimed at reforming the country's governance and give it a new look. Historically, pundits come to agreement that his losses can be agreeably be disagreed to have been credible in totality. 

Raila Odinga greets Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu. Looking on is Makueni's Governor Prof Kibwana. Raila has tapped Ngilu to be among his campaigners in Ukambani. Photo/COURTESY

Odinga was portrayed as an enemy of the Deep State and several power brokers, a reason why he lost the 2007 polls despite the media giving him an early lead. The then electoral registry ECK's verdict was final; Samwel Kivuitu declared Mwai Kibaki a winner shortly after openly admitting he knew not the winner. The aftermath was chaos and violence that led to loss of property, deaths and internal displacement of people.

Fast forward to 2017, the Supreme Court that had thrown away Mr Odinga's petition in favour of Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013, his close competitor, annulled his (Uhuru's) victory and a fresh election was conducted within a specified 60 days period. In what appeared to be a tactical error, Mr Odinga boycotted the repeat polls and gave Mr Kenyatta victory on a silver plate.

Later on, Odinga ended the suspense of what was cooking in the Opposition side that had ordered its loyalists to resist government-allied companies and enterprises. A Handshake with his political rival Uhuru Kenyatta at the steps of Harambee House's Office of the President. Odinga's unorthodox office that was birthed by an oath at Uhuru Park as the People's President was also forgotten.

This healthy working cooperation between the Government and the Opposition led to the birth of the Building Bridges Initiative that sought to incorporate, inculcate and repeal some sections of the Constitution 2010 for inclusivity and to bring to an end the tension that follows an electioneering period.

Legal hurdles

Unfortunately, the process was faced with legal hurdles that led to its declaration as illicit by the High Court and Court of Appeal. It awaits a final appellate ruling by the Supreme Court.

On December 10 2021 Raila, also known as “The Enigma” announced he would vie for President at Kasarani Stadium an event attended by thousands of his supporters. Part of his agenda was the principle of administrative continuity, One Country One Product among others. He now appears to have the backing of the vote rich Mount Kenya region. Several politicians like Sabina Chege, Kanini Kega, Maina Kamanda and a host of governors from the region are leaning towards his Azimio camp. The region seems ready to reciprocate the support of Jaramogi and Raila's 2002 Kibaki Tosha declaration. However, he lost key allies like Mudavadi and Wetang’ula who have teamed up with Ruto and Kalonzo Musyoka his two time running mate and one who found himself on the receiving end after Mudavadi's earthquake now left with Gideon Moi in One Kenya Alliance.

Under Raila's Presidency, I foresee a country envisioned in respect for constitutionalism, socioeconomic reforms, national values and Principles of governance, an inclusive government where every community, the minorities and marginalized will be well represented, a government that will dismantle corruption and oversee full implementation of the Constitution 2010 and rule of law, where there shall exist the separation of powers, checks and balances between the three arms of government, an administration that will continue with Uhuru's legacy, Vision 2030 and clear external debts.

For his selflessness and sacrifices he has made for the country and being part and parcel of every reform; The multiparty democracy, Kibaki Tosha declaration, Peace deal with Kibaki in 2007 to save the country from abyss, the new constitution, acting as a government watchdog from 2013 to 2017, handshake with Uhuru, Raila deserves a chance to occupy the highest office in the land. Odinga has always been there, both when people needed him and when they didn't expect him. This depicts a man who is not ready to forsake his people for whichever sake.

As per his words Raila has no problem being a one-term president; this is a man who will not go to bed with the perpetrators of justice and looters of public resources.

Kenya needs a government that will instil patriotism to the citizens, cultivate the respect for the rule of law, facilitate the dispensation of justice, guarantee social protection, cut the cost of education, create a healthy environment for businesses, create employment opportunities, pluck cartels from government, protect devolution, eliminate corruption and promote an effective health system. This is what I envision of a Raila Odinga government.

All said and done, the sovereign power under the constitution belongs to the people and the electorates will exercise their Democratic right of voting on August 9 this year. That's when the fate of who takes over from Uhuru will be known.


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