• April 16, 2024
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Raila’s absence from Kenya’s politics,What’s at stake?

Raila’s absence from Kenya’s politics,What’s at stake?

Friday,29 March,2024

McCreadie Andias

Raila Odinga the man, a key Political figure who has premiered Kenya’s political stage for more than two decades, Some call him the Enigma, Some call him baba, Some call him Agwambo, different picks but all with a taste of political supremacy and power.

It is interesting on how Odinga has maintained his political relevance through all these years despite failing on five stabs at the presidential persuit.

Some call him a loser but he knows no how to lose hope in whatever he searches and he know exactly how to get it.Perhaps the greatest political figure in the history of the land and the most fierce and ‘stubborn’ opposition leader in the continent. His name commands masses of ardent supporters who are willing to put their lives on the line facing un-humane police officers in democratic anti-government demonstrations. Millions have chosen to love him for free and millions have turned up to vote for him despite the couple number of times he has lost.

A patriotic figure who has fought for significant reforms including the constitution promulgation in 2010 that introduced aspects of devolved units of government and freedom of picketing. A leading figure against oppressive tax policies and controversial government laws.

But fear lingers as the man might soon leave the local political stage as he is projected to assume chairmanship of the African Union commision.

This is his new ambition, this might be where he finishes the race.But as he says goodbye to Kenyan politics, there’s a great feeling of National nostalgia. Alot are happy without him and alot are also sad without him for reasons best known to them.

Raila himself says he will still be relevant on Kenya’s political arena but not active as before. His shot at the AU seat has alot of work behind it but if he does his homework right there’s no one taking the seat away from him.

He has so far managed to ganer powerful support from African leaders including president William Ruto of Kenya, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Felix Tshisekedi of DRC and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, perhaps more support is coming and his unforseen victory is inevitable.

Raila’s absence from home politics as the main opposition leader will have its twists and turns, as i said before, the mood might be celebratory for many perhaps including the president himself but at the same time there’s alot at stake when a person who has helped shape Kenya’s political discipline including the constitution of the land goes Missing in action.

We all know a country without opposition is doomed to severe retributions why? There’s looming oppressive rule, looming constitutional injustices, democracy at test, Government impunity and even rugged state laws.

Who will fight for the poor, who will defend the oppressed, who will face the government in its wrong doings.

Some are Saying “No odinga, No Opposition”. Do you agree? But there’s Martha Karua, The likes of Kalonzo Musyoka, Eugene Wamalwa, Mwangi wa Iria, George Wajackoya, Wycliff Oparanya, Hassan joho? But do they have the guts, do they have the numbers, Do they have what it takes to face President William Ruto head on. Maybe we will see.

But for now what’s really projected to be at stake.

First, let’s all agree to disagree that the country can function without a robust opposition system that checks on the government excesses with top-notch scrutiny. When there’s a robust opposition, there will be limited corruption and misappropriation of public funds.

Kenya has overelied on Raila Odinga’s opposition muscles including those who abandon his name on the ballot during election cycles. Odinga has opposed three different regimes William Ruto being the fifth. He has the necessary experience and knowledge to counter attack the government, he did it with Daniel Moi although he faced severe consequences at some points but he showed his willingness to die for his country’s well-being which is a true patriotic spirit needed by any opposition leader. Reselience, boldness and patriotism.

Odinga pushed for multi-party democracy and here we have it, electoral reforms and here they are, freedom of expression here we go and we reap from the sacrifices he made that saw him sentenced and jailed. So will our democracy be safe if Raila leaves, will the president respect the rule of law we have already seen him defy Judicial orders on Housing bill and government projects. Will Kalonzo face Ruto against democratic excesses as exemplified by Odinga before.

The opposition itself will be at great stake without Odinga, The current opposition premiers have not shown enough courage to go against the Kenya Kwanza regime. Kalonzo Musyoka is not a confrontative figure as Raila is, President William Ruto needs a Confrontative opposition not a soft talker. Without the necessary energy, the opposition might go into oblivion. They need to command a force that can accumulate masses in the streets incase the government is defiant on people’s wants. Azimio la Umoja one Kenya Alliance will need someone with Raila Odinga’s spirit and balls. William Ruto’s is not a sweet talker – government. It needs a robust force with robust approaches. Azimio co-principles have shown more interest in drafting how and who will inherit Raila Odinga and face William Ruto in 2027 rather than who will continue the strong opposition tragectory. This itself is a weaklink and put’s the opposition at a very precarious position .

The constitution itself is at stake, The rule of law cannot be fully adhered to without a strong opposition. The Judiciary which is positioned to safeguard the rule of law has shown weaknesses by owing an allegiance to the government which has compromised its independence. The president has grabbed the Judiciary as a pet and his recent defiant moves against Judicial orders not only undermines the independence of the Judiciary but also Judicial power. If the constitution can be breached there is no law. Odinga led constitutional promulgations that have promoted swift laws that have aided good governance. His absence will possibly ail the constitution.

Raila’s ODM party itself is at stake amidst his exit. Odinga has created the Orange Democratic Movement to be a leading political force in Kenya commanding millions of supporters from across Nyanza region, Western Kenya and even the capital Nairobi, the party has fielded outstanding candidates in various elective posts who have made remarkable development track-records.

It is uncertain whether the ODM will be weakened with Raila’s exit as he has been recently leading community grassroot mobilization drives to strengthen the party and prepare it for his exit but a strong and stable successor for the party whether it will be Junet Mohammed, John Mbadi, Hassan Joho or Wycliff Oparanya, must play big steps to keep the party relevant.

Odinga has been active in championing social justice issues and defending human rights in Kenya. He has spoken out against corruption, inequality, and injustice, and has advocated for policies to address these issues, his champion on electoral reforms and transparency in conducting of general elections, fairness and equity in resources distribution will need not only a wholesome leader but a hard-hitter and confrontative figure.

All the democratic, constitutional and political strides Kenya has made since Odinga’s entry into local politics hang in the balance. Only the right man can continue with the job.

Meanwhile, The ruling regime will be jubilant on his exit since it means to them landslide victory on the 2027 general elections and less opposition that will give them humble time to rule while smiling.

By McCreadie Andias,

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