LUO KITGI GI TIMBEGI
From: john arende
Why Raila’s popularity has been rising
By JOHN CHERUIYOT / Kenya Times
Two powerful leaders in the Nyayo era have not supported Ruto or
given support to ODM-K the party most Kenyans seem to identify with.
William Ruto has not performed or faired well in national politics
despite being from the fourth
largest community in the country.
Ruto’s dismal performance hinges basically on his character and political
inconsistence. His role in the YK92 lobby group has had a negative effect
on his reputation. This was worsened by his rejection by former President
Daniel arap Moi. It is also obvious that it was Raila’s idea that Ruto
be a contender. This was an opportunity for the community to rally behind
Ruto and somehow neutralise Moi’s grip on the Kalenjin community.
Many today believe and think that to capture the Kalenjin vote one
must negotiate with tribal chiefs or former power brokers. That once
Moi or Biwott endorse a leader the community endorses the same fanatically
the way it did in 2002.
It may explain why Moi and Biwott are in good books with the Kibaki
In 2003 both Moi and Biwott were in bad books of the current administration.
They were marginalised and ignored. Not any more. Today Kibaki has a soft
spot for Moi and Biwott more than Raila Odinga.
Moi has blasted ODM-K leadership and has advised the Kalenjin community
to stick with KANU. So far Uhuru Kenyatta has changed tune and echoed Moi’s
call. He has pulled out of ODM-K and has further downplayed his bid for
the presidency. It appears that both Moi and Uhuru have settled on Kibaki.
This will give Kibaki a chance to finish his second term. Thereafter
in post-Kibaki era Uhuru Kenyatta will no doubt emerge as the indisputable
leader of the Kikuyu community. Given the fact that Kikuyus have a reputation
for not supporting anybody else during voting except one of their own,
Uhuru’s chances in 2012 are bound to be stronger.
Many see Moi’s support for Uhuru as tied to his son Gideon Moi. Should
Uhuru run for presidency in 2012 Gideon Moi will naturally be his running
mate. This could make the oft speculated Kenyatta-Moi dynasty a reality
The greatest challenge is Raila Odinga.The emergence of Raila as
the leader to challenge the old order is a threat to Moi-Kibaki-Kenyatta
From the word go the Odinga family factor in Kenya has been a reform
and revolutionary ideology in the country. Since the days of Oginga Odinga
post independent governments have been jittery and totally opposed to
the Odingas. First Oginga [Raila’s father] was pro-socialism and anti-capitalism.
He differed fundamentally with Kenyatta [the father of Uhuru] on national
issues. One being the land issue. Oginga wanted the land formerly held
by colonialists to be returned to former indigenous communities. Oginga
wanted the Kalenjin and the Masai and Samburu to be resettled in their
ancestral lands, which were grabbed by the colonialists. This may explain
why the Luo community did not settle in Rift Valley. On the contrary Kenyatta
settled his community in both Rift Valley and Coast provinces. The demotion
of Oginga Odinga in the 1960s by Kenyatta was basically both ideological
and the land issue in Rift Valley.
As soon as Moi was made Kenya’s VP leading Kalenjin leaders like Marie
Seroney and William Murgor were furious. They saw Kenyatta’s hand and his
thirst for Rift Valley land.
The land question and the issue of Kikuyu and other communities has
been a thorn in Kenya’s flesh.
Currently Raila Odinga has captured the imagination of Kenyans on
the issue of devolution. He is the only vocal voice on devolution and
federal dispensation in post independent Kenya. Moi thought at first a
federalist in KADU backtracked on the subject. Marie Seroney a Kalenjin
was a federalist and died yearning for federal dispensation.
So the issue of devolution is very dear to the people of Rift Valley and
Coast provinces. It should be noted further that Kadu a federalist party
was supported in the 1960s by three provinces namely: Western, Rift Valley
and Coast. It was supported further by four communities namely Kalenjin,
Masai, Luyia and Mijikenda. Hence the emergence of Raila from Nyanza in
support of federal dispensation is a powerful political dynamite. The Kalenjin
in particular are for devolution. They are likely to be attracted to Raila.They
will not listen to Moi or Biwott. Currently the Raila mania is sweeping
through Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza and Coast.
The issue of devolution, which was championed by the Bomas Draft,
was punctured by the Wako Draft. Hence the 2005 referendum was basically
a battle between those for unitary and those for federal system. The federalist
won. Raila Odinga the architect and the hero of the 2005 referendum has
a upper hand over his rivals in ODM-K. He also has an upper hand over Kibaki.
The latest Steadman rating put Kibaki at 45% a drop from 51% while Raila
moved from 17% to 25%. This steady rise will eventually catch up with Kibaki
and overtake him.
The fact that crowds are for Raila in every part of the country and the
fact that Raila’s popularity is on the rise should worry his adversaries.
Poverty and hopelessness have totally dehumanised the people of Kenya,
yet the leaders have not been keen or concerned with their problems.
Leaders for 44 years have been ethnocentric and selfish.
Adika Arende John
Akelo nyar Kager, firstname.lastname@example.org
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