By Otieno Otieno
“Even in his wildest dreams, Mr Odinga wouldn’t have expected such generosity from his opponents
so early in what was supposed to be his moment in the political cold.”
Cord leader Raila Odinga, aka Baba, returned from his long trip to the United States last week looking
energetic and battle-ready.
The energy levels he has demonstrated in the first week alone, starting with a robust performance at the huge rally upon arrival at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park,
underline the political longevity of a man I once wrote about in this column as having another 15
political years in him.
With the elections not due until 2017, but with him putting the country virtually on a campaign mode, Mr Odinga clearly hitting top form means that Jubilee’s ‘blundering game’ might be having the longest three years of their political lives.
The unfolding drama featuring the ODM leader as the star actor is, of course, in stark contrast to the
earlier predictions that his political career was dead and buried and rotten with that Supreme Court decision declaring President Uhuru Kenyatta validly elected.
As some social media commentators have rightly observed, you know Mr Odinga is back when you see Mr William Ruto, the Deputy President,
permanently wearing an angry face at public meetings.
What strikes me as strange though is how little Mr Odinga, for all his legendary mobilisation abilities
and experience, has done for himself to navigate his way back.
It would be interesting to watch Raila’s moves when Jubilee ups its game;he might have nothing left to harp on,but as at now,he is into big luck that is not of his own making!
Every easy point he has scored against Jubilee has been because of the ruling coalition’s arrogance,
amateurishness and display of immaturity.
It was utterly arrogant for the government to proceed with the Sh1.4 billion payments to
shadowy Anglo Leasing-type companies in spite of the legitimate concerns raised against doing so by
Parliament and civil society.
It is amateurish to continue holding onto the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission when it looks pretty obvious that the scandal- ridden outfit has zero chance of refereeing another
And it is simply amazing how Jubilee’s fumbling with counter-terrorism operations and appointments to plum public jobs has pushed the Somali community back to Mr Odinga’s lap and the
Kalenjin closer to the battleground vote column.
Even in his wildest dreams, Mr Odinga wouldn’t have expected such generosity from his opponents
so early in what was supposed to be his moment in the political cold.
The saving grace for Jubilee might be the fact that the former prime minister’s lecturers at Boston
seemingly wouldn’t do much about the personal leadership flaws that have made him easily the most polarising political figure in Kenya’s recent history.
For instance, Mr Odinga’s renewed public display of camaraderie with Maina Njenga, the former leader
of the Mungiki criminal gang, can’t have sat well with the scores of families in central Kenya whose
loved ones have been beheaded by the rascals over the years and the victims of the post-poll violence
in Naivasha and Nakuru in 2007 and 2008.
On that political scavenging front, the Jubilee strategists will feel reassured that Mr Odinga has at
least returned from the US the same.
Jubilee has to blame itself,not Boston,for the new energy levels in Baba!
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