Following the swearing in of President Uhuru Kenyatta after the October 26 repeat presidential election that was boycotted by National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, opinion is divided on his political future.
While some have already written his political obituary and said the swearing- in of President Kenyatta marks the end Mr Odinga’s colourful political career, I am among those who RESIST this line of thinking.
And I have very good reasons why I believe Mr Odinga has the ability to re-invent himself now like he has done in the yesterday years.
In 1994, Mr Odinga attempted to wrestle the chairmanship of Ford-Kenya from Kijana Wamalwa, after his father endorsed the then youthful Saboat MP under controversial circumstances side-stepping the younger Odinga and other Ford Kenya veterans. Read: Why Raila has lost four presidential bids
Raila lost during the controversial Ford Kenya national delegates’ conference in Thika forcing him to ditch the party and form the National Development Party (NDP).
He contested for the presidency on an NDP ticket in 1997 and emerged third. In 2002 he said “Kibaki Tosha” and retired President Mwai Kibaki beat President Kenyatta.
In 2007, Raila is said to have own but Kibaki was declared the winner instead. In 2013, Raila challenged the election of President Kenyatta claiming it was rigged but lost the case at the Supreme Court.
This year, Raila is back to where he was in 2013. He claimed the August 8, 2017 presidential results were manipulated, went to the Supreme Court and President Kenyatta’s election was nullified.
He refused to participate in the October 26, repeat election demanding for far-reaching reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that were never implemented.
The Supreme Court this time round upheld the election of President Kenyatta dealing Mr Odinga a major political body blow.
Now after the swearing in of President Kenyatta at Kasarani Stadium on November 28, 2017, Mr Odinga has told his supporters that he will be sworn in on December 12, 2017.
Many people are asking will Mr Odinga really be sworn-in and even if he will be sworn-in what will this achieve?
With 19 counties out 47 under Nasa control, Mr Odinga could look vanquished politically now, but he is likely to give President Kenyatta a nightmarish five year-term if Jubilee decides not to addresses a number of issues ahead of the much anticipated 20122 General Election.
Whether Mr Odinga will be sworn-in on Jamhuri Day or not he is going to push for a referendum ahead of the 2022 General Election to address among other issues constitutional changes to introduce a parliamentary system as envisaged in the Bomas Draft that was mutilated to pave way for the current constitution.
Mr Odinga knows that majority of Kenyans enjoy the fruits of devolution but they are not happy with the percent of resources availed to them by the national government.
Counties currently receive only about 13 percent of the budget, making them a mere government department than a separate and equal government as envisaged in the constitution.
As a result, Mr Odinga is going to push for federalism or a majimbo system of government that was advanced by Coast politician Ronald Ngala.
Ronald Ngala together with retired President Daniel arap Moi agitated for a federal system of government commonly known as Majimbo under the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) to resist the dominance of independence party Kanu that was led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and founding President Jomo Kenyatta. Ngala later died under mysterious circumstances. PHOTO/JAMHURI MAGAZINE
According to, Mr Kingsley Ndiewo, a pro- federal system campaigner, the 47 counties can be organized into 10 or 11 states, each with their own legislature, police service and judiciary.
“Rather than 47 bulky county assemblies, we’d have 11 state assemblies. Not only will the cost of devolution reduce, the effectiveness will increase,” Mr Ndiewo says.
Most successful countries in the world over are federations, from Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy to the United States – the world’s largest economy.
Mr Odinga will continue to push his commodities boycott approach strategy because he knows it is an effective means to ‘hurt’ the government economically.
With a runaway foreign debt and a looming a sovereign debt default, a disruption of economic activities is one thing that President Kenyatta will not want to accommodate and this is the soft underbelly Nasa is going to exploit to its advantage.
Mr Odinga should use the commodities boycott strategy to create new industries and jobs in marginalized counties.
On November 4, the National Super Alliance (Nasa) affiliated MPs asked their supporters to boycott Safaricom, Bidco and Brookside Dairies products. They have promised to continue increasing the list of products and services.
Finally, the Nasa leadership is expected to start agitating for implementation of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) that made far-reaching recommendations on how to address historical injustices that include the land problem, human rights violations, political assassinations among other issues.
For me whether Mr Odinga is sworn-in on December 12, 2017 or not what matters to me is him realizing his dream of having a democratic and just society where all Kenyans have equal rights and opportunities.
PATRICK MAYOYO IS THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF at NEXT GENERATION MEDIA LTD www.reporter.co.ke
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