President Raila Odinga

The other day Raila Odinga declared that he would be sworn in as President on 12th December. I dare say here and now that Raila was calling our bluff. And this why.

Towards his sunset years, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga had selected one James Aggrey Orengo to take over the leadership of the Luo community. Orengo had been Jaramogi’s loyal right-hand man and one of his most trusted political and legal advisors. In fact, Jaramogi trusted Orengo, Paul Muite and Gitobu Imanyara more than anyone else around him. Fortunately or unfortunately for Orengo, he supported Michael Kijana Wamalwa in succeeding Oginga. And who was Wamalwa’s main antagonist? You got it. Raila Amolo Odinga. Orengo went on to defy Raila and his fellow Luos and stood with Wamalwa despite all the humiliations and even physical attacks on him. But this came with a price. Orengo was kicked out of Parliament and remained in the political cold until 2007 when he half-heartedly walked back into a world he had viciously fought – ODM. And in his loyal element, he has never left to date. In fact, many, both friend and foe, will agree that Orengo is one of the key cogs within ODM, CORD and now NASA. Both legally and politically. Until recently when he (mis)advised Raila to boycott the 26th October polls. In my opinion, the revolution was aborted on 10th October when Raila Odinga announced that he had boycotted the recent polls. Every other announcement that NASA has been making ever since is simply what PLO Lumumba calls ‘political gymnastics’. And it has truly been entertaining.

So, was Orengo finally avenging himself after more than two decades? Is he propping himself up as Odinga’s successor? Or could it be possible that he (Raila) wasn’t actually misadvised? Because there’s enough evidence around that paints Odinga as a ruthless competitor who sometimes abhors advice. According to Babafemi Badejo’s authorized biography, “Raila Odinga: An Enigma in Kenyan Politics”, his old friend Riako Okello says that: Raila is a hardworking, fearless strategist. A brave schemer who is never deterred by road-blocks. At times he misses opportunities by not listening to advice. “Afew years later, the same man, in an interview with Miguna (for his second book) clarified his earlier assessment by saying that he intended to mean that, “Raila has a tendency to hurtle down like a train wreck”.

And we all remember that on Tuesday this week we were told that Raila had dispatched Oburu Odinga to hold talks with Uhuru Kenyatta on an ‘inclusive government’. The latter confirmed this in his inaugural address, where he said that he “has already started reaching out”. Folks, you may or may not like it, but we are slowly approaching the end of the road here for Raila Odinga. And you may choose to admit it, or not but you cannot alter facts.

So, to those wondering whether Raila will actually become the next President of Kenya on 12th December; to those loyal supporters who still hold on to the firm belief that there is actually a revolution looming in the name of NRM and under one Raila Amolo Odinga, I have bad news for you. There was a miscarriage.

“Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.” – John F. Kennedy

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