Raila Odinga’s presidential ambitions go down the drain

Despite the apparent support from Barack Obama, Kenya’s Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, has suffered a massive political blow to his aspirations of becoming his country’s next president, as the very popular Musalia Mudavadi, who happens to be the deputy leader of Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement, has called it quits after a dispute over the nomination of the party’s presidential candidate. Raila Odinga, is the son of the late doyen of opposition politics in Kenya and one-time Vice President, Oginga Odinga. Raila has had his eyes on the presidency for some time after his late father tried everything in the political books to grab power but failed.

Raila Odinga – A desperate man

He has been a Member of Parliament since 1992, and his thirst for power has not been a secret as he was placed under house arrest for seven months after being suspected of collaborating with the plotters of a failed coup attempt against President Daniel Arap Moi in 1982. He was later charged with treason and detained without trial for six years.

According to a biography released in July 2006,  Raila was far more involved in the attempted coup than he had previously claimed. After the book was published, members of the country’s parliament called for him to be arrested and charged, but the statute of limitations at that time had already passed and since the information was contained in a book, it could not be said to have openly confessed his involvement. Raila was rearrested in September of 1988 for his involvement with human rights and pro-democracy activists who were pressing for multi-party democracy in Kenya, a country that was then a one-party state. He fled the country and made his way to Norway accusing the government of attempting to assassinate him.

There have been recent calls from the country’s  Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs for Odinga to answer to allegations regarding impropriety in the purchase and subsequent sale of land on the Kisumu Molasses Plant, where 250 acres of land with machinery was sold for KSHS. 3,6 million, when in fact land in that area normally go for KSHS. 2.5 million for half an acre. There was also a scandal involving the country’s staple food, maize, when Odinga was accused with others of selling a huge quantity of the crop and later claimed that it was not good for human consumption. These and many other political controversies in the past may now come to hunt Raila and ultimately dent his political chances of becoming Kenya’s next president. His desperation to asume the presidency can only be matched by his ruthless ambition to remove any obstacle in the way preventing him clinching the top political job, including silencing his main rivals and disabling their political aspirations.

He was recently accused of pushing for the trial at the Hague of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, two prominent Kenyan politicians who are well placed to take over from incumbent president Kibaki, and using his influence with the U.S. president to have them answer to charges of involvement in post-elections violence during the 2007 vote. But Kenyans have become more politically savvy and it seems the end-game is nigh, if the robust debates on kenyan online forums are anything to go by. It seems the Kikuyu’s who make up the majority in Kenya are not prepared to allow Raila, a Luo, to take over the presidency for fear of reprisals after what transpired in 2007. The race is now seriously open as the contest to State House has now become a close one with Kenyatta and Ruto as the main contenders and Odinga may still yet have to nurse another big political wound. But the fear of another election violence if Raila’s chances are obliterated, looms in the air. What may just prevent that from happening is the apparent risk of some of the country’s political masters facing the music at the Hague to answer to any future charges of involvement.

The door is now open for Mudavadi to name the party on which he will contest the country’s next elections due in March 2013, and it might prove rather difficult for Odinga to find a more astute running mate as the apparent vote winner turns his back on him.


First published on Newstime Africa – Apr 22, 2012

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  1. Elijah

    I take note of your candid coverage of the issue of apparent withdrawal of Mr. Mudavadi from ODM but the PM may also pull a fast one on the opponents by withdrawing ODM from coalition before end of the parliamentary period leading to early elections before coalitions before opponents organise to have a capable challenger to Raila.
    All said and done, there has been alot of talk about corruption, the question of how the molassses plant has been left unaddressed.shows the height of impunity in Kenya.

  2. Raila odinga is the most qualified presidential candidate who can help kenya reach the vision 2030.he is a man with the intrest of the pple at haert.many are the times we av seen leaders laeding the masses through traible lines.Some laeders formd the kikuyu,kalenjin and kamba(kkk)alliance wich discriminated the other kenyan communities.Raila end the ODM stod by the united kenya.The kkk alliance was defited.surprisingly the same leaders are at it again!camoflajing in tribale grupings such as GEMA and Kamatusa.kudos ODM,campaine 4 unity in kenya becoz unite we stand,devided we fall like fools.

  3. Enough said, one may wonder why ODM is still popular yet it has remained a regional party! If the Political party is not ready to impress democracy, what is its possibility that the leader from its nest will be honest with Kenyans? I think Musalia has done something that will wake ODM Party leaders.

  4. zippy.

    I think raila is wiser than this and believe we should give him a chance. Why do we always have to look at individuals and judge them from their tribe? For Kenyans to grow,we gotta raise above tribalism.

  5. Evans aengwo

    Mudavadi is excesing his political ambitions n democracy he all the rights 2 quit odm wich has become a stumbling block

  6. Charles

    What a biased writer? You have just failed to mention Euro sale of forest land where witnesses were coaxed and other refused to testify.What about the Kenyatta owning land almost a quarter of Kenya. How was it acquired? Don’t be m

    yopic in your article.

  7. Godfrey

    Fro us from Uganda we are watching the development. But Musalia’s quitting is expected of an angry deputy who doesn’t show any tolerance.Musalia is certainly not Odinga’s match and i bet he can make any impact on the political scene. It is high time he made his own party and let the lions row if at all he is a loin to be counted in the race. His pulling out of the party is a replica of what happened to former presidential candidate in Uganda Lady Betty Kamya who quit FDC and formed her own party,but how far did she go? Her impact wasn’t felt at all. Good lack Musalia.

  8. Wale wanataka kutoka ODM watoke, tena haraka. Is democracy what they allege is not in odm wen a character assembles a few of his village mates who then go ahead to endorse the sponsor of the mtng as flag bearer? Kenyans are informed and trasformed. Curious all the pple who say there is no democracy in odm dont troop back to PNU or rather one single party to show us what democracy is. All of them instead are shopping and looking around for parties to own. Pole sana.

  9. Roulince Wycklife

    F hon. Mudavadi z for democracy ..y cnt he fight for it…dat wwithin da party dorcket Dan Quirinal…only his steadfastness in fight for impunity cn guruntey him an opportunity fo da top seat
    ..bt f he z afraid nd moving away…he wuld even run away nd leave Kenyans suffer female such impunity ….let him show. Hz leadership nd nt being a coward …

  10. lukati Michael

    It time Kenyan to be careful I dont believe Musalia is the kind of leader Kenyans deserve. He has no reform record and he has failed to manage local Governments, He is one leader who cant fight the massive corruption in the Government He was part of the during the Goldenberg scandal ,

  11. john wafula

    A Raila presidency wil spell doom 4 Kenya.Arithmetically 3 members.of th pentagon hv left.2 are ambivalent.Can they all be wrong??? Musalia Mudavadi do not relent!!!

  12. Julius Mwenda

    Raila Ondinga has been left desperately because of his involvement with ICC case and co operating with Britain and USA to have Uhuru and Ruto arrested and remanded in Hague while we know Raila and ODM people caused chaos in 2007/8 by calling for mass action which turned to be mass murder displacement of PNU suporters. As of late, ODM is a luo party and not unless Raila is suported by other tribes he will not win the general election in 2013. Raila is a deserted man as of today

  13. Tim

    Musalia’s move is a culmination of deeply seated mistrust in ODM. What apeared like honky dolly relationship bet the PM and his deputy comes to the fore as one that was stitched together merely by wishes. It is the end of road for the PM because soon, Ngilu and others, though irrelevant per se, will too take a walk. What is not clear is why the ODM Lords found it hard to accomodate Musalia’s wishes, while demanding that DPM go by their choice. What happened to tolerance and accomodation? PM’s handlers have done him in and this time forever.

  14. Alex Kamweru

    This is great news for our beloved Republic of Kenya. Raila Odinga disguised as a reformer and nationalist is the eminent tribalist of the order.

  15. You seem to be raising unnecessary alarm …you should know that Musalia did not create Raila and ODM.You lack information about Kenyan politics and you are hell bent on destroying characters of PM to satisfy your ego and pay masters.Who cares what you think about PM?

  16. digimixUSA

    Mr. writer, your article suffers a lot of lack and in my opinion, biased. Since when did Musalia Mudavadi became Kenya’s popular if not just within his Luhya community.
    Musalia Mudavadi has the correct understanding that “delegates are the ones who will make a decision on who they want to lead them” saying that members and in his case are supposed to make the party a better one by its members being open minded and a party that will move ahead.
    Mudavadi does not demonstrate strong leadership qualities by quiting ODM for whatever the allegations may be.
    It is sad, but that has been rightly predicted of Mudavadi. He has strong interest groups who will surely spoil his political gains.

  17. arthur

    the writer 2 me is not objective esp on the hague issue and i think it is a blessing in disguist 4 raila since musalia could not deliver in western province going by the number of by elections held in mudavadi’s backyard. odm has also finally got rid of all the non reformists n i cant wait 4 a raila presidency a true reformist n a man of the people.

  18. Chris Khaemba

    Raila Odinga has a better chance of becoming Kenya’s next President than any other candidate. Most Kenyans are of the view that Raila’s Presidency represents the desired change while the rest of his competitors, including Musalia Mudavadi represent the status quo whose hallmark is impunity and corruption

  19. Nicholas

    There are many lies in this story about Raila. E.g The Hague option was chosen by Mps who felt the local process would be interfered with. Mudavadi’s decision to ditch the party prematurely leaves him as a weakling. Raila has an agenda for Kenya. G7 is using the ICC and no point on what they’ll do when they ascend to power.

  20. Tony Gee

    Kenya’s politics are based on tribal alliances whether we like it or not, and in this regard, Raila has isolated himself from other Kenyans by his selfish arrogance and greed for power. In this, i say God has smiled on Kenyans.

    Electing this evil man would just bring doom to Kenya. How can a man who has represented a slum for 20 years yet has never built a single toilet manage a whole country? Indeed, his constituency is more associated and defined by a technology known as ‘flying toilets’!

    His eagerness to be misused by western powers to recolonise our country is also dangerous and this is why Kenyans should never elect this man.

  21. sindbad

    I do not believe we are qualified to judge motives correctly, however I try hard to see what all the people vying for presidency stand for and find most stand for nothing, but in Martha Karua and Raila I see two people facing the direction Kenya desperately need to walk in.

  22. simon makau

    I applaud the writter of this article because it’s objective and not a mere claim.Everything said about R. Odinga is TRUE, and not fiction, and all Kenyans know it. As regards Raila being a reformist and a nationalist,I say ” BULL SHIT “. These are meaningless claims and tags that Luos want people to believe, just the way they put tags on Kalonzo,MM, Ruto & others to tarnish and covertly ” finish ” them politically.A Raila presidency will spell DOOM to Kenya

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