Newstime Africa’s recent report that Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga, is to step down from politics, brought in a swift reaction from Odinga’s supporters and hired hands, with unprecedented insults heaped on publisher Ahmed Kamara. But the truth is, you won’t get this kind of response if the Odinga camp truly believe they still command serious support within the Kenyan political spectrum.
What was reported, is already in the public domain, and Kenya is looking forward to a new kind of leadership that has shed the trauma of its past historical mistakes. It s true that Odinga once commanded a lot of support from Kenyans in general, when he stood by his father’s side, to gain recognition and do everything he can to assume the country’s leadership. At one point, he was even locked-up in prison, accused of conspiring with others to stage a coup, But efforts to clinch the presidency, all proved futile, but didn’t stop him from lurching in the sidelines, waiting for the perfect opportunity to launch his ambition to be Head of State.
When one looks closely at some of the names leaving harsh and sometimes vile comments on the Newstime Africa website, one couldn’t help but notice that the majority are mostly Luos, the tribal base of Raila Odinga. This not only exposes a daft self-belief within the Prime Minister’s supporters that they enjoy the overwhelming support of most Kenyans, it also instigates the illusion that they believe as a tribe that they are plentiful enough than those of the combined regional political base that Ruto, Odinga, Mudavadi and the rest command, to have any overwhelming influence over the coming vote in 2013.
Odinga’s support base seems to be made-up mostly of an avalanche of ruthless supporters, who sometimes forget to let decency accompany them on their trips over the super-highways of the cyber-space. I feel sorry for Odinga, if he can count on these peddlers for support in the new Kenya. The aggressive nature of some of them, translated from their responses, paints a nasty picture of brutal tendencies that can easily be invoked to cause mayhem on Kenya’s streets.
Kenya has indeed moved on, far from its past, where support from one tribal base would earn you any serious political footing. Odinga’s reliance on his tribal base rather than a national consensus to win the Kenyan presidency, may yet be the final trauma on the road to oblivion. Kenya needs a president that commands not only the support of all its regions and ethnicity, but one that appeals to the nation in general, something which Odinga has been unable to achieve, by limiting himself purely to his tribal bunker.
Ruto is from the rift valley, and Mudavadi, a kingmaker, hails from the western region, with Uhuru Kenyatta having his base in the central province. It is indeed wishful thinking that any prospective presidential aspirant would harbor the illusion that they will win the presidency without galvanizing the support of the wider masses. And so far, the present political situation only tells the story of a more united force trying to prevent Raila Odinga from becoming president, and looking at the responses from most of Odinga’s supporters, it seems the alliance is one step closer to State House.
First published on Newstime Africa: 3oth November 2012
© 2013, Ahmed M Kamara. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.
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