Raila Odinga’s insatiable appetite to become president of Kenya can only be matched by his intrinsic passion for the trappings of power. At one point, it was reported that he requested his own red carpet ‘treatment’ to be in par with President Kibaki’s. According to him, his position as Prime Minister carry equal merit. This is how disillusioned Kenya’s outgoing Prime Minister had become. For 30 years or more, Odinga has been fighting to be Kenya’s Head of State. Each time being rejected by the Kenyan people. He is reported to have given false hopes to his Luo tribesmen that if he becomes president he would hand over Kikuyu-owned lands and businesses like those of the Kenyatta and Moi families and other central province elites, to them. Something he had hoped will galvanize his people and secure for himself enough votes to win the just concluded presidential elections.
The land issue is a trivial one in Kenya, and divides the country into acute tribal lines. Politicians have often played the land card to win voters support – and Raila is known to use any card available up his sleeve to canvas for votes. It has been said that he once protested over the toilet facilities given to Kibaki, complaining that they were far more superior than his, and he demanded the same. He travels ostentatiously abroad with a delegation made up of sometimes unnecessary staff staying in extremely expensive hotels similar to those taken by Hollywood stars. A reckless approach to spending tax-payers money.
In 2007, when he was up against Mwai Kibaki for the presidency, Odinga was thrashed in the election only for him to cry foul as his devious plans to hand over properties owned by Kikuyu’s to the Luo’s failed. He protested the results, as he has done now, and had to settle for a power-sharing arrangement that brought so much chaos and confusion to government, as everything had to be restructured Odinga’s way to meet his frivolous demands. Then, he had accused everyone of complicity to deprive him of the presidency. Now, he is accusing IEBC officials, IT experts, Safaricom etc. of everything from massive tampering of the votes to serious irregularities. This is a man who had made a pre-election pledge to accept the election results if he was defeated. But it was just a ploy as usual. And now, he has taken his case to the supreme court with a public proclamation that he would accept the outcome of the court’s verdict. He is demanding that IEBC officials along with other agencies/companies who helped with logistics during the elections, provide all sorts of document and statistics he wants to use to prosecute his case through the supreme court- a move even if delivered, will never satisfy him. We all know that as soon as the court announces a verdict that is not of Odinga’s expectations, we would hear of accusations of bias and finger-pointing the Odinga-way.
According to the country’s Standard Media, a reputable media institution: The documents Owalo wants from IEBC include all Forms 34, 35, and 36 from all polling stations and constituencies all over the country in relation to the presidential elections and all the results that were declared electronically at the Bomas Tallying Centre.
The petitioner is also seeking the log files for all short messages that were declared electronically received from Safaricom, all software contracts between the IEBC and all firms that provided software services to them in connection with the just concluded general elections.
The petitioner also wants the serial numbers of all handheld transmission devises that were actually configured and made ready for use as aforesaid and the constituencies in which they were meant to be used and serial numbers of all handheld transmission devises that were configured and the constituencies in which they were meant to be used.
Other documents include the Green Book, a provisional register of all registered voters, and the final register of all registered voters.
Owalo wants the court to compel Safaricom to release the numbers of all handheld transmission devices that were used to electronically transfer date from polling stations to the tallying centre and the print out of all messages that were sent through all handheld transmission devices that were used to electronically transfer data from the polling stations.
The petitioner also wants all contracts signed between Safariom and IEBC in connection with the just concluded general election and a record of all information transmitted to IEBC Server on the March 4 and 5 2013.
But, there is one thing for sure, there will be no power-sharing deals this time, and Odinga may well spend the rest of his political life in the wilderness, contemplating on his future, that is if there is any for him in Kenya’s politics, and wondering where it all went wrong. He missed a golden opportunity to show statesmanship after the vote results were counted, a move that could have restored his place in the country’s politics. It seems Odinga does not believe in putting the interests of the Kenyan people first. To him, all that matters is becoming president – a vision that has eluded him for three decades, and considering his age now, its ripe for retirement. Accepting the outcome of the just concluded elections would have earned him the respect of his people and the international community. But it is clearly unlike him to do so, as he has shown time and again, nothing short of the presidency will satisfy him.
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