With less than 20 days remaining before the general election, pundits say that this is the tightest race in the history of our Republic. Opinion polls have given a neck and neck prediction. The politicians are not leaving anything to chance.
Stakes are even higher for Raila Amolo Odinga who will try the 4th stab at the presidency. His followers are excited about the prospects of his presidency while those who oppose him are livid about that possibility. What if Raila actually becomes president? What if on the 10th of August, he is declared as the winner and Uhuru Kenyatta sent packing? Will he be the balm of healing that this nation has been waiting for or will his term be a disaster?
What if Raila Amolo Odinga becomes the balm of healing that this nation needs? What if Raila, who has suffered reputational attacks and lethal smear campaigns can recover and actually lead this nation? What if the “Raila can’t be president” propaganda is finally defeated and he occupies the house on the hill?
What if Raila, who has been shunned by a section of Kenyans and his persona, used to scare people to go out and vote got a chance to lead Kenya?
Fellow Kenyans, lend me your ears. Read with me to the end with an open mind.
He will be a normal president
He will not fight corruption overnight and win. Raila will face the same challenges that Uhuru Kenyatta and his predecessors have faced. Therefore, the narrative that has created the false expectation that he is the magic bullet to Kenya’s problems will end.
Raila has positioned himself as the saviour of the minority and the oppressed. He has managed to weave around himself the narrative that he is the sole saviour of the marginalised in Turkana, Kwale, North Eastern and such forgotten areas of Kenya. But when he takes the instruments of power, the people who have banked their hope with him will realise that over 50 years of injustices cannot be undone in one regime. That one step will lead them to focus on themselves to actually deal with whatever issues they might have. While the government has a role to play in addressing the historical injustices, an individual too must be an active partner in the process.
The long running bitter political competition between the Luo and the Kikuyu community might come to an end
The LUO community will suddenly realise that one of their own, being at the helm of power doesn’t necessarily guarantee that their problems will grow wings and fly away. They will realise that the destiny of each and every individual lies in their own hands. The government creates an enabling environment for people to thrive. But it doesn’t put money in your pocket or food in your tummy.
The Luo community will feel a sense of rest from many years of ‘wandering in the desert’. The Presidency being their coveted prize might puncture the Jaramogi-Kenyatta rivalry which has controlled Kenya’s politics for the last over 50 years. This might possibly lead to the healing of this nation.
To the Luo community, the Presidency might finally act as a balm to the betrayal wound of ‘No Kenyatta No Uhuru’, Kibaki Tosha slogan and other perceived or real cases of betrayal.
A Raila Presidency will demystify the ogre that a section of Kenyans have been made to believe he is
When your worst fear becomes a reality and you survive it, the expectations of your mind get adjusted. People will finally realise that Raila will not steal their properties, his people will not default on rent, and he won’t be a president unto death and darkness.
People will realise that what matters, isn’t whether a president is Luo, Kamba, Kikuyu or any other tribe, but what really matters is whether his mind and heart are committed to the people of Kenya.
Nyanza being the de facto and the face of the opposition politics in Kenya will shift the power centre and allow other communities to dream about ascending to the seat of power.
A Raila Presidency will unlock and swing open the door that anyone can be president in Kenya
Raila embodies the political frustrations of many Kenyans. There are too many roadblocks put on our way based on where we come from, our last names, our socioeconomic backgrounds, educational level etc. especially when it comes to the presidency. For the last 50 years, we have only had presidents from 2 communities (3 of them from one community) in a country that has over 40 tribes.
Raila will shatter the glass ceiling for every ordinary Kenyan to dream big and believe that anything is possible as long as their minds can conceive it.
A Raila Presidency will open doors for a Turkana boy who hopes to contribute to nation building.
A Raila Presidency will unlock the doors for all women aspirants to vie and take hold of their destiny.
Raila will hand over the key to every ordinary Kenyan to be president regardless of their creed, background, religious affiliation etc.
His presence will usher in a season for the rule of the oppressed, marginalised and the destitute
While he is from an elite background, Raila’s politics is pro poor therefore the peasants will feel like they belong.
The reason why people love or hate Raila isn’t that of his name. Neither is it because of his tribe. It is because of what he stands for; equality, justice, freedom, peace and healing which threatens the proponents of status quo.
Those who passionately oppose a Raila presidency are those who have grabbed land, looted public coffers through day light robbery kind of thievery, killed political rivals, amassed illegal wealth, tear-gassed children etc.
This group shudders at the thought of a president who can actually deliver justice and heal the land.
But above all, the son of Odinga defeating the son of Kenyatta might lower political temperatures.
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