It's about time old men exited arena of politics
Internal dissentBut Mr Odinga does not appear to have heirs to his political kingdom. Unlike his father, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, who mentored politicians like Kijana Wamalwa, Raila seems to have no natural successor. It is said that he rules his ODM political party by fiat. Party representatives are hand-picked and there is little room for internal dissent. A charitable view of Raila is that he is a benevolent dictator, a necessary attribute in divisive politics where decision making is hampered by many voices pulling in various directions. But it is not a view that will hold much longer. Going by ODM’s losses in two recent by-elections, there is a groundswell of opinion among the youth that the old must now make room for the next generation.
Raila complicitThey have argued that his sense of judgment has atrophied with age. This is because barely two years ago, he had a public remonstration against the Jubilee administration of Uhuru, decrying the SGR as a senseless and extravagant expenditure. Others still, argue that the Jubilee administration intends to make Raila complicit in the country’s debt burden by linking him to mendacious spending over the SGR. For some reason, the Chinese lenders are reluctant to finance the next phase of the SGR. A Statehouse functionary has attempted to pass off the Naivasha-Kisumu section as an expendable adjunct to the whole line. But it is Raila who is left with egg on the face. Having promised to bring the SGR to Kisumu, and with it, a new port, he has yet to come up with a face-saving narrative to counter the caprice of those who took him to China. His detractors now call to question his commitment to them. They silently upbraid him for the lives of the more than 300 people who died on his behalf in the last presidential elections.
SEE ALSO :Calls for Jubilee party meetingThey are stroppy over the nefarious details of the handshake that didn’t benefit Raila’s allies in the NASA political party. They have argued that Raila seems to have eaten bitter grapes, but it is their teeth that are on edge. Mr Odinga holds a large portion of Kenya’s institutional memory. But his continued stay in politics should now be tempered with reality: that he can no longer keep up with the artifice of those who would use him to serve their own selfish purposes. This is certainly no country for old men! Mr Khafafa is Vice Chairman, Kenya-Turkey Business Council
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