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Raila said he was robbed, agreed to take half a loaf

BETWEEN THE SHEETS
By | March 1st 2009

Prime Minister Raila Odinga often captures the 2007 presidential election debacle with analogy of a hunter who had to share his kill with a bystander. "You assisted with a weapon that I used to spear the animal. But when I dashed to the bush I found another man pulling the carcass, claiming it belonged to him. In the process of staking my rightful claim, people started fighting over the animal and I agreed to share it to avoid more bloodshed," explains the PM.

He often regales the crowd with the line; "They had guns and we had stones.’’

The import of this parable, which he uses while addressing his audiences across the country, is that for the love his country and countrymen, he "donated" his coveted topmost political seat to President Kibaki.

In essence, the way Raila and the ODM brigade see it is that out of courtesy, they opted to share their rightful victory and glory with President Kibaki.

Highly disputed

Raila’s lead of over one million votes vanished within hours during the highly disputed presidential poll. ODM scooped 101 parliamentary seats countrywide while Raila emerged victor in all the eight provinces except two — Central and Eastern.

A South African retired Judge Johann Kriegler-led probe committee found the now defunct electoral body that executed the polls guilty of bungling the exercise.

ODM legislators lament that despite entering into a power-sharing deal with President Kibaki’s PNU, brokered by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Raila has been shoved to the periphery. And he is trudging on without complaint, to the disappointment of some of his hardliner colleagues.

All-Executive Authority

"After the power sharing deal, negotiations pitted PM Raila Odinga and ODM against the full power of the State machinery without any international mediation. The result was that President Kibaki and PNU remained with almost all-executive authority while Raila had to rely on his political acumen and force of personality to make an impact on Government policy," observes Salim Lone, his former spokesman.

And for sacrificing "his space" in this country’s books of history, the President, he says, ought to reciprocate by backing him in 2012 presidential race.

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