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Raila: Wait for my bombshell on reforms soon

ODM party leader Raila Odinga during the burial of Barack Onyango in South Sakwa, Bondo sub-county, on October 28, 2022. [Isaiah Gwengi, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has once again thrown his support base into political guesswork over his next plans as he mulls over what many believe is a political bombshell to checkmate President William Ruto’s administration.

The veteran politician appears to be retracing his steps to his long-held dream of transforming the country and pushing for change to better the lives of Kenyans with a sharp focus on reforms.

His new strategy: wait and see!

In a passionate speech to his supporters yesterday, Raila said the fight to transform the country for the greater good is not about him but for the country and promised to unleash a bombshell in the coming days.

“I will speak in the near future. There are things I am still exploring and the time to speak about them has not yet reached,” said Raila.

The ODM leader likened himself to a dove on top of a tree monitoring things but with a lot of secrets and information held in its chest. His comments came barely a few days after Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka also hinted at their coalition making a major announcement in the coming days in regards to the running of the country.

The development comes as Raila’s allies also called for reforms and claimed Ruto’s administration is already on a wrong path. The tone of Raila’s voice, the choice of his words and the focus on the need to reform some of the laws that guide the way the country’s institutions operates hints at the intent of the veteran politician to begin a fresh quest for reforms.

He was speaking at the burial of his wife Ida’s bodyguard Barrack Oduor who was murdered two weeks ago in Kisumu after a night out with friends. Raila and his allies claimed that such crimes only exist in a country riding on a path to failure. Raila said Kenyans should not lose hope, arguing that the fight to transform the country will continue and must continue for the greater good of all Kenyans.

He likened democracy to a work in progress that encounters several problems.

“The fight for change has never been about me. It is not about me and when my time reaches, I will leave just like my father Jaramogi left. We are fighting for change,” said Raila.

The ODM leader said there is a dire need to reform some of the institutions in the country and claimed that their dream to ensure there are meaningful reforms to public institutions will become a reality is on. According to the ODM leader, some laws in the country must be reviewed and changed.

Among the institutions Raila and his allies wants reformed include the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as well as the criminal justice system. He likened the need to change laws in some of the institutions to football, which he claimed has undergone several changes in the last several years to an extent where errors can be detected by technology.

The ODM chief who believes his victory was stolen in the August 9 General Elections claimed that reforms to strengthen IEBC to make its results verifiable and transparent should be in place.

“Even in football, laws have changed and now we have the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). Even if you score an illegal goal, they can take pictures and review the goal and disqualify it,” said Raila.

He was accompanied by governors Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), James Orengo (Siaya), MPs Aduma Owuor (Nyakach), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo) and Christine Ombaka (Woman Rep Siaya). The leaders also poked holes into the country’s leadership and claimed it is headed for failure even as they also rallied behind calls for reforms in key institutions in the country. Orengo claimed Ruto was not ready for the job that awaited him and claimed the new administration is now on a path to change its development goal posts.

“Ruto was not ready for government. He knew the challenges the country was facing but is now asking for more time,” said Orengo.

The governor claimed that the country is headed for even tougher times. Orengo, however, claimed that their struggle to ensure the country is reformed will continue against all odds, arguing that the country is enjoying some of the fruits.

“The struggle has not been for nothing. Without the struggle we could have not got the new constitution and devolution,” said Orengo.

Nyong’o said Raila will continue to speak for them and said the quest for reforms will continue.

“Raila is still there and speaks for us. Our duty is to stand for the truth,” said Nyong’o.