Behold, a kinder, gentler Raila
The problem with being Raila Odinga is that you get blamed for everything. It’s like the naughty schoolboy who is always on every noisemakers’ list, even on the day he is absent from school.
That’s why whenever anyone is heckled at a public rally, they blame Raila.
No wonder the man is forced to travel well ahead of the party to Nyanza and plead with the residents to accord his visitors a nice welcome because he knows too well that he would be blamed if they were booed and heckled.
Curiously, people imagine that Raila has the power to calm down heckling crowds, forgetting that his pleas fell on deaf ears when he attempted to calm hostile crowds at Uhuru Park during the swearing in of President Kibaki in 2002.
Much later, Tinga himself was heckled and booed in his own constituency by noisy crowds chanting unga or something to that effect.
It’s therefore no surprise that Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka blames Raila for being practically booed off the stage at the Uhuru Park ‘Yes’ rally recently. The VP also blames Tinga for the embarrassing heckling suffered in Mombasa when the duo was fighting over party leadership in 2007.
His pain is understandable. Few things hurt more than public humiliation. But Kalonzo may perhaps need to reflect on the possibility that crowds heckle and boo him because they just don’t like him — not because Tinga paid them.
Shockingly, Raila didn’t tear into the VP with his stinging nyef nyef rebukes. On the contrary, his statement was polite, conciliatory, polished and very gentle. Kudos, Mr Prime Minister
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