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Raila needs to re-constitute his advisory team

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo | January 22nd 2016

The 2017 General Elections will be, most probably, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s last shot in his quest for the presidency. Should he get his equation wrong, his goose is cooked and the more reason he should hung-up his political boots.

Even as he continues with his offensive against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee Administration, he needs to get his act together – and probably reconsider reconstituting his team of ‘defenders’.

Raila needs to change tact, get rid of hangers-on and incorporate fresh minds in his final quest for the presidency. He needs to gauge the value of those who purport to be closer to him.

If I may ask, where is the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Secretary General Ababu Namwamba at a time when he should be articulating the party agenda before the nation now that we are a year to the next election?

Where is the energy Namwamba portrayed when he traversed the country in choppers under “team fresh” fighting to become Secretary General of ODM which he eventually won? Even nominated Senator Agnes Zani, Namwamba’s deputy, has since gone mute.

These Party leaders have left Raila to cook, serve and wash the dishes! I’m sure the two are intelligent enough to know the work of a Secretary General in a political party.

And the most worrying trend now is that the CORD Governors are nowhere to be seen, their silence is deafening. They have forgotten that they are politicians with a responsibility to defend the coalition’s agenda in order to successfully seek re-election in 2017.

Raila is an enigma in Kenyan politics, and his ground cannot be matched. In the recent past, he has unravelled deep scandals within the Jubilee government but his crusade decapitates immediately because he lacks people in his party and the CORD coalition to stir the momentum which eventually gives Jubilee’s Aden Duale, Kithure Kindiki and Deputy President William Ruto room to launch vicious attacks at him as well as spin the truth in their favour.

Have you ever wondered why Jubilee MPs cannot replace Duale as Majority Leader in Parliament despite making many misleading statements which tarnish the name of Jubilee?

Ruto’s words flow like honey when he takes the microphone and especially when addressing gullible voters. He has the capacity to cry and evoke sympathy from the hoi polloi. The most powerful propaganda which cost Raila in 2013 was when Ruto successfully convinced his community that it is Raila who took him to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Listening to Uhuru, he sounds like an Obama replica – a super statesman, focused, intelligent and sharp. It’s like he has all the solutions to the problems facing Kenya which is not the case.

On whether, CORD has built any contingency measures to dispel the ICC notion, tackle Duale, Ruto and Uhuru, as we stride towards 2017, remains to be seen. In fact, people in Ruto’s turf still reflect Raila in as far as his (Ruto’s) woes at the ICC are concerned.

To tackle this, Raila needs strong people who will spur the momentum of his charm offensive against Jubilee. That is why he needs to bring back Mr. Barrack Muluka, a witty and calm strategist to articulate the CORD agenda to Kenyans.

Secondly, he needs to ask Miguna Miguna to rejoin CORD. After all, Raila forgave former President Moi, who detained him for almost a decade and ended up working with him in Kanu.

Even if they parted ways, Miguna has always proved to be one of the strongest defenders of Raila before and after the grand coalition government. He has enough fire in his belly to tackle the vicious Jubilee led by Uhuru, Ruto and Duale in readiness for 2017.

Raila has sacrificed so much for Kenya. Today, he is on the same trajectory with his late father during the early 1990s. Many Kenyans who support him are afraid that his ascendancy to the Kenyan throne is on a delicate phase.

It’s sad that Raila is surrounded by people who don’t advance his political philosophy. Governors, Senators, MPs, MCAs, are only waiting to queue at Orange House to “buy” nominations and start singing “Baba” sarcastically in 2017 in order to be elected.

He also needs to take a tactical retreat from the limelight. He needs to start using the 16th law of power; use absence to increase respect and honor.

Appearing on media in perpetuity will reflect you as a King without Prince and Princes. I don’t mean that he should completely hibernate from the limelight but just to play it cool and let others fight his wars.

There is no doubt the scandal-ridden Jubilee government has failed and needs to be replaced next year.

Corruption and tribalism have hit a crescendo. Dubious deals are done to make people billionaires overnight.

Therefore, those in the front line as an alternative government need to put their act together before 2017.

It’s worthy to remember that; Elections are literally won now, not in the election year.


Joseph Lister Nyaringo is from New Jersey, USA

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