Why Kikuyus should support a Raila presidency?


ODM Leader Raila Odinga at Mashujaa Day celebration on 20th October 2021 at Wang’uru stadium in Kirinyaga County.
Joseph Mutua Ndonga
mutuandonga@yahoo.com

Worth Noting:

  • First forward to 2002, Raila recalled his ‘Kibaki Tosha’ declaration that catapulted Mwai Kibaki to the helm of power. During the campaign, he was involved in a road accident. He was flown abroad for specialized treatment; this did not dampen our spirit. We continued campaigning and praying for him and I was the captain of his team.
  • I managed to convince the Luos to vote for him en masse and he got majority of the votes at 98.2 per cent. This was unlike in his home turf of Mount Kenya where the votes were split between him and KANU candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, the current President.

I listened to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s speech during the Mashujaa Day Cerebrations and it resonated very well with importance of this day. Once again, he proved wrong his critics, who were creating an impression that he was ‘old’ and hence suffering from memory lapses, by revisiting the history of Kenya’s pre and post-independence political struggles.  He remembered the gallant role played by our heroes and heroine.

He mentioned the names of some of them, noting. These people were not mad. The Mau Mau fighters, for instance, took arms and engaged the British colonial government in a fierce bush battle. They were fighting for our land and freedom and ultimately won this war. The government should remember these people and support them or their families.

Raila also recalled the role those who fought for second liberation played. Some of them paid the ultimate price. Raila further saluted the present-day heroes and heroine.

When the history of Kenya is written, it would be incomplete if gallant role played by Raila and his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, in these struggles would not be captured.

Therefore, I fully concurred with Raila when he stated. My father, Jaramogi, declined the gesture by the British colonial government to pass the baton of power to him. He instead launched a fierce campaign for the release of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta dubbed “Uhuru na Kenyatta”. At some point, the colonial government caved in to pressure and freed him. This cleared the way for Kenyatta to ascend to presidency.

Jaramogi did this while knowing that Kenyatta was a Kikuyu and did not complain when he became Kenya’s first president.

Raila further recalled how his father mentored and charted the political course of former President Mwai Kibaki. Kibaki was a lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda. When he visited Uganda, he talked with him and successfully convinced him to quit the teaching job. Kibaki agreed to come back and joined them in rebuilding the new young nation. Apart from buying him the first car [a Beetle], Jaramogi went ahead and appointed him the first Chief Executive officer of KANU party.

First forward to 2002, Raila recalled his ‘Kibaki Tosha’ declaration that catapulted Mwai Kibaki to the helm of power. During the campaign, he was involved in a road accident. He was flown abroad for specialized treatment; this did not dampen our spirit. We continued campaigning and praying for him and I was the captain of his team.

I managed to convince the Luos to vote for him en masse and he got majority of the votes at 98.2 per cent. This was unlike in his home turf of Mount Kenya where the votes were split between him and KANU candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, the current President.

As you know, Kibaki was sworn-in while on a wheel-chair. I supported him while knowing that he was a Kikuyu.

Raila also remembered how Kikuyus cheered and saluted during Kibaki’s home coming party. They started praising me as “Mutongoria Njamba” and repeated this in all the stop-over before reaching Othaya. In Othaya, I was crowned as a Kikuyu hero.

Why did Raila revisit this history? He wanted to once again demonstrate that he was not an enemy of Mount Kenya. As a result, he has managed to climb the Mountain.

As a resident of this region, I know that Raila is a good person. He means well for us as a community and the country at large.  I would, therefore, call upon the Kikuyus, who have been brainwashed by his critics, to rethink their position and rally behind his candidature.

The birth of ‘handshake’ was a game-changer as it has enabled President Uhuru to roll out and implement flagship infrastructural projects. The statement released recently by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia re-affirmed this. He said in the first term, the Jubilee government only did 30 per cent of tarmac roads while in the second term, has done 70 per cent of the roads.

Raila’s critics’ arguments that luos were arrogant and militant do not add up. Luos were known for fighting for their rights. They do not kill. Again, we know that Raila has over the years demonstrated his fidelity to the Constitution of Kenya. So, if elected, you would not expect him to allow them to misbehave or violate the law.

Joseph Mutua Ndonga is a Political Analyst and Blogger

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