Mr. Raila Odinga used the funeral of the Late William Ole Ntimama to raise the issue of the implementation of the TJRC Report by the Jubilee government. There is nothing wrong with that. One feels that there were more apt places to raise the issue but since politicians have decided to desecrate any space including funerals, never mind. His case is that the corrupt Jubilee government has refused to implement the TJRC report. Which is true. Jubilee must be accountable to the Kenyan people. So should Raila Odinga. He must be held to the same standards he would want to hold Jubilee to. The challenge is that Mr. Odinga seems to want to play with different rules when it comes to leveling with the people of Kenya. Sample this. Immediately after the men-in-black debacle in Kasarani, this is what Raila said:
“Investigations are on-going, we want to get to the root cause of this matter. We want to know who was responsible, and why. Because this undermines democracy in the party, and in the country. It is a very shameful act of cowardice. They may have their own reasons here and there but those reasons are themselves unfounded…I want to apologize to the members of ODM countrywide for what has happened today. That we are sorry coz we take responsibility for this. But we will ensure that this exercise takes place as soon as possible that our delegates are enabled to exercise their democratic right of electing the leaders of our party. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_kKhyBV_UI”.
He further claimed that the culprits would be brought to book. His reaction to the issue is a typical Jubilee-like Westgate script. Promise investigations that never come. If you do them and they paint you badly, sit on the report. True to this script, the ODM elections which were to be redone “as soon as possible” have never been held to this day and the investigations, if they ever happened, have never been made public. No-one has ever been charged with any wrong doing. The claim that he and his party had taken responsibility was a sham and the delegates have never been “enabled to exercise their democratic right”. So much for accountability!
If Raila cannot keep his word about elections in his own party, what moral authority does he have to harass Jubilee over the tabling and implementation of the TJRC report? Does he play by different rules from the ones he expects his competitors to play with?
While Mr. Odinga has mounted a successful onslaught against Jubilee errors of omission or commission and its legendary excesses, he wants to be ring-fenced as an untouchable. He hides behind a near fanatical following and easily demonizes whoever is foolish enough to call him out.
He would later claim that he raised the issue of the TJRC report as a matter of “conscience”. Does his conscience only prick him when it involves government obligations and not his own?
Why does leveling with the Kenyan people on the matter of the botched ODM elections an important matter?
Mr. Raila Odinga wants us to believe that he is a president in waiting and that his presidency would be different. In that case, he should be held to an even higher threshold of integrity than his competitors in government. We do not want to replace a corrupt and incompetent government with another corrupt and incompetent one. Where does the difference between him and the establishment start? We are not surprised when the current Jubilee government promises investigation that never come. But someone who wants us to believe that he will run a better administration that will level with the Kenyan people cannot be accused of the same errors of omission as the establishment.
Secondly, Raila has been accused by his close allies of all sorts of misdemeanor and impropriety. Part of the sheer amount of accusations out there can first be attributed to the rate at which he loses allies. This is itself a bad sign for a would be national leader. But even then, the accusations are damning. What happens to these accusations? Ad hominem drivel from him and his sycophants. Without addressing the accusations, or after dismissing them as “propaganda”, they mount relentless attacks, insults, innuendos, slurs, defamation, violence and smear campaigns on the personality of anyone who comes out to point out the weaknesses of Raila and the wickedness in ODM. Their favorite is that such people lack integrity and they have been “bought”. It would therefore require an independent event within ODM that would confirm or disprove the claims of the so called “rebels” and “disgruntled” elements. The ODM elections were such an event and he missed all opportunities afforded him to disprove accusations around him.
ODM has been called undemocratic. In fact, one defector has called it the Orange Undemocratic Movement. What did the elections prove? That this is true. In Raila’s own words, the ODM debacle in Kasarani “undermines democracy in the party and in the country”. Are the ODM defectors correct that he claims to be a champion for democracy and leads a party that is undemocratic? Tick.
Raila has been described as a disastrous negotiator, disorganized, often confused and unstructured. It is his lack of leadership skills that has been blamed on the chaos and disorganization associated with ODM. I have often said that it looks more of an “Orange Demochaotic Movement” than a Democratic Movement. He had an opportunity to demonstrate that this is not true. Based on what happened in Kasarani, are his detractors right on this one? Tick.
He has been described as a selfish, confused, hypocritical and deceptive leader. Again he had an opportunity during the elections and after the debacle to disprove his accusers on this one. We will assume that he did not know of the disruption because it is not a disprovable claim and it is easy for him to make the claim and difficult for us to prove or disprove. Let us look at what happened after the debacle. He “acted” concerned because he knew that Kenyans were scandalized by whatever happened. To pretend to address the matter he promised investigations, accountability and most importantly new elections as soon as possible. Had he delivered on this promise, the burden of proof would be on his detractors. He did not. As the hypocritical and deceptive leader his detractors have called him, he promised things that he did not intend to deliver on. To this day, has there been accountability for Kasarani? No. Has there been new elections? No. Are the detractors correct about his being a hypocritical and deceptive leader? Tick.
Selfish. If there is anything that the aftermath of Kasarani proved, it is this charge of selfishness against Raila. He not only promised investigations and accountability that never came, what he did instead of his promise to hold new elections is a shocker. He never called any. He actually sat in a boardroom and distributed the seats of ODM’s top organs himself. This was to ensure that the new officials owed allegiance to him personally and not to the membership of the party. He ensured that the mess that was Kasarani was turned around to serve his selfish interests. In this one act, it can be concluded that the single biggest beneficiary of the men-in-black debacle was Raila Odinga himself.
Was this by default or by design?
Why did he find it easier to turn it into a selfish opportunity to entrench his personal rule as opposed to an opportunity to demonstrate accountability, rule of law and democracy? It takes an unconscionably conniving leader to take personal advantage of a monumental crisis like the botched ODM elections. It is therefore even more hypocritical of him to claim that he is calling on Jubilee to act on the TJRC report as a matter of “conscience”. Where is his conscience when he rides a top a party with handpicked officials after lying to the party membership and to Kenyans that they would conduct new elections “as soon as possible”? Is there a more sinister demonstration of connivance and selfishness in the history of Kenyan politics? No. Again, are his detractors right about his being a hypocritical and selfish leader? Tick.
Unlike his detractors who learn the hard way when they are conned, back-stabbed, demonized and vilified, my contention has always been that Mr. Odinga has become part of the status quo. Read: http://profmichaelwainaina.com/2016/09/12/yes-mr-raila-2017-david-vs-goliath-battle-play-goliaths-league/
He has nothing new to offer apart from the same old KANU politics in terms of form and substance. He can run around saying that Jubilee has refused to embrace accountability by not implementing the TJRC report. That is true. But so has he. He has not only refused to level with Kenyans regarding the most shameful act of cowardice (his words), thuggery and disgrace in Kenya’s recent political history, but he selfishly turned it into an opportunity to entrench selfish interests in party leadership. How can he then offer himself as an alternative to Jubilee? The answer is simple. He can’t.