Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya Raila Odinga made rare remarks this afternoon at Strathmore University Law school at the invitation of students and faculty of the institution.
â€œI had a wonderful time interacting with the students and fraternity of Strathmore Universityâ€™s Law School. Our future as a nation is indeed bright in the hands of such talented and promising individualsâ€ Odinga later wrote on his Face book account.
Odingaâ€™s address to an intellectual audience comprising students and faculty at Strathmore Law School is the first in Kenya since leaving power at the beginning of this year.
In June, Odinga delivered one of the best democracy speeches by an African leader in the 21st century at the University of Pretoria where he challenged leaders and pioneers like him to â€œto keep empowering the youth, support their education, strengthen their grassroots networks and help them keep the flames of liberation burningâ€.
At Strathmore, here are are some of the hilarious questions students asked mwenyekiti:
Students: Arenâ€™t you bitter? With being kept in detention and being tortured?
PM: Response: Mandela Left Prison after years of being Tortured and Detained and became the President of South Africa. We learn to forgive because they did not know what they were doing.
Students: You have been in government for as long as I was born (Laughter) how come there have been no progress or growth in Government?
PM: Ethnicity and Elitists nature is our Number One Enemy where the Elite surround centers of power and fear letting go. Laws of the land were only answerable to one Mtukufu Rais and nothing could move without his consent. This promoted Nepotism, Tribalism and corruption which inhabited growth because there were no checks and balances.
Students: How do we attain this Democracy!? How do we save ourselves? How do we unify our country so that we can develop?
PM: Devolution under the new constitution was passed so that we can attain all this however, because of ethnicity and elitist nature (of the national government), it is being fought, if we can give power to people at the grass roots level then I shall have achieved my dream of unifying one nation. . .the Kenyan nationâ€¦ because this is my dream.
Closing remarks by a Student: (Addressing the PM) We appreciate you taking time to come be with us today. . .(usual undergraduate hope filled thank you speech)
These remarks are yet to be confirmed by any of the press secretaries attached to the PM as verbatim record of the PMâ€™s talk with the law students, however, it is a great stride for this country that an academic institution did â€œmuster courageâ€ to invite Odinga to speak to Kenyan students.
Read Odingaâ€™s speech here.
By Dikembe Disembe