By George Nyongesa
Five reasons why E.A. Presidents want Raila Odinga dead
A little background first. To put it as it is, the evil axis that want Hon. Raila Odinga dead are powerful individuals who control tools and machinery of violence. They are persons who have no respect for the sanctity of life. And yes they have no democratic credentials; they donâ€™t respect human rights, or, rule of law.
Those with the benefit of historical knowledge, case study of Kenya, know that before they were murdered, there were rumors of plots to kill P.G Pinto, T. J Mboya, J .M Kariuki and other victims of political assassinations. In Rwanda, political rivals of status are killed even if they are far in South Africa. Most of us were here when Sudaneseâ€™s Dr. John Garang was murdered in a highly suspicious helicopter accident. Sudanese will tell you: before it happened, there were rumors. Therefore, in politics rumors must be treated seriously. Friends, there is nothing new in biopolitics since the days of Jesus of Nazareth.
Moving ahead. Allow me to ask this question. Is the climate conducive for such high voltage assassination? Those who have eyes can see. Those who have ears can hear. Those who have minds can perceive. Suddenly, Al Shabaab is playing poker with our lives – anywhere and everywhere. What is the official explanation? Supposedly because our army is in Somali to rescue Somalis from Al Shabaab horrors. And innocent Kenyans are suffering supposed surprise retaliatory attacks from Al Shabaab. Nonsense! Other countries too have boots on the ground in Somali. Dijbouti is there; Sierra Leone is there; Uganda is there; and yes, Ethiopia is also there in Somali. But citizens of those countries are not catching hell like we do. Why? Your answer is as good as mine.
But why would four sitting Presidents want a former Prime Minister dead?
Here are my plausible reasons:
First reason is born of the proposed political union of the six sovereign states of the East Africa community â€“ Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and S. Sudan â€“ as a single federated sovereign state. This means that citizens of the six countries will eventually be voting for a President of the Federation. There is real fear among current East African Presidents that Raila Odinga is very popular across the region and a serious challenge to any ambitions in the contest for East Africa Federated Statesâ€™ presidency. The other reasons I detail below are actually just icing on this East Africa political cake.
Secondly, look around; in Uganda, opposition is silenced by all means necessary. In S. Sudan, someone is killing stay on the throne. In Rwanda, opponents are killed wherever they are found. In Burundi, nothing is different. In almost all East African countries, save for Tanzania, killing an opponent
is always, always option number one. So talk of East African Presidents plotting to kill a perceived opponents shouldnâ€™t really shock us. They have killed whenever it was politically necessary; they will kill if political necessity calls.
Thirdly, besides Tanzania which East African country can claim on a legitimate and proud democracy? None. All the other East African countries have Presidents whom we can boldly say ruthlessly killed their way to top leadership. It doesnâ€™t matter in whose name or ideal they killed. I say it again. No doubt as long as it is politically necessary they can kill. True or False? In 2013, in Kenyaâ€™s final presidential campaign rally, one of the Presidential candidates said: â€œâ€¦I have never killed anyone. My father never killed anyoneâ€¦â€. The thought of such a clean person becoming the President of East Africaâ€™s super power definitely sends shivers to those who know they might sooner or later be â€˜guestsâ€™ of the international justice system.
Fourthly, there is truth in the saying that â€œprophets are dishonored at home.â€ The world loves and respects Raila Odinga. Today, he has no government title. He served in a government as a premier for only 5 years. But he globe trots giving lectures: in Harvard; in Yale; in Princeton, you name it. He fraternizes with the worldâ€™s who is who. He has ears top world leaders. He is the choice speaker on Africaâ€™s renaissance. Show me another East African President sitting or retired with such recognition. Donâ€™t you think envy, jealousy and distrust is good reason for wishing him away?
Fifthly, in local context, let nobody cheat you that Raila Odinga is an ordinary opposition politician. He commands majority the number of Senators, Governors, MPs etc. His competitors have to gang up to marshal a combination that outweighs his legitimacy to the throne. This is made worse when you have a top leadership that does not how to govern a modern State. Of course the â€œalternative factorâ€ is a loaded political reason for one to nurse the idea of neutralizing him.
In conclusion, we all know that Dr Oburu Odinga is not a mad man. Considering he is a senior Luo, a man who still respects culture and traditions of Africans and Luos in particular. I doubt he would discuss his own small brother in terms of death unless he has a sound reason. That said, I want to state categorically that this is my personal opinion. Any truths in these opinion is just facts observable by those who care to know. Like majority of Kenyans and good people of our region, I would like this conversation with you to remain as what Uhuru Kenyattaâ€™s spokesman Manoah Espisu termed â€œnonsenseâ€ and â€œcheaptalkâ€. I have interacted with Hon. Raila Odinga, one-on-one and I have no doubt that he wants a united people, here at home – Kenya – and the wider region of East Africa. Indeed, Hon. Odinga is one of our leading enviable pan Africanist with global focus of playing his part to make Africa part of the rest. We can only wish him long life!
About Author: George Nyongesa is a consultant and an activist on governance, devolution and human rights. He blogs and comments on politics, law, development and policy. Twitter: @GeorgeNyongesa