By Phil E
It is a fact that when politicians speak, they do it either to gain political mileage or irritate their opponents. However, there is one man who has stood out differently from the rest of the pack. Raila Amolo Odinga, a seasoned politician and the man who says it as is.
The 2007 vote was widely believed to be heavily-rigged on both sides, but more so in favor of the incumbent Mwai Kibaki—Odinga had a 1 million vote lead once counting began the day after the vote, but this had suspiciously evaporated just one day later. Kibaki was eventually declared the winner by a slender margin of around 2 percent and shamelessly took oath of office at night. A U.S. government-funded exit poll released in July 2008 showed that Odinga actually won by 6 percentage points.
Mr. Odinga has been cheated out of the Kenyan presidency on two occasions. A fact the international community agrees with.
For Odinga, wholesale change at the IEBC is necessary to avoid the controversy that followed Kenya’s 2007 elections, when allegations of rigging led to months of deadly ethnic violence. “We want this electoral commission to be removed and replaced with people of integrity,”
He has agitated for a thorough clean-up of the voter register and enfranchising each and every Kenyan of voting age to register ahead of the August 2017 polls. It is not for selfishness that he wants this to happen, it is for the good of Kenya and ensure fairness in the electoral process.
The ODM leader was a key part of developing Kenya Vision 2030—a development program, promulgated in 2008, that aims to transform Kenya into a middle-income economy by 2030 during his tenure as Prime Minister. As such, he has a “clear blueprint” to transform Kenya’s economy.
When Jubilee took over power in 2013, they had promised to put mechanisms in place to grow the country’s GDP from single to double digit.
Todate, the country’s economy is still at 4.2%. Kenya’s youth unemployment is estimated to be around 17.4 percent—some put it as high as 35 percent and believe that 80 percent of unemployed Kenyans are under 35 years old.
Raila believes he can fix this problem and create more jobs for the youth, fix the economy and set Kenya to the right path of development.
He set a solid foundation of infrastructure in 2003 when he was minister for Roads and Public Works. Today, we traffic congestion has been reduced on the main highway that passes through the city Centre.
That is why Raila Odinga means what he says.