The last two weeks have been a terrible nightmare for ODM light Raila Odinga and his "baby" ODM (Orange Democratic Movement). While the future in the United Kingdom cell phone industry still looks like it will be orange, the future on the Kenyan political landscape now looks like it will certainly not be orange.
Armenian Brothers arrested in the early hours of this morning
A total of about 7 people were arrested a few hours ago, including the controversial Armenian brothers (Artur Margaryan and Artur Sargasyan) who are said to have earlier refused their bags to be searched by customs officials at JKIA airport as they returned to the country from an indisclosed destination. In the raid, the gate to their plush Runda residence was pulled down with the help of a lorry when the Armenians ignored a police order to open it. Government car number plates, military uniforms and hoods were amongst the items recovered by police from the scene. About 50 police officers were involved in the raid led by Gigiri police OCS Patrick Lumumba. The raid took place at about 1 am Kenyan time.
It started with what appeared to be a small and unrelated incident, about a month ago. Retired President Moi came back into mainstream active politics rather quietly with a visit to the northern frontier remote part of Kenya of Marsabit and the environs. The meet the people tour which in retrospect can now be seen as a meticulously calculated political move by the self-proclaimed professor of politics had politicians panicking. Most wondered what all the fuss was about an old man former president visiting some remote almost-forgotten part of the country.
Hate them, like them, underestimate them, even ignore them, but you will not change the facts on the ground. The facts are that this is the new team to beat. This blogger thinks that all things remaining the same, they will be impossible to defeat in 2007
A week or two later, Kanu chairman (handpicked, anointed and installed personally by Moi himself) Uhuru Kenyatta, announced firstly through a trusted aide then personally that he was pulling out of ODM. It still didn't look like a big deal until Kanu, the largest single political party in the country officially announced after a stormy meeting that the party was pulling out of ODM.
Whichever angle you look at things from, the cause of ODM’s troubles is former President Daniel Arap Moi. Judging even from the comments in this blog, many people have not been taking citizen Moi seriously. The assumption is that without the power of the presidency, he is harmless. It is absolutely fascinating that Moi has made a brilliant career out of being underestimated.
Western powers underestimated out of the belief they have always had at the back of the mind that if somebody can’t speak flawless fluent English, then they are not intelligent. Moi run circles around them for 24 years without their ever knowing what hit them.
Meeting At State House After President Kenyatta’s Death
It is said that shortly after President Kenyatta’s death while in office in 1978, a secret meeting took place in State house where the Kenyatta’s kitchen cabinet plotted on how they were going to take over power. Everybody in the meeting branded the quiet, not-very-bright-looking Moi as a passing cloud. Only one man, the late Paul Ngei warned the group not to underestimate Moi and that once he ascended to the presidency for even one day, it would be impossible to remove him. Ngei was ignored by the powerful kitchen cabinet members that included the likes of Njoroge Mungai and Charles Njonjo and yet his warning and prediction was bang on target.
With the re-introduction of multi-party politics in 1992, everybody was sure that Moi was finished. The opposition underestimated the man and Moi remained one step ahead of everybody until his retirement in 2002.
An emotional reader of this blog recently posted the words; “You are wrong, Raila will be President.” Personally I think Raila Odinga would make a great Prsident and I am as alarmed as other Kenyans at the way things have suddenly gone with the ODM. But in politics it is very important to make a clear distinction between emotions and wishful thinking and the reality on the ground.
Raila Odinga is a rebel who has helped Kenyans achieve a lot. But what is the fate of rebels? Do they ever get to rule? Read history and answer that question for yourself.
The rebellion that led to the murder of Julius Caesar was led by the likes of Brutus. But it was Mark Anthony with that classic I-have-come-to-bury-Caesar-not-to-praise-him-speech at the funeral who worked up the crowd and ascended to power.
As we head towards the general election I can see nothing but a Kibaki re-election win. Remember how George Bush won re-election? I think the Kenyan electorate will be split exactly like that with those for Kibaki and those for the opposition. I also believe that in spite of everything that is currently happening, President Kibaki will face one major opponent from a fairly unified opposition.
That is the reality. What is in my heart is really irrelevant but let me just say it.
The only thing that can save Kenya right now is the election of a young Kenyan (under the age of 45) who has never been in politics before but understands the country well enough and has a vision of what needs to be done. That is the only way Kenyans can get the new beginning that they so strongly desire.
I will be the first to admit that this is quite a long shot because most Kenyans under the age of 45 do not understand politics, let alone the Kenyan situation. They make intelligent philosophical statements based on American politics in the city and assume that the ordinary Kenyan voter thinks exactly like them.
Is it going to be Raila Brutus or Raila Mark Anthony?
They have never for instance visited Turukana a place where it is difficult to believe that one is still in Kenya. And where dead dogs (accidentally crashed on the road by one of the rare vehicles seen in the area or killed by wild animals) roasted over a fire are a rare delicacy and probably the only time these Kenyans get to see meat.
To answer the question I posed in this articles’ headline at the beginning. This is what history says about the matter. ODM will re-group and re-organize but Raila Odinga and ODM will never again enjoy the power they previously did during the referendum and from now on, it will all be downhill. This is very bad news for Kenyans and I apologize that I am the one who has to deliver it.
What is Happening in this blog on July 5th 2006?
Too important for Kenya. It is more than a prophecy and prediction on the future of our beloved motherland.
It is the biggest Kenyan event that has ever taken place in the blogosphere. To ensure that you don’t miss it subscribe to our email newsletter now. Send a blank email now to; email@example.com