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Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Raila Factor: A Stark Reminder

Story of the week:- Hold off Kajwang: Power Brokers Plead With Kibaki

Guest post by Sam Okello

The question uppermost on Kenyan's minds today is...what's happened to Raila Odinga? I've met many Kenyans during my travels who've asked me to explain what the ODM game plan is. I don't pretend to be an insider in ODM politics. Matter of fact, I'm just a humble writer. But I know something about the Hon Odinga's kind of politics because I've watched the man for years. I therefore propose that for us to understand where the Prime Minister is coming from, let's study how he has handled the most crucial public moments of his life.

1. When I first heard of Raila Odinga, I was in Form 1 at Kamagambo High School. On a Sunday morning, I was told that the Moi government had been overturned and that a certain Lt. Ochuka had acted in concert with Mr. Odinga to beat another bunch of plotters led by Sir Charles Mugane Njonjo. I was intrigued by the events. When you are a young man, such things as coups are very exciting. But to come to the point, the important thing here is to answer the Why question. Why did Raila find it necessary to kick Moi out by force? The answer is simple. Moi was literally raping Kenya. Be reminded that the man was presiding over a regime that instigated and abetted tribal clashes in the Rift Valley, killed political rivals like Dr. Ouko, looked the other way as corruption threatened the economy, and enriched his family...and the families of his cronies...beyond measure. So why did Raila do it?

2. As I became of age, I watched as the Hon Odinga transformed himself into a political machine unrivaled in Kenya politics. Matter of fact, I'm persuaded that the Langata MP is the most charismatic, most formidable politician Kenya has ever produced. JM came close. The point here is that Raila decided to become a politician to save the nation. You have to remember that during that time, the winds of democratic change were sweeping across Africa and the world. The only way to legitimately acquire power was through the ballot. So Raila did just that. If you ask me, that's a man who plays by the rules.

3. Now that I'm a grown man, I've watched Raila handle fame and fortune with dignity and humility. He's managed to build a business empire and a political following that makes his rivals go through sleepless nights. You'll recall that he led the nation to defeat the retrogressive Constitution fronted by Kibaki during the referendum. He led the nation to defeat the Uhuru Project. He led the nation to floor Kibaki at the polls. He led the nation to find peace after Kibaki stole the elections in a fashion befitting a man blessed with just a quarter of a brain. Did somebody say Kibaki was a Makerere alum? How he shames his alma mater! The point I'm making here is that Raila has always led the a better place.

4. Finally, we all watched, after the stolen elections, how Raila handled one of the most explosive situations Kenya has ever had to deal with. Love him or hate him, what you saw was a man who worried about Kenya more than he worried about himself. He chose to create peace for Kenya's children rather than create space for himself at the State House. That tells a lot about a man's core beliefs and character.

Fellow Kenyans, I've brought up the matter of the Hon Odinga because many people don't understand what the plan is for the future. What we must all understand is that we are up against the forces of doom. We're up against a cartel that has horded power and wealth since independence. They derailed our democracy in 2007, but we will not let them again. So when you see Moi scheme in the Rift Valley, just remind him that we defeated the Uhuru Project and we will defeat him again. When you see Kalonzo map a GEMA game plan, just remind the traitor that we are writing his final chapter in Kenyan politics. And when you see Kibaki's allies do everything to humiliate the Prime Minister, just remind them that we beat them before and we will do it a time of our choosing.

Why am I so confident? Because I trust the Kenyan people. And I trust Raila Odinga. I know for sure that a time is coming when a different kind of politics will have to be played. But, friends, that time is not now. The wise know that you only tip your hand when the path to victory is clear. So as we go forward, let us rejoice that the youth of Central Province, led by the Mungiki leadership, have teamed up with their fellow Kenyans to create a just and humane society. A society where all Kenyan children are cared for regardless of where they come from. Can we do it? Yes we can!

So let the Hon Odinga draw his game plan. In the fullness of time, he'll tell us where we are going and how we'll get there. When that time comes, don't be caught sleeping. Let the man who has called himself the bridge to the future cross the Jordan with us, then we'll pick the fruits when we get yonder!

For love of Country.

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M-Pesa said...

True! What you've written is indeed very accurate about our PM, but as they say, every coin has got two sides and every person has some form of split personality. It's interesting that you've listed all the positive attributes and "forgot" to list the negatives which could take me the whole day to jot down.

Since you brought up the Lt. Ochuka issue, maybe you could care to tell us whether it's true that his family still dwells in mud huts in some slum in Nyanza while those who exploited him live in a world of caviar, lobsters, chauffers, bolinger wines and hummers.

As a writer, surely you should know something about being fair and balanced!

This is why Raila is his own worst enemy as written by Prof Makau Mutua......

Anonymous said...

Whatever it is ....Can he do it faster coz i am damn tired with the comedies that is going on around this "govt". And yet for all those reasons i am a fanatic of this man, and with no apologies to anyone.


Anonymous said...

For me to be able to comment on your post, I must go back to where it all started. As a Kenyan in Diaspora like you, I often ask myself this question, how did things turn so sour, so quickly? Kenyans voted the grossly corrupt Moi regime out of power in 2002. Since then, under Mwai Kibaki, Kenya enjoyed a growth rate above 5% per annum, the tourist industry flourished, Kenya’s export trade grew, and the burgeoning middle classes living standards improve hugely, then there was introduction of free primary school, free media reporting notwithstanding the infamous standard and KTN raids.

Despite these trends, there were problems. Kibaki failed to deliver on promised constitutional reform, and has been dogged by recurrent corruption scandals that forced him to sack some of his Cabinet. There were many political defections; nurturing the opposition while leaving the president surrounded by a clique of his own Kikuyu people – ‘Mt Kenya Mafia’.
All this left Mr Odinga to form a party from a ‘No’ vote campaign against a proposed constitution back in 2005, the party later gained momentum and widespread support especially among the poor that believed it was there time to ‘eat’. So what followed was the death of hope for the poor that believed Mr Odinga lies that success for ODM was a loss to Kikuyunisation. So now we can begin to understand why those youth went on rampage.

Kibaki and Odinga were too slow to find a path toward reconciliation, and far too reluctant to condemn the violence. Neither proved politically adept. They are damaged goods, and it will be difficult for either to provide credible leadership in the longer-term or for the future of the country.

Kenyans will now look to other, younger leaders, to step forward. Whoever does so will be faced by a monumentally difficult task. I personally think Raila Odinga political career will be over before 2012

Anonymous said...

"Mungiki leadership, have teamed up with their fellow Kenyans to create a just and humane society"

My Bro - You mean you can stoop this low in defending Rao? You believe mingiki is fighting for a just kenya? You believe mungiki will take Rao to state house? How come my brother you have become so myopic and blinded. Rao can become the president of kenya but not on the back of mungiki and what they stand for. You have just dissapointed me by thought - Good discourse should also have meant you gibe the negatives of the man. Okello you could have done better. Try again in defending your man, otherwise you have fared badly on this one.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Sam. I will not be surprised if the "Panua" crowd, after reading your post, will try all they can - using deception, half truths and outright distortions of the truth, to try to paint Raila "dirty." (m-pesa has already started)

Like Ivy, I am impatient and would like to see things moving faster. We need civilized progressive and visionary government and not this one headed by a certified ELECTION THIEF. However, I have had to hold my horses and look and the bigger picture.

Like Sam said: "We're up against a cartel that has horded power and wealth since independence. They derailed our democracy in 2007 by BRAZENLY AND SHAMELESSLY STEALING THE ELECTIONS." It will take some time to "Fix" this Pumbavu situation. I have faith it will be fixed. Siku za mwizi ni 40!

Bobie Bristol said...

Yes Chris, its true;

Raila's charisma is rivalled only by that of a Potato!

M-Pesa said...

Since the link I sent was deliberately distorted, this is what one of Africa's foremost scholars and a S.U.N.Y distinguished professor MAKAU MUTUA wrote just 6 months ago about our PM, Raila Agwambo. It's what SAM OKELLO was too scared to write!

"..I have written on this page before that Mr Odinga is a contradiction in terms. He says one thing and then does another. Because of his zealotry to rule Kenya, he will do anything to reside at State House..."

"..In fact, it is not clear that Mr Odinga would be anything without the tribalisation of our politics..."

"..He is the quintessential tribal baron. The ethnic baton that he so effectively wields is not an accidental gift. It is an inheritance from his father, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. If Jaramogi rose to be the king of his community, Raila Odinga was its prince..."

"Although Mr Odinga does not live in Luo Nyanza, he has played the role of the region's messiah"

"If Mr Odinga wants to govern Kenya, then I submit that he must be a Kenyan first and a Luo second"

"Raila's primary loyalty must be to Kenya, not to his ethnic identity because it is as a Kenyan that he would serve as President.."

Should we say more...........

Anonymous said...

The next president of Kenya should not come from Kikuyu or Luo community.
These two communities have dragged other communities into a pit hole through their rivalry and should not be allowed ever again.

I like to compare Kikuyu/ Luo politic rivalry with England football team against Germany or Argentina football teams.
Just like the English team, Luos, they know how to make noise building hyper and euphoria before the big game. When it comes to the real game, they fret before the Germans and Argentines accusing them of arrogant and tactical playing like the infamous ‘Maradonna hand of God’. Their rivalry goes back to Second World War when Germans invaded England and the during the Falkland war when England invaded Argentina.
And it’s the same thing with Kikuyu/Luo rivalry which goes back to generations and is still haunting ALL of us today.
Just like the English Team, who finds it very difficult to win against Germans or Argentines teams, because of their ignorance and inability to deal with their own insecurity, Luos must also confront issues that make them bitterly rival their fellow countrymen (Kikuyus)and in most cases unsuccessfully.
I believe these two communities must come together and sort out their difference, repent and forgive each other before we can move on. Failure to do so, this uneasy rivalry will continue to bring this country down.

Anonymous said...


You had a good post - but after reading the posts above, am not sure we are talking of the same man. He looks a contradiction of a man. Am not sure thats the kind of a man kenya needs. If even in 1992 he was still making news - then he should rest with Kibaki. His time has come. Let him retire and enjoy his pension when Kibaki does so. Thats the best gift he will give kenya.

Anonymous said...


If Makau wrote that post before the elections - then the guy is apolitical genious. He knows the man well. He has ably described whats wrong with the man. He needs a transformation himself before he can transform Kenya.

Anonymous said...


Is it true that its just a matter of time before Ruto becomes the new choir master of kibaki? I gather he apologised to kibaki and now they are the best of buddies. No wonder wako japan pamoja na uhuru. Hii ni ukweli ama ni porojo?

Knoppix!® said...

Hahahahaha M-pesa who could distrot such very very unobjective information.If it were distorted then the whole of your comment should also end up as much - distorted.

I normally admire to be current and it seems Chris as resorted to bombard us with several posts at ago.I would have loved to stay with Kajwangs escapades but nevertheless i will have a cup of tea about the PM.

Okello i am amused you attended Kamagambo and am not sure if you have been there lately to see what is going on there lately.I used to visit it in the early 90s and i would like to know what it is like now.

Raila is one person many a politician would like to hate and love at the same time.Others have said you should have elaborated on his negative side and i think that is very very valid but one can only exenorate you by saying you woke up decidedly to post about his good virtues.

Personally i dont know much about Raila except what i read and watch on TV.I would have loved to but i have no alternative but wait for what comes my way.Someone is at the very time desperate to cite Railas role in the abortive coup of 82.We dont know for a fact he was involved directly or otherwise but many people have linked him to the coup.I always wonder wether the linking because the chief plotters were hugely luo or anything by that design.

So what if the coup suceeded?Could Kenya be the same thing it is today?Here again the arguements could be varied.Personally i would have wished that it went through because after its failure much of the government machinery was dedicated to crush dissent and opposition at the expense of other development projects.Its during this period that goodies started being dished left right and centre.Around this time most Kenyan parastatals were doing well.You could also remember its the time when the Kenyan car plate series was at KX and KZC...... and we see some of the cars around.I believe if Raila had a role in that coup then it would have been for the good of all of us albeit coups are not everyone's cup of tea.

Moving away from his role in the coup if ever,Raila is uncomparable to many of his peers.He is always ahead of the pack.For instance,when Kalonzo was clinging to a party last year he pulled a fast one on him.Wasnt that admireable?When he was under siege over the stolen polls he used the foreign press in a handy way and i doubt Kalonzo has such wits.I remember he gave an interview while speaking in Germany,I wonder what other language who is obviously young knows other than the ones we can all imagine.The list of his smartness is endless.

However like M-pesa said almost every other person has a split personality.There are things we dont even know about this man Raila.But we cannot busy ourselves about what we dont know.So far his virtues down weigh his misdeeds.However i have reservations about his dad who at times flouted basic rules but we are not talking about his dad here or are we?

About the plans he has for Kenya they were due as late as yesterday.A good number of the people i have spoken to feel like the elections should be like tomorrow to get in the person they feel deserves to lead this country.So many people feel indebted to RAO and anyone who feels otherwise can crosscheck.Like i said before we still owe someone a favour.Ivy is one such person and i guess so might be her family.

Another anonymous said his career will end come 2012 i pray to God he be around and confirm otherwise.I will exit for now.Long live RAO.

Phil said...

Sam, good to read from you after a long time.A stark reminder to some of this ethnic chauvinists!

I must say however, I first read your article at JALUO.COM (

While we appreciate Raila's role in shaping Kenya's political field and increasing the democratic space more than any other single individual, I tend to get the feeling you are putting too much hope on the shoulders of one man.

I have no doubt that Raila's efforts will one day translate into positive economic fruits for all people of Kenya (at least Mungiki have the foresight to see that!).

On the other hand you will recall that I keep saying here ODM is a mass movement with plenty of leadership talent among its ranks. Even more interesting I can name no less than 10 persons within ODM who are in my opinion presidential material. Actually there is no single public position ODM cannot name an individual from its rank to fit in.

For that reason, a time will come when Raila will have to step aside / retire from active public life. And that time is coming sooner rather than later. He will have done his part, just like Mandela, Nkuruma, Nyerere and the rest. Just like when Moi/KANU dominated all the spheres of life in Kenya at one time; Raila/ODM/Pentagon will also play their role and eventually give room to others.

Kenyans, and especially ODM supporters, must open their minds and brace for life without Raila. I believe what Raila has done, will be taken over to be continued by somebody else - and not necessarily a Luo. Raila himself took over from where Jaramogi, Anyona and others left.

Otherwise, I concur with your post 100%.

Anonymous said...

anon7:16 AM

what don't you understand?? why should raila step aside before he finishes what he started?? kibaki stole from kenyans their votes- raila will only stop when he has given us our constitution and given time to work on the promises he gave during the elections when kenyans voted him in as their president- go take your propaganda to central! how dare you suggest for Raila to step aside when he already did it ones for KIbaki!! " you of little memory do you now forget kibaki tosha?? didn't he step aside for the thieving Emilio kibaki - while even in a wheel chair???? try another rubbish post!!

Anonymous said...

Wake up and smell the roses- kenyans are going to remove this thieves called kibaki and his cronies ones and for and for all!!
look again at this thieves and you dare say the economy grew in the 5years kibaki was in power?? hey this days anyone can doctor and print false figures to cheat- and who else but the experts in looting and deciet called PNU and Mt. kenya Elite mafia
the only economy grown was in Central province- where coffee and tea farmers were given free funding to boost them- did you see any money being given to the sugar farmers? or tea growers in Rift Valley?? why did kibaki government give up to 8 hundred million to central province coffee farmers for free???
do shut up and stop- or if you want to keep on singing your godfather kibaki's praises then post facts here!!

Read some facts!!

The extended Kenyatta family alone owns an estimated 500,000 acres — approximately the size of Nyanza Province — according to estimates by independent surveyors and Ministry of Lands officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Kibaki and Moi families also own large tracts of land though most of the Moi family land is held in the names of his sons and daughters and other close family members.

Most of the holders of the huge parcels of land are concentrated within the 17.2 per cent part of the country that is arable. The remaining 80 per cent is mostly arid and semi arid land.

In fact, according to the Kenya Land Alliance,

*****more than a half of the arable land in the country is in the hands of only ""20 per cent"" of the 30 million Kenyans. That has left up to 13 per cent of the population absolutely landless

while another 67 per cent on average own less than an acre per person.

Kibaki, Uhuru and their cronies must give the IDP's Land!! who allowed them to own most of kenya??
and why are they harrasing Criticos now?? trying to remove heat and blame on themselves

come next elections they will know what kenyan people are made off!! trust me by the time we finish removing them from office - we will make sure all the landless people in Kenya have land to cultivate!! there is enough land held by dubious land grabbing thugs like kibaki and uhuru and cronies to sustain must kenyans!! it will come to bare trust me!!As for Moi my advice to him he better move to Central Lesotho!!

Anonymous said...

anon6:30 AM

Another Pnu's Mouth pieces on here are seeing red!! after reading this post:):) look at their attacks-
why should Raila Retire?? does he look senile like your father kibaki at 71?? who is running around like a chicken while kalonzo musyoka pulls his ears?? sources on the ground say Kalonzo Musyoka now is the final word kibaki just follows orders:)

PNU mouth pieces have started on their lies and propaganda same way they stated the genocide in the Rift Valley - lies and propaganda! when will they learn?? I guess never!!Read the Daily Nation!! did you see ati they even hard headlines spinning lies on Kanyotu's memoirs and were caught in the act (Moi and Muite refuted their stories)Daily Nation Kikuyu paper did not care about the plight of IDP's to keep kenyans informed or the petrol prices or food shortage and trying to engage kenaysn but instead started writting lies and propaganda about the kanyotu stories!! how cheap and sicko can kikuyu's be?? they have no pride -just selfish greed!!

kenyans have to make a tough stand- if kikuyu's can't live with other kenyans then we are very sure and confident that we prefer them all to stick to central Lesotho and hopefully the mungiki gang will police them with Uhuru leading it and saitoti vice president and Martha Karua can have fun sending the mungiki youth to execution- since she believes in the law of the jungle!!! who cares that will be there own tribesmen!!

Chris Please post my thread- I'm very passionate about this thieving thugs who do not accept their responsibilities and want to blame others always!!

Anonymous said...

Good grief! Now Mungiki is being praised as being "foresighted" for going to bed with Raila! (Read Phil's comment) The other day they were animals and savage scum. How sad, never mind, that's for another day. Tomorrow (SAT) is Mugithi cultural night at the Carnivore, so all you Gema bashers could learn something about Nyumba ya Mumbi instead of the mumbo jumbo tripe written by Kenyans lost in Diaspora.


Nbi Kenya

Tom said...

I can't believe people are praising this post. Just shows how shallow minded ODMorons are. No wonder Raila has a free ride with these people. I saw a straight inconsistency the moment i read the first numbered paragraph. Sam, in 1982, when the coup was perpetrated, there were no Rift Valley clashes and Dr Ouko was alive and well. It is generally acknowledged that Moi was a good president until the coup, then he changed thereafter. Therefore, Raila had no justification for that coup attempt. In fact, he probably caused kenyans untold suffering my changing Moi's character and leadership style. But you and the ODMorons on here can't see that basic fact. God bless Kenya with people like you around.

Anonymous said...

Sam.... serious boot licker!

Anonymous said...

Dear ODMers,

What is this new religion you have started about worshipping Mungiki? Raila starts kissing them and you all flock to kiss and hug these murderers? Now Okello and Phil even attribute FORESIGHT to Mungiki? This is naked desperation for the Kikuyu vote. No wonder Kikuyus feel Raila can never win without their vote! By selling your soul to murders for votes, you are just validating their feelings. I thought we said that Raila won in Dec' 07 without Kikuyu vote. If we must seek Kikuyu votes please let us not kneel before Mungiki who circumsized the Luos by force in Naivasha!!

Anonymous said...

These morons are astonishingly ignorant. yes, 99% of you oDMers are dumb.

I thought mungiki was a dangerous gang that ought to be wiped off the face of this planet? Now that they are cleansed with the blood of Raila Amolo odinga, they are worthy of praise. That is a clear combination of ignorance and dangerous worship of a man.

We are being advised to wait for Raila to plot and then like sheep we are expected to flock right behind him. When Kalonzo attempts to put a team together, he is called a traitor. How dare he oppose the "messiah"? Mtashangaa! If Kalonzo is a traitor, Raila is a bigger one, period! He joined Moi's govt after holding press conferences with other opposition leders to condemn Moi's theft in 1997. At least Kalonzo is better because he believes Kibaki won. Raila said it in broad daylight that Moi stole the elections only for him to start things like patinasips and cooparasons with Moi. That is the biggest betrayal.

Sam, you were in Form 1 in 1982? They should have taught you the right reasons for Raila's illegal attempt at power at that time. It is obvious they lied to you. Ouko's murder came 8 years later. The failed coup was an attempt by born losers to achieve power through the back door, period!

deroo said...

Sam, you proudly say that you saw Raila in 1982 and feel great about it. Some of us shook his hanmds way before then, had relatives detained, with him and others defecting to the Scandinavian. But for most that you have wrote, I thgought you could do better.

Hugging Mungiki is the same reason that was used to stop Uhuru Kenyatta in his tracks, and I really wonder why talks between Raila and the numbskuls can go on afetr they even declare war on fellow ministers serving in the same cabinet and even vow to cause destruction.

Some things are bad, but I think this is the lowest that it can get. Not Mungiki and not for any reasons, whether for publicity or convenience reasons. even if it means the Emabakasi seat as it is being touted.

On a scale of 0-10, this one is -1


deroo said...

Raila and his clique have always done funny things in the past and will continue to amuse.

If one can praise someone who was behind a coup and the same man raises to castigate a greenhorn for calling for opposition, you wonder what politicians are made of.

It is bad when the Mt Kenya power barons, 'allegedly' finance Mungiki but it is snow white when Raila agrees to meet them. What for??? Instructions on who to target?

Remember during the ODM early days and the noise that came from their backyard when the Mau Forest invaders where being sent out? Now that Raila is calling for them to get out, the economic advantages of them staying out of the forest is being seen.

Yesterday, Raila Odinga saw the sense in saving the forest. Remember the noise that came when foreigners suspected of being Al Qaeda adherents were being deported, for the sake of the Muslim vote, it was all bad. But now that it is being effected by an ODM prima donna, it is fine.

And so the story goes...Raila co-operating with Moi is fine, but Kalonzo Musyoka accepting Kibaki's VP appointment is capital sin.

Sleep tight!

Anonymous said...

Sam, why don't you be the leader? May be you are the new brand that Kenya needs at this hour. I hope you can.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:15 A lot of non-sense, how about Kibaki being a Kenyan first and then kikuyu second.

Anonymous said...


For those who will notice it, sorry for a MASSIVE GRAMMAR error. Please I apologise


Anonymous said...


I love the spirited discussion we're having here. I thought it was important to remind all Kenyans that were it not for Raila's pragmatism, we'd still be embroiled in a state of mayhem and uncertainty. Look, can Doroo tell me where Kibaki and his men were going to say, "Enough blood has been spilled, let's stop?" Or can M-pesa tell me at what point Kalonzo Musyoka was going to say, "Bwana Kibaki, I'm now satisfied, give the rest to Kenyans?"

It's important that Kenyans take a long, hard look at where we are and how we got here. I'm concerend that if we forget the past, we are bound to repeat the mistakes of the days gone by. So let the youth of Kenya, who are tomorrow's politicians, pattern their behaviour and approach to politics after Raila Odinga's.

Meanwhile, let us all be ready for the next elections. We are very close to ending the impunity and arrogance that has characterized our politics since independence.

Firimbi ita pigwa hivi karibuni!

How's my Swahili, Phil?

For Love of Country,

Sam Okello

Anonymous said...

derek 2:15

your three post following each other have at least a spelling, grammar and if i may add, analytical and semantic error (from my side of the viewing glass). so i assume you are apologising for posting comments. apology accepted :-)

Anonymous said...

We need more voices like Sam's. We need more and more and more.

Raila Odinga, listen and listen up...if and when, the immigration docket is taken from Kajwang or responsiblities reduced, RAILA, walk out of this marriage. This will be the clue for fresh elections!

Anonymous said...





Ethiopia's Supreme Court has sentenced former ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam - in absentia - to death

Ethiopia's Supreme Court has sentenced former ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam - in absentia - to death.

It overturned on appeal last year's ruling by the High Court sentencing Mengistu and 18 of his most senior aides to life in prison.

The judge said he had passed the death sentence as the defendants had tortured and executed thousands of innocent people, which amounted to genocide.

Mengistu has lived in exile in Zimbabwe since his overthrow in 1991.

Tens of thousands of people were killed during a period of Mengistu's 17-year rule known as the Red Terror.

No extradition

"The court has decided to revoke the leniency appeal from the defendants," Judge Desta Gebru was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

1937: Born in Walayitta
1974: Emperor Haile Selassie overthrown
1977-78: Thousands killed during Red Terror
1994: Genocide trial in Ethiopia begins
2006: Found guilty of genocide

Profile: Mengistu Haile Mariam

"It has sentenced them to death," he said.

The BBC's Tsigue Shiferaw says two of Mengistu's political associates who were sentenced to death live in the Italian embassy compound in the capital, Addis Ababa, where they sought refuge after Mengistu fled.

But the 16 other defendants are in jail in the capital.

Our reporter says that under Ethiopian law, the president is the only person who can give amnesty if a death sentence is pronounced by a court.

Mengistu was found guilty of genocide in 2006 after a 12-year trial and was sentenced to life in prison the next year.

At the time, Zimbabwe said it would not extradite the former Ethiopian leader.

Correspondents say what is not clear is whether a change of government in Zimbabwe - where a presidential run-off is due next month - might bring a change of policy.

Mengistu's military committee, known as the Derg, came to power in 1974 after they toppled Ethiopia's last Emperor, Haile Selassie.

The most brutal period of the regime was known as the Red Terror when suspected opponents and intellectuals were rounded up and killed.

Many of their bodies ended up in mass graves or were just tossed into the street for families to collect.

Anonymous said...


I suggest to all Kenyan who's land falls under this concessions to chase the Chinese away and demand a fair tender notice!! they should return all the money they auctioned for those concessions to Kenyans! and kibaki should be stopped to give out for free our oil blocks and mineral concessions with immediate effect and if it is offshore in Mombasa the coast people should reject in arms!! what a fool!! just because he is 71 shame on him- i guess being so greedy kibaki does not care about any other human being! enough is enough !we have to stop this senile old fool!! why rape Kenya off it's natural resources for his own gain??

Chris check this story the source is on that Japan trip!!and was shocked!!

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