Raila Odinga is an angry man, and for good reason. You see, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, is in all understanding, an equal of President Mwai Kibaki. The Constitution, the National Accord, and everybody in the world knows that Raila and Kibaki are sharing power in this hotchpotch government of ours.
So, when the Right Honourable does not get the same trappings of power as those given to His Excellency, then Mr Odinga will definitely raise hell.
Mr Odinga’s grumbling started with a clash between him and ‘some junior officer’ in the name of Ambassador Francis Muthaura. Apparently, Mr Muthaura has to sanction every directive issued by the Prime Minister, including roadside declarations that disgraced electoral officials were to keep off their offices until he (the PM) decided what to do with them.
Mr Muthaura went further to decide that the PM’s salary should not be equal – let alone more than – that of the Vice President.
Monday was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
The “people’s president’ went to Mombasa for an official function and the Provincial Administration snubbed him. The PC, DOs, chiefs and police bosses did not line up to greet the Prime Minister as he exited his brand new limousine.
They had not laid out the red carpet for him and neither did they bother to organise a proper dias fully accompanied by a VIP toilet.
And Mr Odinga was livid!
He could not contain it anymore and he had to air that dirty linen in public to the amusement of the cheering women’s groups and the entire world that watched the video clip via You Tube.
The Prime Minister should be accorded the respect he deserves. But being the people’s President, I must say I am disappointed that he is allowing such bourgeoisie trappings as a red carpet, an extra million shillings paycheck (in the wake of a crumbling global economy) and a toilet to distract him from his vision.
You see, Mr Odinga traversed this country in 2007 and convinced millions of Kenyans (more than Mr Kibaki did, he would argue) that he was interested in bringing change to their lives.
He made millions believe that unlike Mr Kibaki and his golf buddies who were in power to make money and live large, he and his ODM ‘team’ were interested in fighting poverty, cutting down unnecessary government expenditure, distributing the resultant gains to the people and, generally, ensuring social equality.
So, I am disappointed, because going by his latest rants, Mr Odinga clearly conned Kenyans. Like a spoilt last born child, he is wailing and rolling on the ground, demanding to be given what his siblings are getting, never mind his earlier principle that it was wrong for anyone to enjoy such perks at the expense of starving Kenyans.
Mr Odinga, a red carpet, higher salary, military aide-de-camp, mobile toilet and all those other things under agenda item “protocol” that ODM was demanding to be included in the botched Kilaguni talks will not bring about change to Kenya.
When we talk of institutional reforms, we do not mean removing Major General Hussein Ali from the helm of the police and replacing him with an ODM stalwart. It means setting up an entirely new system to manage the police force in the country.
A judiciary overhaul is not firing judges and naming new ones. No, the Narc administration tried that in 2003 and the results are clear for all.
Mr Odinga, think outside the box. We need reforms, not a reshuffle of officers in the current institutions.
Give us that, and Kenyans will volunteer to put up a toilet every 200 metres for you. Heck, we can even reserve a nationwide road structure exclusively for your use.