“Trust me”. The two words no one takes seriously when coming from the mouth of a politician.
Indeed, it is trustworthiness, or in Raila’s case, the lack of it which will determine this election, especially for our community, the Ukambani.
As a follower of politics around the world, I remember seeing the polls in America as early as 2015 in the famous swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. Well over 50% of voters in each state viewed Hillary Clinton as untrustworthy and dishonest. The rest, as they say, is history.
Raila is of course known to speak out of both sides of his mouth. Even his most loyal supporters wouldn’t describe the NASA leader as ‘trustworthy’. So the question I have is why does my community keep falling for the same old tricks? Why does the so-called leader of the Ukambani roll over and eat up all of his lies? Time after time. When do we stand up as a community and finally say enough is enough?
The Kamba tribe, encouraged by the charismatic Kalonzo has come out in their droves to support Raila, whether it be under the guise of NARC, LDP and of course more recently in both ODM-K and CORD. On each occasion, Raila promised Kalonzo, that “next time” will be his time. “Be patient Ukambani”, we were told, “your time will come”. What a pack of lies.
The CORD agreement in 2013, which was no simple matter, was hard fought and celebrated. The negotiations were complex and legalistic. But the results were clear, Kalonzo and our community would support Raila in 2013, and four years later, Raila and his community would get behind Kalonzo. And then along came this entity called NASA, and the CORD agreement was dismantled.
But Raila has promised that if he wins, he’ll be a one-term presidency. “Trust me”, he tells us.
Does anyone really believe that Raila Odinga, son of Oginga Odinga, whose family has been fighting for power since independence will simply give it up after one term? From coups to election campaigns, this for Raila is the ultimate apogee of decades of detainment, disputes and deals. Yet we have been told that in five years he will hand over the keys, “Sure Kalonzo, it’s your go.”
We have to get real and internalize that the leader of our community is being played. This is Raila’s fourth Presidential campaign. He lost to Moi in 1997, to Kibaki in 2007 and then Uhuru in 2013. While his victory is still a long-shot in August, does anyone really think that he will just simply roll aside after such a traumatic journey?
Over the years, Kenya has proven that the old idiom rings true: Politics is the art of the possible. Moving forward five or even ten years, a scenario whereby Luo and Luhya coming out en masse to vote for Kalonzo is simply impossible. Let’s not forget that Raila’s hardcore following have never forgiven the old KANU Secretary for collaborating with a dictatorship, and being part of the regime which threw their Baba behind bars. Kalonzo more recently also played a vital diplomatic role in the ICC hearings, an unpopular move in the Western heartlands of Raila.
Then there is the numbers game. Why would Raila hand over the presidency to Kalonzo when the Luo and Luhya communities together are close to 2 million guaranteed votes, a number the Kamba could never compete with.
Moving beyond the realpolitik argument, the Luhya and Luo are both geographically and culturally closer, a natural alliance for future elections. The West will triumph over the East in any succession plan, no matter what creative lies continue to be sold by Raila. It’s simple Mathematics. And in numbers we trust.
We have quite simply had enough of being hoodwinked, only to end up on election day on the losing side. Therefore I am calling on the Kamba nation to join the winning side.
All recent polls show that while the people of Kenya are rightly frustrated with many day to day issues, there is one candidate they trust, one candidate they believe in, and one candidate who will lead for the sake of all Kenyans.
Let us not forget, Hillary Clinton believed the presidency was her God given right and told the American people that now it “was her turn”. Yet they too turned their back on her. The seasoned politician lost the masses with her lies, corruption and untrustworthiness; so will Raila.