NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – Opposition leader Raila Odinga has faulted critics who have attributed his political rise and that of President Uhuru Kenyatta to being part of dynasties.
His father Jaramogi Odinga served as Kenya’s Vice President, while Uhuru’s father Jomo Kenyatta was Kenya’s first President.
Odinga told mourners at the memorial service in honour of former Maendeleo ya Wanawake Chairperson Jane Kiano that he and Kenyatta achieved their positions on their own merit.
He insisted that they were not part of dynasties because their fathers struggled on their own.
“Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was a son of a pauper, he struggled, and he was detained by colonialists for all those years. You cannot say there is a Kenyatta dynasty; you cannot say that just because of that Uhuru is part of dynasty. Odinga son of Raila was just another son of a pauper, you can also say he was a hustler, you cannot say that Raila is part of a dynasty.”
“Raila is just Raila the way he is; Uhuru is Uhuru because of himself, no one has elected Uhuru because he is the son of Kenyatta. No one votes for Raila because he is the son of Oginga Odinga, it is because of Raila and that is the way it is,” Odinga said amidst laughter from those in attendance.
President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto steered clear of the topic and focused on eulogizing the fallen women’s leader.
Odinga’s remarks may have been triggered by media articles which suggested that the 2022 presidential race will be a dynasty versus hustlers’ contest following a dalliance between KANU Chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi (son for Kenya’s second President Daniel arap Moi) and Odinga.
DP Ruto represents the hustlers.
The media article was referring to groupings of the political elite coalescing around the families of independence leaders and their advantages in wealth and perceived experience in power, with the hustlers being politicians from more humble backgrounds perceived to be making their way to power.