The mask has been peeled off Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s face, the heat is fast cooling down and the political hype has died down or attention has been shifted to issues of national importance after revelations by a gatekeeper turned accuser: Miguna Miguna.
But for those who care to think, the whole scenario must have set stage for some truth to be known about the Prime Minister, who happened to be subject of the publication “Peeling back the mask; a quest for justice in Kenya” by his discontented former special adviser.
Coming barely a few months to elections against the background of a clarion call on Kenyans to vote in credible leaders, one is compelled to critique the moral texture of those who intend to throw their hats in the ring for various posts.
Frankly, times like these call on us to tread carefully in the wake of sideshows cast by rabble-rousers and separate the ripe from the row; the chaff from the grains to inform the reform gear.
Everyone has his day, and time came and it has come when the bulk of populace are required to again address themselves to the questions of suitability of Raila for the highly coveted office in light of the contents of Miguna’s publication.
However, just a handful of highlights of Raila’s contributions to this nation may do us good.
He has been painted as a reckless radical who easily falls prey to bouts of emotional swings and confusion at the slightest provocation. He has been called many names: lukewarm anti-corruption crusader and an opportunist who marks time. The list of these despicable epithets may be long but I bet to ask: is Raila really who he is according to Miguna’s painting?
I begin by tracing his political profile, a career he decidedly started at the acme of Kanu’s autocratic regime.
He is an accomplished academia glowing with venerable intellectual expertise backed by practical experience owing to his devotion to public life. If Caesar was to wake up from the dead today and witness the unparalleled selflessness that characterises service that this ordinary Kenyan offers his country men and women, he would go back to his grave a jolly fellow having found one who matches his sense for a virtuous wife.
Today, Kenya is close to being rated as a paragon of democratic fountain because of the important role Raila and others played in bringing to an end dictatorial regime of Kanu.
We now take pride of expanded space for expression and exercise of other numerous freedoms and liberty due to his civil activist role in the saba saba that eventually resulted into repeal of the infamous Section 2A of the former constitution. He joined hands with other politicians in 2002 to set mood for the much needed revolution that would see the long serving party bundled out of power to usher in a new dawn of leadership.
He was appointed the Minister for Roads and Public Works and took opportunity to reclaim public road reserves by ordering the demolition of buildings and structures erected on such lands. But even then he remained focused and continued with his course of ensuring that the nation got a new Constitution; being one of the election promises made when Narc came to power.