Dear baba, I’m a big fan of your work. I’m a big fan of your politics. I recognise you as an enigma in Kenyan politics. I always study you because, in Kenya’s political landscape, your career is rich with lessons and tactics that we can grasp as young students of politics.

Raila Odinga: Photo courtesy of Rao.co.ke

Raila Odinga: Photo courtesy of Rao.co.ke

I don’t think there is any Kenyan politician; alive or dead with such an impressive CV like yours.

Baba, you have been nearer to the statehouse than any other politician in this country. You have also paid a heavy price for your stand on the second liberation. Detention without trial, torture, rigged elections etc.

Growing up, I used to be inspired by you. In many ways than one, I still do. In my world, you were the quintessential politician. You were the benchmark upon which every politician was going to be measured with.

In fact, I’ve asked the heavens that should the gods deem me worthy, they ought to grant me the same kind of influence you have when I become a national leader. Because with such power, changing people’s socio-economic life can be a walk in the park. Everything you say is taken as the gospel truth. Your political constituency believes you more than they believe their parents.

In fact, if you told them to take poison, a huge chunk would go ahead and take it.

Baba, I know that you have read many books. You have a deeper and wider wealth of experience that I don’t have. Therefore my advise might not find a soft landing in your experienced mind. However, I will still go ahead and speak from my heart regardless.

Leaders are made by their consistent values even in the face of a changing world.

I believe that a leader who is consistent is sellable. Because when you are consistent, people can trust you with their properties and lives. But when you shift goalposts every minute, it becomes hard to know who you really are. How then do you want to cultivate a trustworthy personality when you constantly shift goal posts?

It is not bad to change. People grow up every day and the thoughts we cherished yesterday might not be relevant today. That’s in order. But we must stick to the values that define us. As a leader, the positioning that you should aspire to in the mind of your audience should be a person who is consistent and dependable. Not a person who only stands for what he knows he is going to benefit from.

In case you have forgotten, let me jog your memory just a bit:

Dear Baba, to beat Jubilee hands down without cutting an image of a pessimist, you need to develop a consistent rebuttal plan. You need to urgently stop conveying a message that you contradict yourself. While human beings are dynamic and they keep changing, I believe that there are some fundamental values that shouldn’t change; like your stand on corruption. You should shun corrupt politicians both in your house and those who have found residence in Jubilee.

As the doyen of opposition politics, you understand the urgency and the need to keep fighting for a better country.

You have made mistakes, just like all men do. But some have been too costly.

Because you understand that the sweat of hardworking Kenyans should not be wasted, you should stand up against corruption even if it affects your family members. Baba, you have always fought corruption in the Jubilee coalition. You have always exposed corruption in other people’s governments. Why have you been awfully silent when your own people, some of them members of your inner circle are mentioned? Why do you always find a way to defend them either by being silent or siding with them?

To cut a consistent image, you must purge your camp of people alleged to be involved in corruption.

When the auditor general raises audit queries of unaccounted funds in the counties of your top luminaries, your silence becomes deafening. When those who have questionable sources of funds allegedly bankroll your campaigns, you accept their money with open arms. But you shout from the rooftops when those in the opposing camps seems to be using dirty tricks to get you.

That’s what leaves me dumbfounded. Why these double standard Baba? Corruption is a threat to Kenya’s society. As a nationalist, you must go beyond the rhetoric and urge your lieutenants to fight corruption in their ranks. When money is lost in CORD strongholds, it is the same as when the money is lost in Jubilee strongholds. We need to see your zeal in apprehending those who are implicated in corruption deals even if they are in your inner circle. That is the only way we can trust that your fight against graft is genuine.

Baba, at the height of the terrorist’s attacks that gripped our nation, you impressed upon president Uhuru Kenyatta to withdraw KDF troops in Somalia. The war wasn’t over but you argued that their continued stay in a foreign land wasn’t good for the security of our nation. You made a lot of sense then because why should we have our sons and daughters in a foreign land while our own brothers and sisters are heartlessly murdered in the hands of terrorist elements? You urged the Government to bring back our troops to defend our borders. What has changed?

Why did this zeal die yet our troops are still in Ethiopia? Wait a minute bwana tinga; does it mean that what you agree with is what is right? Should we now accept that you are the benchmark of the truth? That you can never be wrong? Okay, that’s a dangerous level of self-confidence if you want Kenyans to believe you.

While the questions you raised about the circumstances that led to the withdrawal of our troops from South Sudan are legitimate, I believe that it was opportunistic.

When Kalonzo Musyoka joined the Government in 2008 after the disputed elections, he was branded a Judas. The name stuck. He was called watermelon and all manner of negative names. But now that he is in the opposition, apparently his sins have been forgiven and now ‘yeye ni mweupe kama pamba.’

When the deputy president William Ruto was in the 2007 ‘pentagon’ team, he was a ‘clean man.’ In fact, you baptised him as a saint. But simply because he transferred his votes to another candidate, he has apparently become the devil. Well, I know the first defence that you will have is that you suspended him as the minister of agriculture. That tough backbone should be consistent. It shouldn’t be seen that it is only used to settle political scores as was the case with the alleged maize scandal.

Well, Rails’s fanbase might take what he says as the gospel truth. However, looking at how tight the 2017 elections are going to be, Baba must go beyond appealing to his primary audience and bite a small chunk from Jubilee strong holds. He can also appeal to the urban people who make a small minority but can nonetheless tilt the election results.

For this group to be won, Raila needs to start by being consistent.

Loved the piece? Follow the writer on twitter @dannishodongo and like his page Dannish Odongo. He is a political commentator and for any enquiries, you can reach him on +254720348865.

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Politics & International Affairs
Author: Dannish Odongo

A bold blogger. Jesus is Lord

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    1 Response

  1. George Thuo says:

    This is an amazing piece, with an interesting level of satire. I like how you cautiously and surreptitiously crept into the topic…gradually changing references from Baba to Tinga…at one point talking to him, the other time talking about him. Your mind about the whole issue is clear enough, and you quite well employed Dale Carnegie’s “Sandwitch” principle.

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