Hate or like it …….. RAILA ODINGA is the fourth PRESIDENT of KENYA


By Ngunjiri Wambugu  

I have stated here on more than one occasion that my vote for president will go to Raila Amolo Odinga on March 4th. This always kicks up a storm because it seems every middle class Kikuyu is expected to ‘Believe’ in Jubilee. However I do not believe that the problems of this country will be solved only when two tribes work together.

I also know I am not the only Kikuyu or Kalenjin who feels this way. I also believe that the Uhuru/Ruto ticket will be very surprised when the results of March 4th are read out.

‘Why Raila?’

One; His story. Raila remains the undisputed champion of the Kenyan dream. He (and his family) have faced some of the harshest tribulations for fighting for multi-party democracy. He has been detained, his wife hounded out of a job, and his businesses raided, all in the pursuit of building a Kenya that works for all Kenyans.

As a member of the elite he could have done what other children of Kenya’s founding fathers did; become part of the status quo and milk it for whatever he could get. He did not. We now have a pro-people constitution which he was at the forefront campaigning for, and has proven his capacity to take the hard road to ensure it is fully implemented.

Two; His Character. I have worked closely with him for over 6 months now and I can testify to his capacity to tolerate the most difficult people and/or situations one can imagine.
I have watched him deal patiently with situations where I wanted to walk away in frustration, and sort them out. I have seen him forgive mistakes that completely inconvenienced him. This capacity o see everything within the parameters of the bigger picture must be the reason the Coalition government has survived the full term.

Three; His business background. There is another side to Raila Odinga; the shrewd and highly experienced business player who has managed to lead their family flagship company Spectre International to be a highly successful commercial enterprise.

As a business man myself I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for him and his family to make this happen over the decades, whilst simultaneously fighting against government positions on various political issues. It takes the kind of sacrifice, persistence and tenacity I want to see in my next President.

Four; His politics. As his campaign political director I have interacted with his political philosophy. I now fully understand what it means to be a social democrat; I know that a thriving economic growth must be anchored on well-grounded country infrastructure. I also understand why emerging technological solutions must be used to address traditional forms of agriculture. Economic growth must have a human face.

Five; The man himself. No man is perfect and Raila is above all else, a man. However when you live your life in full and permanent glare of the public limelight your mistakes tend to be what we learn first and before everything else.

It is a lot worse for Raila Odinga since he has lived most of his adult life either in detention, in the public streets being hounded by security agencies, or having each decision he makes scrutinized by various think tanks.

This means that nearly every adult Kenyan is conversant with Raila Odinga’s short-comings. However (and ironically) he has continued to lead in each and every poll conducted on who Kenyans believe is best suited to be their 4th President. This can only be a testament to the fact that enough of us see through the mistakes, to the man.

It also proves that Kenyans see beyond the mistakes to the man with an extraordinary capacity to seek that which works for the greatest good for the greatest number of Kenyans.
My bonus; His vision for himself and how it affects Kenya (and our futures). Raila Odinga is the 2nd most powerful man in the state today. He is also arguably the most powerful Kenyan politically. I do not believe he wants to be president for power’s sake. I have come to believe that he is now more interested in his legacy than the perks that come with the presidency.
If I am right he will want not only to run an efficient government system, but to be seen by Kenyans, and the world, doing it. I also believe that he will want to end his term well ... maybe like Nelson Mandela.

This week marks the beginning of the end of political campaigns; at least for those of us unrepentant optimists who believe that Kenya’s next President will be elected in the first round of elections.

As far as am concerned the reasons above and others, are why Raila Odinga stands right at the front of the line of every credible poll conducted in the last 5 years (including those by his political rivals) on who Kenyans prefer as their 4th president. This is why I endorse him as Kenya’s 4th President.

Ngunjiri Wambugu

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