World

Kenya goes to the polls – will Odinga be fifth time lucky? – SABC News

Raila Odinga, Kenya’s veteran politician is making a fifth bid for the presidency in Kenya’s general election which is on Tuesday, August 9th. He has always been the anti-establishment candidate, but this time he will enjoy the support of his one-time rival Uhuru Kenyatta in what is seen as his best chance yet.

Raila Odinga, now 77, has dominated Kenyan politics for almost 50 years. His first years in politics were spent in detention because of his opposition to the dictatorship of President Daniel Arap Moi.

“Raila Odinga is someone who tried his whole life to make Kenya democratic, he spent nine years in prison during Moi days, he promised to change Kenya all his life but never got a chance, ” explains Prof. Gitile Naituli a political analyst based in Kenya.

Not one to give up, he spent the 1990s pushing for reforms and a new constitution for Kenya – a milestone he helped Kenya achieve in 2010 alongside then president Mwai Kibaki.

He joined parliament in 1992 and then ran for president in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017, although he has never been successful in his presidency, he insists that he has been cheated out of his victory three times. He told the SABC in July this year that people still want him on the ballot.

“The people want me to run and also because they feel that injustice has been done to me and also what I represent, they believe that I represent change,” Odinga said.

Odinga, a charismatic politician has the ability to draw crowds and is probably the only Kenyan politician with a constant voting block of supporters. However, his way of doing politics is seen as pushy and a rabble, probably what the East African people according to prof. Nightly.

“We need a bully, I can tell you to move this country, we need a bully,” added Naituli

Some believe that age has mellowed the once vibrant leader. Others have warned that his decision to agree to a peace pact with Uhuru Kenyatta could work against him.

“I am my own, I am not running against President Kenyatta, Kenyatta is outgoing, but the candidate I am fighting against because I have said he represents the past, I have said he represents the past,” concludes Odinga.

Odinga is still pushing his reform agenda. Will he be 5th time luck? His date with the lot is on Tuesday, August 9th.

Kenya goes to the polls – will Odinga be fifth time lucky? – SABC News

Source link Kenya goes to the polls – will Odinga be fifth time lucky? – SABC News

Back to top button