Is it Raila’s Time and is He the Man to Watch in 2022?
What is common between Jaramogi Odinga and his son Raila Odinga? It’s their dancing style and perhaps their ability to rebrand themselves as answers to pressing needs of the masses time and again; boldly put, they are timeless politicians.
Raila Odinga, however, has taken it a notch higher to a point where you can’t tell whether at any given time he was in opposition or government (Nusu mukate government and the most recent handshake alleged to be for the greater good of common “mwanachi”) and yet during all that time leading an onslaught against the government for its incompetence.
The man you see today as Raila Odinga is the real man himself. The last time he told us that he wasn’t going to vie again for the presidency and some people believed him. As we are speaking today, nothing stands in his way. He will be on the ballot in the 2022 general elections. No debate about it.
Since 1992, this man Raila has been marinating our political scenes. He is the Maestro of our time in whose history has been in the making for almost half a century. He is at the very apex of his life and if all goes well, he is poised to be the 5th president of Kenya.
So, what is in his favor that can catapult him to the helm of our country’s executive position? Can we say that it is his persona? Nay, because if it were, he would have become a president in this country long ago? Is it his charm for the masses? Still not because he has had that charm all along.
There is a unique matrix that goes into the making of a president. Like as of now, Raila enjoys deep support from the government. The cordial relationship between him and the president has been the envy of other runners for that office.
There has never been a time when Raila has ever enjoyed support from any ruling government of the day. This is his first time. Yet he has always managed to muscle up a tough competition. The support he enjoys now is very massive for that matter.
It is that support that has enabled him to double up international support. Recently, the man was in India where he met India’s prime minister Narendra Modi. In his Facebook account, Raila indicated that they discussed how to strengthen ties between the two countries. Does it mean that Raila has already slaughtered his goose and is beginning to cook it by behaving as though he were the head of state? Or it may mean he is slowly being inducted into the office?
Earlier on, we have seen him meet foreign emissaries where they get to discuss matters affecting this country and forging up relations and ties and in other cases strengthening those that already exist. This is a very big elevation for a man who is not even a leader of opposition but rather a ‘friend’ of the government.
The disclaimer here is that care should be taken in the case that sip of power begins to get to Odinga’s head because as with any elections, surprises come all the time. It is without a doubt that the president’s support means quite a lot for Raila.
Another thing that points to a possibility that this is Raila’s time is central Kenya’s support. We will be living in denial if we say that Raila does not enjoy relatively greater support in central Kenya. Compared to years gone, the tolerance for the man has improved drastically this time around. He may receive up to 50% or more of votes from central come august should things remain as they are.
He also enjoys massive support from the business community today more than ever. In the past few months, Raila has met a number of the big names from Central Kenya’s business community, all of whom have assured him of their support.
This has every reason to give him some assurance that there is a likelihood of him getting enough resources to put up a heated campaign. These tycoons control key sectors of the economy from Media to investments and financial services which plays a big role in determining a winner in an election.
In addition, Raila has learned how to reinvent himself according to seasons. With this election, he is pulling a smart one with the ‘I am one of you and I am like you remember.’ He is posing as the old wise man right from the mythical stories of Babylon.
And it seems to be fairly working. But then an election is an election as is politics. Each election cycle comes with its newness. And loyalties get traded as though in a forex platform. As such, Raila’s presidency depends on already forged alliances holding against the waves as well as support from the government and other related agencies remaining in place till the last moment.
Should any of this not hold credence, then he is in for a roller coaster.