End of Raila’s Career

Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s four decade political life may have come to an abrupt end following his loss in the August 8 election, analysts said while predicting that he is unlikely to be on the frontline of Kenya’s politics again. Raila is hoping to convince the Supreme Court to overturn IEBC’s announcement that President Uhuru Kenyatta won the 2017
elections. Raila has rejected the results, arguing that the IEBC conspired with Jubilee to rig him out in the presidential contest that saw the President get 8.2 million votes against his 6.7 million. The Supreme Court is expected to commence the pre-trial conference on the case this tomorrow (Saturday). Raila’s national Super Alliance, it has emerged, having challenged the presidential election outcome in the Supreme Court, is considering to call for ‘mass action’, according
to the coalition’s strategy and policy chief David Ndii. Critics said the Supreme Court petition and the proposed mass action call are meant to rejuvenate Raila’s political machine. So, why is Raila’s career under threat? The Nairobi Confdential looks at the state of Raila’s political machinery in the wake of the elections. First, this is Raila’s fourth loss in the presidential bid. The 2013 elections—which CORD lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto— gave Raila, as the flag bearer and his allies the best chance of winning since he was running against candidates that were facing cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Last year, Ruto’s case at The Hague collapsed. At 72, Raila is increasingly under pressure to resign from active politics. Raila has sent out the clearest hint that his 25 years of political career may have come to an end, following the August 8 election outcome. Speaking with the Financial
Times at his Karen residence on August 13, Raila said: «I’m not going to be a candidate again. We just want Kenyans
to know what happened, what the whole world is not understanding is happening. It is not about me. It’s not about Raila
Odinga,» he said. «…there’s no point in people going to elections in the future, queuing for hours to vote or running around for months campaigning. At the end of the day, it’s the computer in the national tallying center that’s making the decisions.» Raila‘s declaration may perhaps bring to end the Odinga dynasty and ‘make him’ the last of Jaramogi
Oginga Odinga’s lineage to attempt a serious run for the Presidential seat. Potentially, the loss has put a big dent
on the former Prime Minister’s political career, Last week, Raila moved to the Supreme Court to contest the results.
Secondly, it has emerged that a growing number of Western powers ware edgy to support a re-engineering of Kenya’s leadership through an ‘opposition strategy”, which they previously pursued for over a decade. Since 2003, Raila has been embraced by the West as a safe pair of hands if he rises to the Kenyan Presidency. Raila was embraced as a counterforce to the growing influence of a new indigenous class of entrepreneurs challenging and even displacing Western interests in
Kenya while forging new linkages with a rising China. He has, therefore, been the pivot of an ‘Opposition Strategy’ that
the West has pursued in Kenya after the exit of President Daniel Moi in 2002. This strategy has involved fnancial, strategic
and logistical and diplomatic support to the opposition—mainly the ODM in 2005-2012 and Cord since 2012—to help
it win democratic elections and replace what was then seen as unfavorable government. Thirdly, for Raila, he also faced a signifcant revolt within his home turf of Luo Nyanza, Western Kenya and his ODM party. This is a rebellion against his perceived weak leadership and existential crisis of vision and old tactics rather than a rejection of his political structures. A general criticism against the Odinga dynasty is that in the nearly six decades that the Odinga family has dominated Luo Nyanza politics, the region has lagged behind in most aspects. Nyanza and Western rebels are calling on the Odingas to relinquish power because have suffered a string of humiliating electoral defeats in multi-party Kenya.
Fourthly, the campaign is said to have badly damaged Raila’s financial resources, a situation that could hurt any
efforts at mounting another presidential campaign. Ahead of the election, it emerged that NASA’s was crippled by a
fnancial crunch as the coalition run out of funds. Sources within the government and the Opposition said that funds from
foreign and local fnanciers were not forthcoming, a turn of events that left the former Prime Minister struggling to
put up an elaborate campaign machinery capable of unseating the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy
William Ruto. Independent analysts said Raila’s partners in the NASA—Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula, Isaac Ruto
and Musalia Mudavadi—failed to secure the much needed funding from their local and international allies, hurting the
coalition’s capacity.
Fifth, the NASA coalition, analysts said, cannot last long enough to the next elections, expected in August 2022. Raila’s partners in NASA, the IEBC data shows failed to deliver the expected numbers from their backyard, especially
so Kalonzo who was his running mate. The surging influence of Maendeleo Chap Chap Movement by Mr Musyoka’s
apparent heir to the throne Ukambani: Alfred Mutua, the Machakos Governor who secured his second term has presented the latest hold up on the former Vice President’s 30-year career in politics, analysts said. Observers said that Kalonzo, Raila’s co-principal in NASA has lost the grip over his turf amid a growing rebellion by a new generation of Kamba leaders led by Governor Mutua whose assertive political style and growing appeal of his development model is increasingly positioning him as Mr Musyoka’s replacement. Bomet governor Isaac Ruto, who decamped from Jubilee lost his seat to Joyce Laboso and failed to deliver votes for his NASA boss Raila in the county. Jubilee won the county presidential tally. Ahead of the elections, it emerged that NASA, Raila’s vehicle, failed to forge a united front and to function as one bloc. Political analysts said this engendered ferce competition between parties allied to the outft which in many cases resulted in no campaign at all in some counties, leaving the grounds to Jubilee. This explains why Uhuru and
his deputy William Ruto made successive visits to Kisii, Eastern and Coast, which are predominantly Opposition zones

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