Raila Odinga is a disgrace to the African continent

By Susan Chipanga

MARK Twain, an acclaimed American author wrote: “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”.

This timeless quote was brought to mind after intolerable criticism of Zimbabwe by Raila Odinga, Prime Minister of the Kenyan Government of National Unity whose ticket to power was signed by the blood of innocent people. Odinga’s moral right to condemn Zimbabwean elections is overshadowed by his coming into office as a result of the death of 1 500 people and the displacement of over 600 000 people.

On December 30, 2007 the chairman of the Kenyan election commission declared Odinga’s opponent, incumbent president Mwai Kibaki, the winner by a margin of about 230 000 votes. Raila challenged the results alleging fraud by the commission, but refused an election petition before the courts and urged protests, which plunged the country into one of the brutal and bloody post-election violence ever to be witnessed in recent history. Shamefacedly, the poor fellow has been blabbering on about Zimbabwe’s elections, violence, peacekeepers and for the country to be barred from regional bodies; a case some may attribute to being overwhelmed by the glare of the media after being in political obscurity for so long. Consequently, the whole of Africa and the world are regaled by the antics of a witless and hypocritical African politician whose propensity to expose himself unearths his want of tact and maturity in African politics.

Some who are not so harsh in their criticism of Odinga’s unwarranted utterances on Zimbabwe are easy to forgive him as he is a product of incarcerations, flights into exile and betrayal by erstwhile political allies which undoubtedly has made him a bitter man mad at the whole of Africa for not intervening on his behalf. Odinga, as a result, has made himself a champion of opposition politics in Africa after his backdoor entry to leadership in Kenya making him an emperor without clothes after Kenya’s recent history which someone said reads like a Shakespearian tale; full of dramatic intrigue, intricate conspiracies and king making plots.

Odinga’s unwarranted criticism of Zimbabwe might be borne from a need to outshine Mwai Kibaki, the Kenyan president who trounced him in the December election. But, Zimbabwe cannot bear the brunt of his inferiority complex in a bid to gain recognition in African politics. Someone should advise Odinga that the route he has taken is a dead end and neither is it going to absolve him of the blood that is on his hands as rightly pointed by the presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, during the recent African Union Summit in Egypt.

Maybe Odinga’s weakness is more to do with not acquainting himself with African history. He should start to appreciate that more is at stake than meets the eye in the Zimbabwean situation. If the sentiments he echoed during his inauguration are anything to go by, then he is in for a rude awakening in his quest to liberate Kenyans from neo-colonialism.

When Odinga was sworn in as Prime Minister of Kenya on April 18 2008, he told the gathering that “we will ensure that power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of many, not the few”. Robert Mugabe whom he is now alleging is a dictator was once the darling of the West until he decided to empower his people by distributing land, which was in the hands of a few whites to the majority of the landless blacks Kenya, like all other African countries, is no exception. It would want to address these historical imbalances and some have alluded that the chaos that Kenya witnessed is the result of historic injustices including land tenure systems and the unequal sharing of resources between the country’s more than 40 ethnic groups.

Other African leaders know that addressing the injustices born out of colonialism is at the core of all African problems and that sooner or later, these issues have to be addressed by each member country. The decisions made by African leaders at the AU summit, that is, wanting Africans to solve their own problems is born out of a realisation that abandoning Zimbabwe at this critical stage will set a bad precedent.

Some delusional African politicians like Odinga might not understand that sticking together with Zimbabwe is also for their future well-being. That, Mr Odinga, is the definition of Pan Africanism. It is not about calling yourself a Pan Africanist when your deeds are devoid of “ubuntu” as you were able to countenance the beheading, skinning, raping, murdering and torturing of innocent people for your own political gain.I am no religious fanatic but I do believe the good book offers sound advice in the case of looking at a straw in another’s eye whilst not considering the rafter in your own eye. It is evident Odinga is singing for the few morsels that the United States is dropping on his lap whilst mortgaging Kenya in the process. Reports indicate that the US government is negotiating base access agreements with the government of Kenya that will allow American troops to use military facilities when the United States wants to deploy its own army in Africa. So at the right intervals Odinga has to make the right noises on Zimbabwe so as to appease his benefactors. Shame on you Odinga!

Odinga is a disgrace to the continent, which has produced notable statesmen like Nelson Mandela who spent all his life fighting for the liberation of his people and Robert Mugabe who is fighting for the total emancipation of his people. What has Odinga to show for himself, except bloody hands, which no doubt soiled his reputation of ever being regarded as a statesman. Instead of being fixated with what is happening in Zimbabwe, Odinga should be concerned with healing his own country where thousands still remain displaced, traumatised and reluctant to return to the their former homes because the horrors they witnessed are forever etched in their minds. Odinga will remain an overly ambitious politician who would stop at nothing to achieve his political ends. He should keep his tainted hands off Zimbabwe.

BREAKING NEWS: China and Russia Veto Zim Sanctions.



15 thoughts on “Raila Odinga is a disgrace to the African continent

  1. Pingback: Raila's hands dripping with innocent blood - Mashada Forums

  2. Its not Raila who caused chaos and bloodshed in Kenya after the last elections. It was Kibaki and the electoral commission who stole the elections. Kenyans rose up to the challenge and secured their say, albeit halfly. Kenyans are not Zimbaweans who run and panick at the site of police. we know our rights and how to fight for them

  3. What cheek,Susan Chipanga!

    Regurgitating the words of a discredited spokesman of an equally discredited african despot cannot be allowed to pass for intelligent commentary.Robert Mugabe is a man who has presided over the looney inflation rate and general mayhem(we see the videos of opposition MDC members being hunted like rats) never seen before.Ask yourself why the world including this writer simply abhors his very sight;he is the true epitomy of stereotyped africa as portrayed in Tarzan or The Heart of Darkness.Five milion zims out of a pop of 13 or so millions living outside their country speak volumes about his abilities.

    As for Odinga,it is no open secret that the election was STOLEN from him.He did not order the killings.Kenyans are a passionate people who will not sit and take nonsense from election officials who stupidly and brazenly try and fix results.If you were in Kenya then,you would have seen that it was not possible for kibaki to even mathematically win.My thoughts go out to all kenyans affected or not.

    Remember Susan my ties to Zim are very dear but you were sooo wrong in this article posing as Journalism.

    What cheek,Susan Chipanga!

  4. Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga! , has been projected as a beacon of emerging African leaders from whom many have to learn much.His anti-President Mugabe comments have been widely circulated in the Western media. But then the West is known for installing and propping up some of the most villainous of leaders such as Mobutu, the former leader of the then Zaire.

    Raila vilified Mwai Kibaki, his president, as a dictator and a “fraudulent man” and later recapitulated, urging “President Mugabe to emulate President Kibaki’s statesmanship”, following his inclusion in a power-sharing government.The same Odinga, whose consultations with a feared criminal gang soon after his installation as prime minister resulted in the immediate cessation of its terror campaign in Nairobi, cannot act as a role model for Zimbabwe.

    In any case, the blood of ordinary Kenyans was a turbulent wave in a sea of anarchy on which his titanic dreams of political office sailed.

    At his inaugural speech, Odinga had the audacity to call upon African heads of state to use “force if necessary to remove people like (President) Mugabe from power if he does not go peacefully” in much the same way that Tsvangirai was prepared to remove President Mugabe from power “violently if he did not go peacefully”. Birds of the same feather!

  5. Pingback: International CRIMINAL COURT REVISITS Raila File - Mashada Forums

  6. Pingback: International CRIMINAL COURT REVISITS Raila File - Page 2 - Mashada Forums

  7. Whatever you fight, you strengthen, what you resist persists. Greed, selfishness; exploitation, cruelty, and violence are still all-pervasive on this planet. When you are in the grip of a mind set, your perceptions become extremely selective as well as distorted. In other words you will see only what you want to see and then misinterpret it, it is a delusional system, or instead of imagining it, listen to Rush, or watch the news channels tonight on TV

  8. I was watching a television broadcast involving Raila Odinga address, where he was proudly referencing Winston Churchill. I remember feeling disappointed, and realized he was just another indoctrinated African leader with a romanised view of the West, their governments and institutions. Now, to hear an African such as him acclaim Winston Churchill ahead of any African is his hero, tells us he is ‘non other than white out of his mind’. After all, is it not the same immoral Winston Churchill who is reported to have stated ‘truth is so precious, it has to be guarded with a barrage of lies?’


  9. I wonder how much better of Zimbabwe is with their great president comrade Bob than Kenya is today. Surely you can’t compare the two countries.
    As for the Waki report, if Raila is guilty for burning people alive in Kiambaa Eldoret, Kibakiis equally guilty of burning people alive in Naivasha as the meeting to plan this was held at state house (so says the waki report). Two wrongs don’t make a right and if they do, then its even I guess

  10. Some white people feel Obama should be ashamed for even dreaming of the whitehouse. Some kikuyus feel the same about Raila. My proof read jim’s post. Borderline retarded to say the least.

  11. THE war in the Middle East, in Gaza to be precise has been spared by many critics whom we have seen raise their heads in the Zimbabwean situation.

    The silence from the men of cloth: Archbishops John Sentamu and Desmond Tutu is almost deafening. We have also not heard any comments from many of those people who called for armed invasion in Zimbabwe; including Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

    It is ironic that the Archbishop of York, Sentamu in February 2003, while thousands marched in London, led church-wide protests in Birmingham against the invasion of Iraq. “There is no moral basis for a military invasion of Iraq,” he said at the time.

    In his eyes Saddam Hussein was a Santa type figure for Iraqis, but he fails to call for such protests against the wanton killing of innocent civilians in Gaza.

    Even the UN has spoken against the shelling of its school where 400 innocent civilians perished overnight.

    In 2007, Archbishop Sentamu led Easter Prayers for the safety of BBC’s Alan Johnston from captivity in Gaza.

    When Johnston was released alive, Sentamu pounded an African drum to celebrate Johnson’s release. “I just wanted to say ‘Alleluia!’… This is the best news we’ve had for a long time,” he declared then. Note he said: “We have heard”. Who is “we”?

    Last year, Archbishop Desmond Tutu undeterred, made a forced rare crossing into Gaza from Egypt where he had been sent by the UN council to investigate the Israeli shelling of a house in Gaza, despite Israel’s attempts at gagging him.

    He emerged from his interviews in what he described as a state of shock and called for an end to the “abominable” Israeli blockade of Gaza. He later reported to the UN there was a “possibility” that the shelling was a war crime.

    After calling for a military invasion of Zimbabwe, just a few weeks ago, it would be out of place for the Archbishop to repeat such a feat; otherwise it would be hypocritical.

    Surely Archbishop Tutu finds it difficult to now call the current illegal Gaza offensive a war crime, because of his hardline position on Zimbabwe. He has lost his independence to make informed commentaries.

    The statement from the Botswana Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phandu Skelemani, in response to Israel’s disproportionate attack on Gaza, left a lot to be desired. He said: “The Botswana position is that we don’t need war.”

    “War has never brought any solution to problems. The downside about war is that it affects innocent elderly people, women and children, not those who initiate it”.

    This was an immediate turnaround from a country that only a few weeks ago was on BBC’s Hard Talk programme calling for military action against, and economic isolation of Zimbabwe.

    The minister, even interrupted his holiday in his native North East District, to emphasize Botswana’s view that both parties “must learn to talk” to resolve their differences – something he desires for the Middle East, not his own African continent.

    “If people have mouths and brains but decide to fight, then there is real poverty in their thinking,” he said in an ironical twist on his own suggestion of war against Zimbabwe. “Neither Israel nor Gaza will disappear if both parties engage in dialogue, as opposed to war,” he said.

    Kenyan Prime Minister, Odinga was caught napping after making noises about the need for war in Zimbabwe.

    Hundreds of protestors gathered outside Nairobi’s Jamia Mosque after Friday prayers, calling Prime Minister Odinga to cut ties with Israel as a sign of Kenya’s commitment to human rights.

    “Over 400 Gazans were killed. Where is our … prime minister? Why are they not speaking about what is happening to Palestinians in Gaza?” said Sheikh Al Amin Kimathi, the chairman of Kenya’s Muslim Human Rights Commission.

    “Kenya must denounce its relationship with Israel. We call upon the government of Kenya to close Israel’s embassy in Nairobi,” he added.

    Odinga failed to issue a single statement against Israeli attacks. This would have put in direct confrontation with President George W. Bush who blames Hamas for the conflict in the Gaza area.

    Odinga’s lack of response was, therefore, not surprising.

    Maybe it is important to remind our leaders that the societies they try to please will never fully accept them and they should start to get realistic about how to solve African problems.

    Archbishop Sentamu should know better. Many times he has encountered Britain’s uglier, racist face.

    The very first time he took a funeral, the son of the deceased asked: “What has my father done to be buried by a black monkey?” In the 1980s, the National Front tried to burn down his house.

    When he lived in London, he was stopped by the Metropolitan Police six times in eight years under their stop-and-search policy. Yet, he still tries hard to use arguments against his own people to advance Western interests

  12. stone cold & peter makori,

    Killing an innocent person cannot be justified by a stolen election. The people who were murdered were innocent. They hould have directly gone to Kibaki instead of neighbours – this i call brainlessness. And to think Kenyans are talking of vision 2030 when some have mind setbacks dating to 200 BC. please!

  13. Abad thing is bad nomatter who speaketh it! T he most important agenda is the legitimacy over the african leadership.It is true that the whole world watched both mr.kibaki and Mugabe plot sucessful coupt in their countries.Now better advise them and other African leaders to show leadership than critisize Raila

  14. Daily Nation reports that Raila is playing down the prospects of the Ethnic Clashes architects being tried in the Hague..Mmh.Wishful thinking because we are not going to accept kangaroo tribunals set up locally in lieu of the Hague.The gravity of the atrocities call for the relevant ‘dogs’ sent straight to the Hague. Some of them could be manning ministerial positions at the moment but the Hague unlike the local tribunals will not be compromised or deterred by that. Justice will eventually prevail, who wants a bet?

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