Dear Raila, I speak to you from the heart; listen and end this madness


This is an open letter to the Rt Hon Raila Odinga, leader of the Cord Alliance and the Orange Democratic Movement.

Dear Sir, since you have made writing open letters to superiors both acceptable and respectable, I write one to you in the hope that you will at least read it, even if I dare not insist you respond in kind.

Just in case you wonder where I am coming from, I was born in Gatundu just before independence, and the country’s first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, was my first and only MP for the first 15 years.

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I was too young to know what was happening on the political front then, although I do remember that the school choir, of which I was a member, occasionally sang for Mzee and your father, Vice-President Oginga Odinga. As a reward, my school-mates and I received our first ever pair of shoes.

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I only came to learn much later that the two stalwart fighters for independence had differed politically and parted ways when I innocently asked why they were no longer wearing similar beaded caps in public.

Today, 50 years later, the scion of Jaramogi is locked in a tense political contest with Mzee Kenyatta’s son, Uhuru, who is the country’s fourth president, having been elected by the majority of Kenyans in a democratic contest.

The fact that President Kenyatta defeated you a year ago in elections adjudged to have been largely free and fair does not seem to have satisfied your ambition.

You do not like the way the country is being run and since it is your democratic right to say so, nobody is trying to stop you. The institutions of governance are also protecting your right to make your views known.

Too, the stark reality is on your side. We, as a country, are indeed in deep trouble. Insecurity has gone out of control. Terrorists have run amok, while strange massacres are occurring every other day in parts of the country.

Violent crime has become common, while our security and intelligence organs appear to be overwhelmed, or so preoccupied with peripheral issues they do not have much time for gathering intelligence.


Besides that, the lords of grand corruption are still calling the shots, and now that graft has descended to the devolved units, we seem to have lost the plot.

The cost of living is going up by leaps and bounds, while the gap between the rich and poor keeps widening. At the same time, negative ethnicity has been corroding our very soul as a nation-state. In short, there is no shortage of serious issues confronting us.

But, Sir, how sure are you that these things are happening due to misrule by the Jubilee administration? In any case, except for the terrorist attacks, what else is new in Kenya?

In my humble opinion, you have picked on absolutely the wrong solution to these intractable problems. You have decided that mass mobilisation and calls for national dialogue is the way to go.

But the Kenyans who you purport to talk for are beginning to ask questions, and unless you change your strategy, they are likely to add two and two together and probably arrive at the wrong answer.

The first question is, before you left for studies in the United States after the abortive ODM elections, there was no mention of national dialogue or even private talks with the President. Why now?

The second one is, to mobilise and bus thousands of citizens from one rally to the other across the country requires serious money. Where did all that cash come from, all of a sudden?

Thirdly, some of your acolytes, a number of them astute lawyers, have been talking about making this country ungovernable, or even evoking the bugbear of revolution.

In the same breath, they cite the sacrosanctity of the Constitution. How do you adhere to the Constitution while seeking ways to undermine it?

Sir, if you have any doubts that your course of action may backfire, listen to what one of your supporters, former Speaker Kenneth Marende, has to say on the issue:

“Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto need enough time to serve Kenyans instead of diverting their attention to calls for national dialogue which has a hidden agenda.”

I rest my case.

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