Kenyans are tired. Their country has been up for sale since the white man’s administration. They took the most fertile lands for themselves and literally robbed us of our natural resources. With the Mau Mau struggle, Kenyans hopped that they would regain their land, the most important means of production. Kenya’s first President, Jomo Kenyatta instead rewarded his family and close associates with the same land. This time the theft was by one of our own.
Three presidents later, corruption is still the biggest problem Kenyans are faced with. A recent survey found that the office of the Deputy President leads in corruption followed very closely by that of the President.
The three and a half years of Uhuru Kenyatta’s (Jomo’s son) administration has been characterized by one corruption scandal after another. The former Ministry of Devolution CS Anne Waiguru – A close ally of President Kenyatta was forced out of office after being linked to the theft of USD 7.9 million belonging to the National Youth Service. She was not the last high profile individual to be hounded out of office.
Bruce Odhiambo who was in charge of an outfit tasked with disbursing funds to youths so that they can start businesses would soon be forced to resign. Bruce who chaired the Youth Enterprise Fund Board is currently facing corruption and abuse of office charges regarding some USD 1.8 million. Bruce was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s classmate in High School and a known close confidant.
What’s similar to both cases is not only the fact that those involved were close allies of the President. The other common denominator is that the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) through their leader Mr. Raila Odinga was the whistle blower. He would also bring to the attention of the public an alleged theft of USD 16.8 million from a foreign bond that Kenya had floated.
Mr. Odinga has over time developed a reputation of being a fierce critic of bad governance and corruption by the previous regimes and Kenyatta’s government. These corrupt practices were and are being carried out by cartels in the office of the president, his deputy and at the ministries.
It is however emerging that the corruption cartels do not just exist in the government wing. Let’s go back to 2009 when Mr. Odinga was Prime Minister in the Grand Coalition Government after the disputed 2007 Presidential poll. The Prime Minister’s office was rocked with scandals in the Agriculture and Education ministries which were both under his wing of the government. Several individuals including ministers and very close allies to Mr. Odinga were suspended from office by Mr. Odinga. This was the first sign that corruption cartels had found home in his office as well even if he was not personally involved.
A leaked cable by Wikileaks would however emerge two years later showing secret communication between then US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger and Washington. The cables claimed that while Mr. Odinga wanted to be seen as at the forefront of fighting corruption, he was actually diverting attention from his family members believed to have been part of the corruption cartels.
The cables would however not be the last of such accusations by the opposition leader who seems infallible to most of his supporters. A popular blogger who has always been allied to the opposition would cause a stir on Facebook this week when he claimed that Mr. Odinga is still held hostage by cartels comprising of family and friends.
I have been a pro-Raila supporter for long and hope that one day he will take the race seriously and dismantle the cartels in his office who are focused on making money but not delivering a Raila Presidency. – Robert Alai.
Mr. Alai went on to accuse Mr. Odinga of running for President not to win the elections but rather to enrich himself from campaign funds.
I don’t see the seriousness in the quest. Raila is NOT interested in the presidency. He seems to be more focused on maximizing returns from party activities but not on the big office…….In 2012 and now 2016, we are witnessing a group which is dominated by Odinga family and extended relations coming to take charge of all key aspects of campaigns towards the general elections. They handle all key coffers and resources meant for the campaigns. Professional entities are sidelined and any attempt to instill a sense of professionalism in the quest will make you an enemy of Raila and his close confidantes. I strongly believe that Raila is now out to make the most amount from the nominations and campaign donations but he is not serious about a race for the Presidency.
Even though these accusations by Mr. Alai could prove not to be factual, they still reflect an opinion held by a significant number of Mr. Odinga’s supporters and Kenyan voters in general.