Why Raila Odinga Must Abandon the Swearing in Project

Published on 9th January 2018

Raila Odinga has started the journey to political self-destruction if he does not avoid the business of being sworn in as the president of the people. Isn’t Uhuru Kenyatta the president of the people after winning the rerun? Is what Odinga is contemplating feasible and possible?

Raila must know that the term ‘people’ is very ambiguous, relative and vague. Any more than one person is people. Raila must come up with scientific evidence to substantiate that his are people and Kenyatta’s aren’t.

Firstly, being sworn in as president is treason in a country that follows the rule of law. It also portrays Raila as a bankrupt politician. Secondly, can a country have two presidents at the same time? Thirdly, if Raila is sworn in, where is his army, state house and other instruments that make a person president?

In the neighbouring Tanzania, President John Magufuli won by 59 to 41, and there has never been any dialogue despite the opposition rejecting the results that gave Magufuli victory. Raila is lucky to have gone to the Supreme Court that nullified Kenyatta’s first win and led to a rerun. The Supreme Court did not find any merit in nullifying the election again. Raila should therefore abandon his swearing in project. His attempts to stop Kenyatta from being president have floundered. His call for boycotting some goods and services have been to no avail.

Raila has many options. He can retire and exit the political scene honorably. He can soldier on and seek presidency come 2022. He won’t be the first to do so. Next year, Zimbabwe’s current president, Emerson Mnangagwa, will be 76 years old, like Odinga will be in 2022. The former Senegalese president became president when he was 74. Raila can stop the business of running for president and support whomever he deems fit and believes in. He may also bury the hatchet and team up with Kenyatta in curing Kenya’s economic and socio-political ills. He could also pursue international politics and be used as a retired statesman to address global matters.

Raila does not need to shoot himself in the foot by tarnishing the legacy he built for many decades. He must abandon his counterproductive project of being sworn in as the president of the people. It is hogwash and doesn’t fit a person of his caliber. There is life out of state house. 

By Nkwazi Mhango

Mhango [email protected] is a Canada-based published Tanzanian author; a Peace and Conflict Scholar and alumnus of the UDSM (Tanzania) Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba (Canada). 

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