Kenya: Office of the Inspector General – Statement Condemning Violent Attacks on Police Officers, Members of Public, and Destruction of Property during Demonstrations (31.03.2023)
I write what I like.
“My people, they stole the election, the whistleblower clearly shows it. Otherwise they’d open the server; what’s the fear? They then corrupted the Supreme Court like they did with the IEBC” – Raila Odinga (31.03.2023).
“Raila Odinga alleges assassination attempt during Nairobi protests. Says his car was shot seven times by anti-riot police. Odinga also condemned attacks on journalists, that left at least four hospitalized” (The Nairobi Report, 31.03.2023).
Right now, in this very moment after the hours and a day after the recent protest. The former 5-time Presidential Candidate and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga is viciously on the barricades. His relentless and his been here all before. We have heard this tales and the stories; seen the issues and the way he uses these times to benefit his own agenda.
Odinga knows the score. He got nothing to lose and all to gain. It is Ruto and the Government who is losing foreign investment, losing tourism dollars and other means for domestic revenue by the constant danger or fear of looting during the demonstrations. Raila knows all of this, and the riots, demos and street battles are beneficial for him.
That’s Ruto can only lose face here. He gets the pinch and the pushback. Not matter what the government had done or didn’t do. It would backfire and it does. The authorities and the law enforcement mismanagement, it’s disregard for civilians demonstrating and the usage of lethal weapons will all be on his watch. Meaning that is all detrimental to his reign and stains his reputation. Just like the times of CORD/OKOA demos and the protest after the first 2017 presidential elections. Odinga has used these means before as CORD/NASA and does it again as Azimio. That’s why this game is a known strategy of his… and everyone should be aware.
Since we all know that and see it for what it is. The men and women on the streets are religiously on the side of Odinga. While they will not get what they are asking for. In the end, they are the pawns on the chess-set of the political elites. That’s who they are… because Odinga would settle for another round of BBI and a galvanized un-official Prime Minister post. Just to live honourably of state wages and call it night with pre-conditioned commission and possible constitutional reforms.
So, as long as the streets are burning, the guns are blazing, the tear-gas are spread, and the shops are closed. Odinga will be giddy and ready. He knows this game and that’s where he partly belongs. Raila has been here before and know the game plan. That’s why his not to stressed about the ramifications or the costs. Only that he adds pressure and makes nuisance for the ones in-charge. He is making life difficult for the Deputy President and Ruto himself.
Baba ran an campaign on vibes and he didn’t come with the evidence which was needed in the petition after the last election. It wasn’t like in 2017 when he had a solid case and it got grounds for a second round. Now, he failed and Azimio thought it was barren land for it’s taking. While he yet again didn’t get the result or the verdict he wanted. That’s why his going back to the streets. Because, in the streets and in the public domain. You can run on word of mouth and speculations. On the streets and among the public… you can speak frank and not carry any weight behind your accusations. However, in the courts and elsewhere, you need more load and more proof of your allegations.
Odinga can act like he got it. He wants to look golden and be the victim. Odinga wants to be the sacrificial lamb, but we all know he does that to not only gain sympathy, but also boost the moral of his supporters. That’s why they are willing to go to the streets and fight for him. Even if it is all based on assumptions and grievances of a lost election. Therefore, Odinga is even opening for a revised BBI agreement, yet again. Hoping he can tag along and be “one” of them again.
However, as long as there is chaos, looting and destruction, Oding will will rise. He endures it and gets strength by it. His supporters and loyal subjects are the ones paying the dear price. While he will live lavish and be secured for life regardless. Odinga got the bag and so does his close associates. It is the others who are paying the price and the costs of his political journey. They are the ones who are in the battlefield and who are feeling the brutality of the police. Odinga is feeling a piece of it and will use it for own personal gains.
Baba is hoping Ruto will relent and give way. Just so he can taste and get a piece of the action. Peace.
“There was no time Moi lost the political war of narrative and propaganda. He was always ahead politically. And that is what Ruto lacks. After taking power, his political system simply collapsed. Key Allies took offices and went to sleep. On communication, Moi had full control of KTN, KBC, Weekly Review and Standard. These offered counter narrative to the opposition leaning Nation Media and People Daily. Moi knew that for his political survival, he needed a combination of Political fighters and communication systems that refuted the opposition narrative and propaganda… Right now, 7 months in power, the Government hasn’t captured any media outlet in the mainstream. They are all firmly on the Azimio side.. The social media team simply withdrew the support, since there isn’t anyone coordinating anything. Those who got into offices, simply forgot those left behind. So, both on the mainstream media and social media, there is no force on the Government side to counter the narrative from the Azimio side” (Gordon Opiyo, 29.03.2023).
One thing is for sure, the former Deputy President under Jubilee and now the President of the Kenya Kwanza Administration got a hurdle to pass. President William Ruto has no time to take it easy and relax in office. No, this man has issues, bottlenecks, and things he needs to resolve, and he needs to do it fast.
Ruto got no time and his enemies aren’t planning to slow down. Even if the Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition Party was running on vibes and lax ideas during the campaigns. Now months after losing the election and getting into opposition. It has struggled to find a way and a purpose. That’s why Odinga and his allies are on the streets. They need to show force and be a fierce competition to the government. Just so they are sowing the most discord and the most political stalemate to force Ruto to the table or to concede to Odinga. That’s the game and the game-plan. Because there is nothing else to see here…
It is interesting that people are referencing the era of Moi now. When Ruto is in charge, because that is an era, which many thought was over. Alas, both Ruto and his deputies was students of Moi and Museveni. So, certainly they could aspire and look up to these. However, Ruto might want another legacy and another path for himself. Since people are knifing for his head and his title.
Ruto will be challenged and that’s because the authorities aren’t making things better for him. Especially, if allies are involved in looting, destruction, or clear violation of their roles as representatives, law enforcement or in civil servants. They should be investigated, if they are partaking in devious ways during the protests to damage political enemies or cause more harm in general.
As President there are boundaries and means to an end. The President can order and create a quagmire. Nevertheless, the President should be better than enemies. He should stand tall and be above it all. Especially, if he wants to avoid furthering the crisis and cause more suffering. The plights of people aren’t getting better by targeting and haunting the people who are on the barricades for Odinga. It will do Ruto no good to damage and cause more trouble for the ones on the other side. They will only be more galvanized and more hurt, which will lead to more energy and more reasons to protest further. That’s what Ruto shouldn’t do.
That’s why the latest protests and demonstrations only has given leverage to Odinga. He can look like the one suffering and in pain. Even though he goes back to living lavish and living good. While his supporters are living in the trenches and feeling the pinch. They are not in good spirit or have their needs meet. They are played around with and for personal gains of a political elite. A political elite that will eat regardless… while they only will get scraps and possible breadcrumbs, if Odinga succeed. Odinga didn’t better their lives or make significant changes in last period either. So, the ones believing that his fighting for them now. Should see the results of the handshake and the BBI… that will be an abysmal track-record. Though Ruto in office as Deputy and in the Jubilee doesn’t have a fantastic scorecard either. Therefore, the political elite will be off the hook, but people will be the ones who covers the books.
Ruto has to switch up and show a different side. The way and the manner his government has addressed the protests hasn’t done him any favours. Neither does he look good or able to vilify the opposition either. The only thing his getting is trouble. This isn’t the sort of good trouble either. It is only backfiring and Odinga is thriving in the mess. Odinga seems like he enjoys the fire, the hysteria and the tear-gas. It is like his come home after running on vibes all last year.
Time will tell… but Ruto is losing it. Not only publicly, but also internationally. That’s something he cannot afford, and he knows that too. Peace.