Raila Odinga, Obama’s cousin, lost two presidential elections. And like his cousin, he was a sore loser. The 2007 loss led to claims of voter fraud and mass rioting. The riots carried with them overtones of ethnic cleansing.
A man beats at a smouldering ambulance’s number-plate with his machete. “See,” he explains, “this belongs to the government of Kenya.” Mobs cry out for their fellow Luo, Raila Odinga, to be made president of Kenya. They plead for guns. An earnest man pushes to the front of one mob. “What we are saying is give violence a second chance.”
In the past few weeks, Kisumu has been ethnically cleansed. The Luos have driven out 20,000 or so Kikuyus from a population of 380,000; few will return. Every Kikuyu business and home has been looted and burned.
Odinga had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Muslim leaders, which eventually led to the deeper incorporation of Sharia into the Kenyan legal system, with the accompanying loss of women’s rights.
Obama had campaigned with Odinga and strongly endorsed him and the atrocities committed by Odinga’s followers eventually forced a coalition government in which Odinga became Prime Minister and sold out Kenya’s civil rights to Islam.
Now Odinga took another shot at the big chair, but the son of Jomo Kenyatta kicked his ass 50 to 43. The dominant story is that Uhuru Kenyatta is under ICC indictment, but considering that the ICC indictment for the violence following Odinga’s failed 2007 bid failed to nail Odinga, it can be safely disregarded.
Naturally Odinga’s supporters have reacted to a second loss with the grace and dignity we would expect of them.
Two people were shot dead in the unrest, but the violence was on a much smaller scale than the nationwide bloodshed that followed the 2007 election when the western city of Kisumu was one of the places worst affected places by deadly riots.
This year there was little sign of any violence beyond Kisumu, which strongly backs Odinga, reflecting a desire by Kenyans to avoid a repeat of the bloodshed that badly damaged their economy, east Africa’s biggest, five years ago.
Left unsaid is that the Kikuyu population is much smaller so the Odinga/Obama gangs have less outlets for their genocidal rage. More significantly though is that this time around, Raila Odinga chose to play the statesman.
And by play the statesman, I mean the violence was limited, though, like his cousin, the moment couldn’t pass without Odinga comparing himself to Jesus.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has scorned at the Supreme Court, comparing its recent ruling in his petition to the biblical verdict delivered by Pontius Pilate which led to the release of Barabas, the murderer, and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
“It was between Jesus and Barabas; they (crowds) were asked who do you want, they said they wanted Barabas. We have a new Pilate, we took enough evidence, he (judge) said, ‘remove this evidence, I don’t want this evidence’, didn’t you see?” he asked the surging crowd.
“Then Pilate ruled that Jesus should be hanged 2,013 years ago. But today Jesus is not dead he is still alive. Even us we will continue moving forward,” Odinga told the cheering crowd.
Considering the number of Christians murdered by Odinga’s followers, this speech is darkly ironic.
But Odinga is vowing to continue the struggle peacefully. The fact that he had to add that tells you all you need to know about him.