Posts Tagged ‘raila odinga’

By Manasseh Zindo
             Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called on the international community to differentiate between the aggressor and the oppressed. The Kenyan premier was speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on arrival in Nairobi from USA this morning (Thursday May 3rd) where he graduated with a PhD from an American University.
             Dr. Odinga who was addressing the press spoke on the ongoing conflict between South Sudan and Sudan, said South Sudan, a young nation is being oppressed by her powerful neighbour in Khartoum, he went on to say while he respect the UN Security Council resolution on the two countries, he is of the view that the international community must differentiate between the aggressor and the oppressed. He emphasised that the two cannot be condemned in equal term.
              Dr. Odinga, a screwed Kenyan politician who has positioned himself as the voice of the oppressed in Africa and a straight forward talking politician is a friend of the people of South Sudan. He called for immediate demarcation of the borders between South Sudan and Sudan so as to end the conflicts once and for all.
                While listening to Dr. Odinga, I felt that in a nutshell, I myself must revisit my call on the Foreign Ministry of South Sudan to embark on an aggressive diplomatic mission to explain the position of South Sudan because South Sudan has powerful friends around the world, an opportunity South Sudan must cease and dwell on while it last.
              While I appreciate the effort by Minister Nhial Deng to appear on the BBC Hardtalk show in London this week, where he shed some lights on the position of South Sudan, more is still needed, both at the regional, continental and international level.


Posted  Monday, April 2  2012 at  22:30


  • Top-level southern delegation meets Kenyan leaders and asks for help to prevent an outbreak of fighting

Southern Sudan minister for information and Broadcasting and government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin addresses the press on April 2, 2012 at Serena. He said that his country cannot go to war but there is need to protect their territory. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

Southern Sudan minister for information and Broadcasting and government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin addresses the press on April 2, 2012 at Serena. He said that his country cannot go to war but there is need to protect their territory. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

South Sudan on Monday turned to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga for support as its relations with Sudan threatened to degenerate into a full-scale war.

South Sudan sent a high-level delegation to Nairobi led by Office of the President minister Emmanuel Lowilla and the Information minister, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, to ask the two principals to help avert an outbreak of full-scale war between Juba and Khartoum.

“Our president, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, has made it very clear that he will never take the people of South Sudan into war again but we will defend our territorial integrity to the last man,” Dr Benjamin told a press conference in Nairobi after meeting the two principals.

He accused Khartoum of conducting sustained aerial and ground bombings of villages and oil fields in South Sudan territory over the last four days.

“At 2am yesterday (Monday), the Sudan army bombed a small village 120 kilometres inside South Sudan. It is where the oil fields are located. Their aim is to scare away investors who want to help us set up oil refineries in the area. Sudan is not interested in peace,” he said.

He added that the bombing was aimed at scuttling Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir’s planned visit to Juba today to sign two framework agreements on nationality and borders.

But the Sudan media reported that Mr Bashir had called off the trip after South Sudan forces launched attacks inside Sudan’s border state of South Kordofan in Teludi and the oil-rich town of Heglig.

The reports quoted security sources who claimed that bloody clashes had erupted six kilometres from Heglig, which led to “significant injuries” among Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers.

The SAF spokesperson, Colonel Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad, accused South Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) of carrying out a fresh incursion in the Teshwin area of Heglig, according to the Sudan Tribune. Col Sa’ad said SAF dealt swiftly with the “aggressors”.

Khartoum accuses SPLA of collaborating with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) and rebels from the Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to attack the two towns in a bid to control it.

A statement from Mr Odinga’s office said the PM had assured the South Sudanese delegation of Kenya’s willingness to broker peace between the two nations.

Mr Odinga is said to have told the delegation that Kenya was deeply concerned about the escalating hostilities between the two nations and would do whatever it takes to ensure the contentious issues between them are resolved without resorting to war again.

“The PM said Kenya is concerned that another full-scale war between Juba and Khartoum would pose immense security and humanitarian challenges to the region which is struggling to contain insurgents from Somalia and is yet to overcome the drought and refugee problems in the Horn of Africa,” says the statement.

By Mwakilishi | Thu, 03/22/2012

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto will back Musalia Mudavadi for the presidency if they cannot stand themselves, according to informed sources. And they have privately accepted that the charges they are facing at the International Criminal Court will prevent them from standing, even if they speak differently at their prayer rallies. Even if their trial at the ICC delays until after the election, the ethics rules of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission may bar them from running.

Uhuru and Ruto have now both separately decided that Mudavadi would be the best candidate for them to back against Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is still seen as the front runner in the election now scheduled for March 2013. “I can tell you for sure that Uhuru has no problem paying back the favour Mudavadi granted him by supporting him in 2002. We have discussed this with Uhuru quietly and we have decided that Mudavadi will get our support if he goes for the big seat. After all he enjoys a lot of good will amongst the Kikuyu and the rest of the country,” said an aide to Uhuru.

Three MPs who are very close to Ruto separately confirmed that there is a plan to back Mudavadi. “We are almost certain that Ruto and Uhuru may not be in the ballot. We have no other candidate other than Mudavadi and it will not matter which party he will be in,” said one MP. Just two weeks ago, Mudavadi dismissed claims that he was a project of President Kibaki, former President Moi or G7 members. He stated that he was a project of all Kenyans.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government has been criss crossing the country meeting ODM delegates in his bid to challenge Raila for the party’s presidentialticket. Mudavadi wants the ODM candidate to be selected by county electoral colleges of ODM delegates whereas Raila favours a national delegates conference.

However Mudavadi’s bid ran into rocky ground following the discovery of a clause in the ODM constitution that guarantees the party leader the presidential ticket. A NEC meeting called two weeks ago to discuss the rules ended in a stalemate after Raila’s allies refused to remove the rule to allow Mudavadi to challenge the PM. Another NEC meeting scheduled for this week to review the issue has postponed to next week.

The Mudavadi camp believes he can beat Raila in a county by county nomination exercise with a secret ballot and presided over by the IEBC. Mudavadi’s supporters believe that a vote by acclamation at a National Delegates Conference can be manipulated. Mudavadi’s exploits have shaken Raila’s team and some are convinced that it is only a matter of time before Mudavadi ditches ODM for another party.

He is apparently considering joining Charity Ngilu’s NARC party which is being revived. Water minister Ngilu accompanied Mudavadi to meet ODM delegates in Kitui in February but did not accompany Raila when he met ODM delegates in Kitui a few days later. New Ford-Kenya officials are also considering giving Sabatia MP Mudavadi the presidential ticketinstead of Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa to whom they had promised it. Party secretary-general Bonny Khalwale has openly said his party will back Mudavadi if he is on the presidential ballot.

The Mudavadi team is now considering setting up a presidential campaign secretariat after realising that the ODM delegates conference may not change the clause that makes the party leader the automatic presidential candidate. A team of professionals has been advising Mudavadi on his options if he is to remain relevant in Kenyan politics.

Yesterday, tensions escalated in the ODM between supporters of Raila and Mudavadi. Mudavadi’s team is now expressing anger after Raila met ODM officials in Kisii on Sunday for almost one hour to discuss party matters and the impending presidential nomination. The ODM officials arrived in Kisii in three Prados and were led by Vihiga County chairman Ken Butiko, an aspirant for the national chairmanship of Orange Young Democrats, Rashid Mohamed from Mumias and a Ben Ombina.

The 15 officials were asked to prepare delegates to travel to Nairobi when the NDC is called. “Raila made it clear to them that the ODM is not going to change any clause in the constitution and that the nomination will be done by the NDC,” a Mudavadi ally claimed. On Monday in Muranga, assistant minister Margaret Wanjiru, a Raila ally, repeated that ODM’s constitution will not be amended. “The act of secretly meeting the officials particularly the chairman of Mudavadi’s home county of Vihiga can only be taken to be a provocation to Mudavadi to quit,” ODM National Elections Board member Charles Werangai said.

The Star reported yesterday that Raila’s adviser Adhu Awiti has been pressurising delegates through his PA William Okoth. However Okoth refuted the claims saying the reports were meant to typecast Raila as intolerant. “I do not have any access to any partydocuments. I work for the PM’s office and no access whatsoever to the party registers. This malicious story is aimed at portraying as one who fears competition. The PM has always welcomed competition and that’s why he has allowed the DPM to challenge him,” Okoth said in a statement.

Kenyans should beware of anti-Raila forces out to stall reforms agenda

Barrack Muluka

The contradictions of politics can be breathtaking.

There is no objective goodness or badness. It all depends on who is involved.

The matter of the ICC is at once a safe subject and a polarising issue to talk about. If the indicted Kenyans accuse the court, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the British Government of conspiracy, the ICC is neither sensitive nor polarising.

If the Raila Campaign Secretariat talks about the ICC, it becomes a sensitive and polarising matter. Kenyans are advised to “be cautious about this sensitive and polarising matter”.

It is the same with political party democracy. When G7 functionaries set on fire an MP’s car because the MP has dared say “Raila Tosha,” nobody questions the democratic culture in G7.

The same is true when another car is torched in Mwingi, because the owner has abandoned Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party to join Charity Ngilu’s Narc. However, when Raila prefers one mode of presidential candidate nomination in ODM, he is “a dictator”. One man burns another’s car.

He is a democrat. The other one prefers one mode of nomination to the other. He is a dictator. Such is Kenya in the 21st century.

Self-declared presidential aspirants from other parties have even urged ODM deputy party leader, Musalia Mudavadi, to decamp “because of dictatorship in ODM”. Their sole agenda is “to bar Raila from ascending to presidency”. Meanwhile, the PM is the object of attack from every corner.

So what is afoot? Why is the PM under such intense attack? Why would people forge papers to tell lies about him and the ICC? Why would they scream at charged political rallies about the ICC but say the matter is polarising when he talks about it? The strategy is to roll the PM through sewage. The immediate objective is to make him unelectable. But the bigger objective is to stall and reverse reforms.

Raila is the face of reforms, in spite of his own weaknesses. He must therefore be stopped, at all costs. That is why outsiders will gleefully talk about democracy in ODM without looking at their own credentials first. Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Uhuru, Ruto, and self-declared people’s guard Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale all accuse the PM of dictatorship in ODM. Their “proof” is the on-going debate on how presidential nominations in the party should be done.

It is instructive that the people asking Raila to exercise internal democracy in ODM are themselves self-declared presidential ticket holders in their parties. It is not clear who gave them the tickets. Uhuru Kenyatta is the Kanu candidate while William Ruto is the United Republican Party (URP) candidate. Nobody is telling Kenyans how these people became their parties’ presidential nominees. Nor is Vice- President Kalonzo telling Kenyans who competed against him for the Wiper party ticket.

However, they are all presidential “nominees” for their parties and “democrats,” to boot. Together with a couple of others, these “democrats” have “vowed” to unite “to defeat one man”. That is their solitary election agenda.

The Kenyan nation is the headquarters of hypocrisy. Individuals who have unilaterally declared themselves presidential candidates in their own parties can be so brazen as to point accusatory fingers at somebody else and say, “Hey, please internalise democracy in your party”.

The truth of the matter is that the people who brought Kenya to its knees in the bad old days have regrouped. Kalonzo, Ruto, Uhuru, Prof George Saitoti, all belong to the Kanu dark corner that rode roughshod through the nation in the 1980s and 1990s. When the forces of change threatened dictatorship, they jumped ship. They passed themselves off as reformists. The storm of reform seems to be over.

They can put on their old colours and take Kenya back to the past. As in the old days, they are now able to stare you in the eye and make illogical pronouncements like, “I am the URP presidential candidate. I also call upon Raila to open up the democratic space in ODM.” A gullible nation turns a blind eye to the contradiction.

Kenyans have reached another crossroads. They must choose between reform and reversal, now that Kanu has regrouped. They must choose between impunity and the rule of law. These are the things Raila is saying. Raila is simply saying that this is Kenya’s moment. Decide now whether you will go ahead or go back. Pronouncements of this kind make some people extremely uncomfortable. They will gang up against you and spin dirty propaganda against you.

In the circumstances, reformist institutions like the IEBC and the Judiciary will need to exercise restraint, even as they grope for space. We are coming from a history of institutional abuse. When we see the same forces that abused our institutions regrouped and calling for “unity,” those of us who were old enough to see Kanu in its element must get afraid, very afraid. We do not want to smell the slightest whiff of indiscretion in the IEBC or in the courts. Is that too much to ask for?

I should have been impressed to see the PM caught on a video recording, intimidating the IEBC. Instead, I saw IEBC officials on video, claiming that they had been intimidated. A gullible, or perhaps even complicit, media fraternity picked this up and went to town with it as “proof” that the commissioners had been intimidated. If you did not witness the transformation of Kenya’s politics during the period 1965 to 1988, you will probably have to wait and feel the impact of a regrouped Kanu whip on your body. It began exactly the way it is happening today.

The true heroes of the nation were isolated and corned. They were boxed and demonized. Kung’u Karumba, Achieng’ Oneko, Wasonga Sijeyo, Bildad Kagia, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. The villains became the heroes. The door to impunity was thrown wide open. To pave the way, the citizens were fed on the narcotising drug of ethnicity. They did not mind the villains, provided they were from their tribe. We are watching history repeat itself. If you have been asking what the trouble is with Raila Odinga, ask no more.

The writer is a publishing editor and media consultant

Kampala (Platts)–6Mar2012/221

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has said that it would be better if South Sudan’s proposed oil pipeline to transport the country’s crude to Port Lamu in Kenya passes through Uganda, Uganda’s local media reported Tuesday.

The independently owned Daily Monitor Newspaper cited Museveni telling Kenya’s Premier Raila Odinga who called on him at his State House in Entebbe that he understood Kenya’s position since the newly-independent South Sudan is in urgent need of a functional oil pipeline within one and a half years.

Uganda, which has discovered huge oil deposits in its own Lake Albert Rift Basin and is in the process of commencing commercial oil production, had hoped to jointly construct a pipeline with South Sudan, and use Uganda’s planned oil refinery to process crude from South Sudan and then export it to Western world via Port Mombasa in Kenya, according to oil analysts.

The report also said that Museveni had earlier advised South Sudan to build its own refinery rather than having its crude oil refined in Kenya as that would create jobs for South Sudan, and that he was surprised by Juba’s deal with Kenya that will have the oil resource refined in Kenya.

The South Sudan government said Sunday it had formed a joint venture with Kenya and Ethiopia to build a $1.8 billion transport corridor that will include an oil pipeline to export crude oil from landlocked South Sudan to Port Lamu in Kenya.

In January, South Sudan shut oil wells producing 350,000 b/d alleging that northern Sudan had confiscated crude equivalent to $815 million.

South Sudan broke away from united Sudan in July last year taking 75% of the total oil produced in Sudan then, but continued to depend on the northern oil pipelines for its oil exports.

–Mercy Matsiko

Lamu opens new trade corridors beyond East Africa

Business Daily Africa –
President Mwai Kibaki and South Sudan president Salva Kiir lay the foundation stone when they arrived at the site where the Lamu Port will be situated at Magogoni to commission the multi-billion dollar Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor 
Globe and Mail – ‎‎
On paper, it’s a project that could transform the African economy: a $24-billion mega-port, serving as hub for a railway, an oil pipeline, a highway and a network of fibre-optic cables, connecting the landlocked countries of East Africa and giving them 
The Zimbabwean –
The construction of Lamu Port in Kenya has been officially launched by Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Salva Kiir. The Port is expected to act as the main gateway to Africa’s Great Lakes 
Daily Monitor –
By TABU BUTAGIRA (email the author) Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga yesterday rushed to meet President Museveni as it emerged that a multi-billion oil pipeline deal Nairobi signed last week with South Sudan had stirred diplomatic tension between – ‎
By Simon Allison, 5 March 2012 If you build a port, the ships will come. If you build a railway, the trains will run. If you build a pipeline, the oil will flow. If you build all of the above, as intended by the new Ethiopia-Kenya-South Sudan axis, 
Platts – ‎
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has said that it would be better if South Sudan’s proposed oil pipeline to transport the country’s crude to Port Lamu in Kenya passes through Uganda, Uganda’s local media reported Tuesday.
Dallas Blog (blog) – ‎
by Tom McGregor Global environmental extremists and eco-terrorists are targeting Africa to halt construction of much-needed infrastructure projects in the continent. They insist that Africans should not grow rich if it harms ‘Mother Earth.
Africa Review – ‎Mar 5, 2012‎
By PMPSPosted Monday, March 5 2012 at 18:11 Prime Minister Raila Odinga Monday made a one-day visit to Uganda to present a special message from the Government of Kenya to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The message was on the situation between Sudan 


Even as he embarks on a charm offensive across the country, Prime Minister Raila Odinga may first have to deal with the ‘Luo factor’ squarely ahead of the General Election.   

The ‘Luo factor’ has got to do with beliefs about the community that have previously dissuaded some from voting for the PM. Others include fears of a Luo-presidency and the discomforting over enthusiasm of those who rush to the defence of Raila. 

Well aware of these factors, last weekend the PM confronted the issue at a funeral in Ndhiwa constituency, South Nyanza. He asked the Luo to tone down on perceived arrogance, embrace other communities, and pay up for rented houses in towns.

Raila was reacting to calls by Kenyans from other parts of the country, some who have told him they would prefer him for president, but were afraid of his fervent supporters.

Within the Orange party, there has been disquiet over Nyanza politicians who have formed a ring around the PM. A Cabinet minister from Eastern Province confided to The Standard On Sunday in an earlier interview that ‘his’ people were undermining the PM’s campaign. 

“Most of these people need the PM more than he needs them. Raila can still garner 100 per cent of the votes from the region with or without them,” said the minister.  

And an MP from western Kenya is even more enraged: “We have come from far with this man and shall not allow his people to mess up. He is easily the best candidate that Kenya can have, with the right reform credentials and agenda for Kenya. How do we allow such a man to sink, just because of some individuals’ egos?”

Stating the lamentations are not unfounded, Joint Government Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo advises that Nyanza leaders must be alive to the fact that their behaviour and utterances reflect positively or negatively on Raila.

Tribal leaders

Midiwo says Kenyans have historically shunned tribal leaders who form a ring around a president. During Kenyatta’s time, the so-called Kikuyu mafia was unpopular with the people, as did those who surrounded President Moi, and now the Mt Kenya mafia around President Kibaki.

“I don’t think Kenyans want to see a Raila, who reminds them of Kenyatta, Moi or Kibaki. That is why they are bitter with what they perceive as an emerging tribal mafia around the PM,” says Midiwo.

Because of his influence as a coalition partner, Amukowa Anangwe observes the PM is equally viewed as the incumbent – a factor that has attracted political baggage in the name of his ardent supporters.

“They are overzealous in their defence of him and that is not a political asset.  The PM himself is a popular leader, but when you have courtiers who are overzealous and sometimes run ahead of you, they risk portraying you in bad light. At this critical time, Raila must take control of the process,” says Anangwe, who teaches political science at the University of Dodoma, Tanzania.   

Nicholas Gumbo explains what many consider as the ‘Luo political problem’. The Rarieda MP says this stems from three cultural traits of the community – pak ruok (self-praise), sunga (pride) and nyadhi (bravado). 

“It is a cultural thing among us. We refer to one another by nickname or praise names, exhibit pride, appreciate beauty, good deeds and celebrate achievements – all rather openly,” explains Gumbo.

Regretting that some have interpreted this as arrogance, the MP offers: “What others think we are is not what we are. Those of us who are professionals have achieved what we have by working hard with other Kenyans.”

Director of Communications in the PM’s office Dennis Onyango said: “The PM is simply passing a message he has received from other communities to the Luos. I can confirm to you that some fear the Luo will bully them or take the law into their hands when Raila becomes President”.

Taken hostage

The PM, according to Onyango, is also preparing to avoid the pitfall that has derailed the presidency in Kenya—that of being taken hostage by his community. Raila, says Onyango, is therefore stating he intends to be President for Kenyans, not the Luos.

“It is important to note that some of the perceptions, including Luos not paying rent, are not necessarily true. But they have to be put in public domain because they shape attitudes,” said Onyango. Nonetheless, Raila still has to battle for penetration in central Kenya – courtesy of the notion that the PM would feel compelled to avenge past political ills allegedly visited on his community by the Kikuyu.

Separately, Raila’s social democracy leaning is source of worry to the moneyed business people and Anangwe advises the PM, who is also a wealthy businessman, to demonstrate that he is not against wealth creation.

“His support for have-nots is worrying the rich and influential and needs to be moderated. But a delicate balance must be maintained so he does not lose out on the core support from the poor,” says Anangwe.