PD REPORTER and PSCU
Opposition leader Raila Odinga Friday rubbished the dynasties tag labelled on President Uhuru Kenyatta and himself.
The former Prime Minister said he and Uhuru were self-made politicians and that their current status was purely on merit as opposed to inheritance. He said their fathers Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga struggled on their own.
“Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was a son of a pauper. He struggled, and was detained by colonialists for all those years. You cannot say there is a Kenyatta dynasty; you cannot say that just because of that Uhuru is part of dynasty.
“Odinga son of Raila was just another son of a pauper, you can also say he was a hustler, you cannot say that Raila is part of a dynasty.”
Speaking during a memorial service for former Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation chairperson Jane Kiano in Karen, Nairobi, Raila said his and Uhuru’s rise to political influence was borne out of hard work, patience, and determination; contrary to common belief that they had it easy courtesy of their fathers’ political dominance.
: “Raila is just Raila the way he is; Uhuru is Uhuru because of himself, no one has elected Uhuru because he is the son of Kenyatta. No one votes for Raila because he is the son of Oginga Odinga, it is because of Raila and that is the way it is,” he added.
However, the President and his Deputy William Ruto steered clear of politics even as they condoled with Kiano’s family.
Uhuru challenged Kenyans to emulate Kiano for the great role she played in the advancement of Kenyan women.
“So if there’s anything that we can learn from her life, is what contribution are we making? Are we working for ourselves or for the wellbeing of the people of this country?” he asked.
Uhuru, Ruto and Raila later had lunch together at the DP’s official residence in Karen. Raila’s remarks were seen as response to a narrative doing rounds that he and Uhuru have united with retired President Moi’s son and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi to block Ruto, a self-styled “hustler” from becoming President in 2022.
Some leaders were also quoted in media reports saying the fight for the 2022 presidency would be a battle between the dynasties and hustlers.
Though the March handshake was a relief for many Kenyans, especially after last year’s bruising political campaigns pitting Uhuru and Raila, there has been disquiet in each of the top leader’s camps with the duo being accused of abandoning their foot soldiers.
The latest to face such accusations was Uhuru, with MPs from his Mount Kenya backyard this week accusing him of abandoning the region.
They claimed Uhuru had not allocated the region its fair share of resources yet they have been loyal to him. However, the President on Thursday told them to stop politicking and focus on serving Kenyans.