Why Raila could exit Kenyan politics before 2022

Raila has been in politics for over three decades.

After over seven months of political animosity between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta, the two nemeses walked down the Harambee House steps and through the famous handshake, promised to work together. The handshake may have been a clear signal to his supporters that he had accepted to let go, his earlier quest for a fresh elections in August this year.

In addition, should the former Prime Minister head to Addis Ababa for a new role at the African Union as a Special Envoy, then it remains that given the statue of the role, he may have exited Kenyan politics, at least for a role, with a peace for Africa on his shoulders.

Given the nature of his new role as the envoy of the AU chairperson, Raila will have an office in Addis Ababa but with frequent travel across the continent to mediate in peace negotiations and conflict resolution.

This call for duty then will leave Raila with no option, but to concentrate on continental issues, and perhaps offer political advice to his inheritors, at least going by the experience he has in the Kenyan political space.

While Jubilee leaders may not have confirmed reports that Mr Odinga would equally have a Kenyan office, along Harambee Avenue, where both the President and Deputy President offices are, unconfirmed reports are emerging that the identified office is already undergoing renovation for Raila’s entry. The job title and functions of Mr Odinga who would occupy the office, however, remain unclear.

It follows, therefore, that the utterances by National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale on the issue of Mr Odinga heading to Addis Ababa, further complicated the matter on the need to have the Kenyan office.

“I am not aware of that offer, but if it is there, Raila Odinga is a statesman par excellence. Raila is one man who if he gets that offer will enable AU to handle dangerous zones,” Mr Duale has been quoted by a local daily.

“Raila is the only person among the NASA principals who has the statesman’s credentials which will also help him build his legacy,” Duale added.

It is worth noting that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga agreed to establish an office which would be critical in “overseeing the implementation of the key common objectives for the two leaders.”

The two leaders settled on Ambassador Martin Kimani and lawyer Paul Mwangi (a close ally Of Mr Odinga) to lead the office, which will oversee the program.

“President Uhuru and Raila Odinga have agreed to roll out a program that will implement their shared objectives.

“The program shall establish an office and retain a retinue of advisors to assist ion the implementation. An official launch shall be held soon,” the statement seen by Pulse Live Kenya reads in part.

The 2017 elections, might have  been Raila Odinga’s last stab at the presidency, now that he has reiterated in numerous media interviews that he won’t run for the land’s top job again “unless the electoral system changes.”

“It is not about me. It’s not about Raila Odinga, I’m not going to be a candidate again,” he said. “We just want Kenyans to know what happened, what the whole world is not understanding is happening,” Mr Odinga said during the interview with the Financial Times mid-August last year.

Editors Note: This is not the position of pulselive.co.ke on Mr Odinga, but entirely the opinion of this writer.

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