Raila Odinga has never been to the Luo what Uhuru Kenyatta has been to the Kikuyu.
People have done the mistake of drawing parallels between Raila and Uhuru in regard to loyalty to tribesmen and women. And they say you will never hear the Kikuyu speak badly of their son as we Luos do. Rightly so, but tell me what can you do to a wayward son away from rebuking him?
I have in the past years seen things that I will never be quiet about because they have implications for our survival as a community. Am my loyalty can never be to an individual.
As compared to Uhuru, Raila will never cross a puddle let alone a river for the Luo community. This was evident during the PEV when Luos were butchered by the Police in Kisumu and Kibera, and the Kikuyu in Nakuru and Naivasha.
Before this , there were clear indicators that war was going to erupt and Raila with his experience in government could have used his wealth, national and international networks including intelligence to save lives.
But during the greatest time of community need, he feigned statesmanship and did absolutely nothing to save the lives of his kinsmen. Uhuru on his part has a case in the ICC entirely because he went out to defend the survival of his community.
Related to the first point, immediately after PEV the Kikuyu leadership did all they could to seek compensation for their IDPs. But during the same period. the Luo leadership remained quite because talking would have made Raila look tribal.
He finished his term as PM without a single step to restore the lives of people who became orphans, widows and disabled because of him.
At one point, I was working with the Catholic Mission and Citizen against violence – CAVI, identified and mobilized victims of PEV from Western and Nyanza and went with them to the PM’s office. But he chose during that day to bereave with the families of the Sinai fire victims without as much giving a glance to people who travelled from far to seek help.
Three buses of victims of PEV! Not getting an audience with Raila Odinga because compared to Sinai fire victims they were no longer instrumental to his power games. Uhuru on his part paid 400k to each of the remaining Kikuyu IDPs and effectively concluded the outstanding issues immediately he became president.
Poor leadership has always been known to have a direct implication on the fight against poverty. In Nyanza, leadership has ever been loyalty to an individual and not the people.
MPs have consequently been as narrow and lazy in as far as improving the lives of the people is concerned because in the end what matters is loyalty to Raila ( kitalo Raila to iduoki dala). This has had serious implications on dealing with challenges affecting the Luo community and is a double blow to a community that has been marginalized by succeeding governments.
The late Orwa Ojode and Raphael Tuju were viewed as traitors because they sought to uplift lives instead of hero worship.
That is a kind of leadership Uhuru has never been known for by the Kikuyu.
When in government, Raila has always feigned statesmanship by dishing positions and opportunities to other communities especially the Kikuyu, at the expense of his kinsmen. As a way of getting votes.
For him, charity never begins at home. This is a character that has seen all the youth in Kisumu and Kibera suffer because he has no concern for them other than using them to ascend to power. Uhuru on his part, and with impunity, fills positions with kinsmen because his loyalty is first to his community.
This appears narrow and against National interest, please save me from such hypocrisy. Kenya is tribal to the core and you have to choose at certain times between the interest of your community and country.
If you choose a country, live with it. Let it fight for you, live the community alone. It cannot be that at a critical point of political survival you run to the community and disown them when in power.
Written By: Francis Onyango K’Owuor (Bunge La Wananchi- Kisumu)