Raila Odinga Biography
Raila Odinga, in full Raila Amolo Odinga, (born January 7, 1945, Maseno, Kenya), Kenyan businessman and politician who served as prime minister of Kenya (2008–13) following the contentious presidential election of December 2007.
Of Luo descent, Raila was the son of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the first vice president of independent Kenya. After earning a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in East Germany in 1970, Odinga returned to Kenya to become a lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
During his time at the university, Raila Odinga also engaged in engineering-related business ventures. Including one that would later become East African Spectre, Ltd. He left the university in 1974 and was soon employed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
Political Ambitious Raila Odinga
In the 1970s and ’80s, Odinga was politically active and supported government reforms in Kenya. In 1982 he was accused of plotting against Pres. Daniel Arap Moi and was imprisoned without trial for six years.
After Odinga’s release, he was twice arrested for campaigning against one-party rule, and in 1991 he sought refuge in Norway. He returned to Kenya in 1992, however, and was elected a member of the National Assembly that year under the banner of the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy–Kenya (FORD–K), the party led by his father.
His Political Career
In 1997 Odinga stood unsuccessfully as the NDP’s candidate for election as president of Kenya but was able to retain his seat in the National Assembly. He and the NDP thereafter gave their support to Moi and the ruling Kikuyu-dominated Kenya African National Union (KANU).
When Moi called upon the party to support Uhuru Kenyatta, son of former president Jomo Kenyatta. Several KANU members, including Odinga, formed the Rainbow Alliance within the party in protest of the choice. And they instead advocated for a vote among KANU members to determine the party’s presidential candidate.
Raila Odinga is The Father Of Democracy
Raila Odinga was flatteringly referred to as the “enigma in the Kenyan politics”. He is one of the few politicians in the world who is loved and loathed in equal measures. There is no doubt that Raila is the most powerful and influential politician in Kenya and the region.
According to the survey that was conducted by the Governance Surveillance Center in Geneva in 2014, he was ranked the 13th most powerful and influential leader in the world. Raila is also known to be a fighter of democracy, which made him be detained twice, making him the longest-serving detainee in Kenya.
Corruption Whistle Blower
Raila Odinga is an ultimate known fighter of corruption in Kenya. This man has been fighting corruption and he revealed major corruption allegations such as Eurobond and NYS scandals. He is determined and will not stop his fight against corruption, even if he is arrested 100 times, as it has robbed Kenyans of millions of shillings.
Rampant corruption is making life unbearable for Kenyan citizens thus he will remain focused to pursue Kenyans’ liberation by fulfilling the dream of having a government that is free of corruption.
Championed The New 2010 Kenya Constitution
Notably, the Constitution of Kenya is the supreme law of the Republic of Kenya. Moreover, there have been three significant versions of the constitution. Not forgetting, with the most recent redraft being enabled in 2010. Whereas, the 2010 edition replaced the 1963 independence constitution.
The constitution was presented to the Attorney General of Kenya on 7 April 2010, officially published on 6 May 2010, and was subjected to a referendum on 4 August 2010. The new Constitution was approved by 67% of Kenyan voters. The constitution was promulgated on 27 August 2010.
Raila Odinga is the man who championed the change for a new constitution. Indeed he was successful as the New 2010 Constitution was promulgated in August 2010. His ideology is that the New Constitution would bring devolution of power and proper allocation of resources throughout Kenya even to remote areas. It has also improved Kenyan Leadership qualities and properly catered for the three arms of government.
Fighter For The Rights Of Kenyans
Apart from the political quests he has been able to fight for in his political era, Odinga has shown concern to the commoners. For instance, he has, from time to time, condemned the government against oppressing and making life unbearable. Especially to its own citizens, the latest being high taxation rates and expensive and non-affordable housing.
Further, he has been able to unite with fellow citizens and even plan as well as execute peaceful demonstrations. In general, to bring awareness to the people and stop the government from oppressing the people. This has at most times been successful as the government is able to consider their plea and acted accordingly.
Finally, he has also been able to pinpoint corrupt and useless leaders in the government. Not to mention, who are also investigated by the EACC. Evenly too, life audit carried out on them and action is taken accordingly.
- The jmexclusives Agency: Celebrities & Public Figure Biographies.
- Britannica; Raila Odinga: Early Life And Political Activity.
- RAO: A Leader for All.
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