Kenya: Odinga Dismisses Critics Against Dynasties Seeking Power

Opposition leader Raila Odinga (file photo).
13 February 2020

Nairobi — Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has dismissed leaders saying dynasties should not contest the presidency when President Uhuru Kenyatta's second and final term ends in 2022.

Odinga who spoke at the burial of former president Daniel arap Moi in Kabarak said the dynasty subject is "tired."

Odinga said the former President rose from a poor background and struggled as a teacher before resigning to venture into business and later joined the freedom fighting movement, rising through the ranks in politics before he became Kenya's fourth president.

Moi who died on February 4, died at the Nairobi Hospital after a long illness and was buried on February 12 at his Kabarak home, in an elaborate military ceremony that included a 19-gun salute complete with a fly-past by the military fighter jets.

"If you look at Nyayo he came from a very humble background, he came from poverty just like Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Jaramogi also came from poverty, nobody can then talk of dynasties," Odinga said, in an apparent reference to Deputy President William Ruto's assertion that dynasties should not contest for the top job.

"What did Moi inherit, Moi struggled and died the way he died. These children are also struggling like Kenyans anywhere out there. Uhuru is also just a Kenya, just like Raila is also just a Kenyan. Why should someone think he is more entitled to things in this country than Raila Odinga because he is the son of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga or Gideon Moi because he is the son of Moi. Gideon has a right like any Kenyan in this country to vie for any seat that he wants in this country," Odinga told mourners.

Odinga was among thousands of mourners at Moi's burial, which ended with political undertones when the former President's son Gideon, who is a Senator for Baringo County was handed the political baton by his family.

"You have our blessings to go for it," said Raymond Moi, who handed Gideon the symbolic famous Rungu Moi used to swing around in all public functions.

It was handed to Rongai MP Raymond by Moi's Tugen elders. He then called Gideon to the main dais and handed it over to him, declaring, "as a family we have given you this mandate, take over from where Mzee left."

And he was quick to warn, "if you can't just know that I am also capable."

Gideon accepted the role, saying, "I will take up the challenge."

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