Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Raila Odinga

I wasn't alive during the 82' coup so all I know about it is what I learnt in school and what I've been told by my parents and have seen for myself on documentaries on KBC

What I do know is that it was a defining moment of Kenyan history. My parents tell me stories of driving in town at a snails pace holding their IDs out in the air through the car windows to avoid being shot by the military. We have lived in Langata most of my life, right next to the Barracks housing the "Maroon Commandos"the army unit that is said to have done the most to crush the Coup

My father can name at least 4 Airmen from our village who were killed during the coup, he says that although the period leading up to the coup was filled with fear and mistrust, nothing could prepare Kenyans for what was to come

He says that before the Coup, the prevailing conditions were ripe for revolution. The dreaded Special Branch listened in to any conversations in the streets, in Bars, Churches, in fact in any large social gathering and arrested people on such frivolous charges as imagining the death of the president

The coup was bound to happen, according to him, but the dead bodies of airmen that littered the streets of Nairobi were not worth it.

Apparently most people at the time thought that Raila was being punished by the Government for the sins of his father, Jaramogi. The "revelations" in his book RAILA ODINGA:AN ENIGMA IN KENYAN POLITICS prove otherwise

For Mr Odinga to associate himself with this part of Kenyas history this close to what is likely to be a hotly contested election is quite frankly in my view irresponsible .It may be an amazing marketing tool for his new autobiography but it is not what we expect from a possible contender for the post of President

It makes me think about what will happen after the election, given his "alleged" track record of subversive activity

I will try to read the book as he suggests, but the look in my fathers eyes when he talks about the coup is the strongest testimont to the fact that it should never happen again, no matter the motivation



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