Raila Odinga


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The cruel hand of death has today claimed one of our finest scholars and global ambassadors.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to interact and work closely with Prof. Calestous Juma particularly during my public lectures in the US during which I also had the privilege of visiting him at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

Juma represented the best of scholarship and public service. He believed in transferring knowledge to and empowering the next generation of young people of every nationality to shape the world.

Juma was particularly passionate in the use of technology in all spheres of life and more particularly in agriculture as a means of maximizing productivity and ensuring food security. He was also a keen believer in regional integration as a means of empowering citizens and bringing the world closer together.

As a country, we are all better off because we produced Prof. Juma. But it is possible that we could have tapped and benefitted more from his fountain of knowledge that he was always ready to offer particularly in the areas of modern agriculture, innovation, engineering, international development and biotechnology. I am aware of his attempts to start a high calibre college of Science and Technology in Western Kenya which never bore fruit due to lack of support. That effort now remains a dream deferred as we mourn him.

In his death, Kenya has lost not just a distinguished and refined scholar but also an ambassador who helped build the country’s profile across the globe while also creating platforms for the nation to showcase its worth and causes. We pray for and mourn with his family, the students and the entire Harvard University fraternity.

Rt. Hon Raila Odinga
December 15, 2017.

Mourning Hon. Francis Nyenze

Mourning Hon. Francis Nyenze

I joined the family of the late Kitui West MP Hon. Francis Nyenze in mourning his passing last week.

Hon. Nyenze was a dedicated leader who served the nation in many capacities as MP, Minister and Leader of Minority in Parliament; at various times during his career. His death comes as a blow to not only the NASA fraternity and the people of Kitui West, but the country at large.

May God grant his loved ones comfort during this trying time.

meeting Gregory Simpkins

meeting Gregory Simpkins

“As Kenyans it’s imperative that we go the extra mile to explain the situation we have found ourselves in, so that informed positions may be arrived at and sound decisions made.

I had the pleasure of meeting Gregory Simpkins, Staff Director, U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights at the The Africa-America Institute (AAI). Mr. Simpkins is well versed on African affairs having served in a variety of positions in civil society; allowing him to help shape and implement U.S. policy on Africa, including having drafted the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

We had a very broad and fruitful discussion in which we shared many points of interest in our search for a solution to Kenya’s political impasse.I explained that at the heart of the problem lies perpetual electoral theft.

The NASA Coalition, driven by our people’s aspirations, is on a quest for electoral justice. We will continue reaching out to all players and stakeholder institutions with the knowledge that we carry a heavy responsibility on behalf of our people. We agreed to keep each other abreast of developments.

I thank him for a very warm welcome and look forward to more engagement in future.”

Women Aspirants Meeting

Women Aspirants Meeting

It is encouraging to see so many women raring to go for elective political office through the Orange Democratic Movement. I congratulate you for the desire to serve our country and I want to promise you right from the start my unequivocal support. You have what it takes and the party will do all it can to create the right environment for you to compete and thrive.

Let me thank the National Democratic Institute, the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK and USAID for their investment in and support for our women. Our party is committed to working with you to see to it that we have the highest number of women elected to the 12th Parliament.
Our party has classified women under special interest groups and lowered their nomination fees to Ksh15, 000 to motivate and enable more of them to run for elective positions.

We recognize that times are hard and women are the hardest hit.

We also recognize that we have a Constitutional obligation to help our country realize the two thirds gender rule.

Jointly with our international partners like the UK’s Liberal Democrats, we have held training workshops for our women aspirants with the aim of aiding them in campaigning and building a strong support base.

The trainings have focused on helping the women leaders understand the party’s internal dynamics and machinery, effective communication through different campaign channels, overcoming all forms of political violence, and reaching out to voters through canvassing and on-the-ground campaigning.

Through the trainings, we have sought to inspire the women by inviting speakers who have faced and overcome social and political challenges. By combining training sessions with the real life experiences of other female politicians, we have sought to provide the women aspirants with the best possible tools for facing the upcoming elections.

Today’s meeting is a continuation of this commitment to having women vie and win as many positions as possible.

At the party’s headquarters, we have set up a Women Candidates Coordination Office (WCCO) to manage all activities geared towards getting women elected.

Such activities include developing and maintaining a database of women aspirants and acting as a resource center and one stop shop for all information the women aspirants might require; and, liaising with the party organs and other bodies like the IEBC and security officials to resolve any challenges or issues the women might face.

As a key member of the National Super Alliance, ODM fully subscribes to the third pillar of the coalition’s principles which is the realization of equality of women, youth, persons with disabilities, and the disadvantaged communities and groups as mandated by the Constitution in Article 27.

It is our position that from the NYS scandal, the plundered Youth and Women funds, the twisted form of affirmative action that saw the wealthiest and elite women with connections win tenders meant for their underprivileged counterparts, there is no arena where our society has been as cynical and abusive as in the women’s agenda. We are determined to make amends.

As part of this determination, we have adopted in our Coalition agreement the requirement that all our coalition structures and organs fulfill this constitutional requirement on the realization of equality for women.
Women are at the center of our agenda for inclusion as opposed to exclusion.

We have taken these steps with full knowledge that significant challenges remain in our attempts to get more women elected. Women currently represent only about 20 percent of parliament and 33 percent of county assemblies. Out of 1,450 seats in county assemblies, only 80 women were elected while the rest were nominated.

At the national level, only 16 women were elected to the National Assembly for single member constituency seats, 47 were elected for special women only county seats while five were nominated for special interest seats. No woman was elected to the Senate and there is not a single woman governor. Kenya’s 2013 election did not meet the two-third gender threshold. Out of all contestants for four elective positions — governor, senator, MP and MCA — women made up only six percent of candidates. That is 775 out of 12,488 candidates.

This is a dismal record ODM does not want to be associated with after August elections. We owe it to our women and to our country to ensure that in 2017, we meet the constitutional gender threshold.

In ODM, we are prioritizing free, fair, credible and peaceful nominations in the process that begins next month and in the general elections slated for August.
We have issued very firm instructions to the National Election Board that the party must not tolerate any form of violence, intimidation and fraud during nominations. As the leader of the party,

I have mandated the NEB to take firm action, including disqualification, against aspirants who use underhand tactics including violence during upcoming nominations.

Our policy of zero tolerance for all forms of political violence, especially violence against women aspirants, candidates and party activists must come alive in the nominations that begin next month.

It is my belief that with all these measures, and with the support of partners like NDI, DFID and USAID, ODM will play its role in having our country realize the two-thirds gender rule in the 2017 elections.

I want to assure the women of Kenya that they can count on my support. I wish you success in your dreams.

Condolence to KDF families

Condolence to KDF families

We have now established beyond doubt that tens of our soldiers died on the line of duty in Somalia following an attack by militants. We wish to express our deepest condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers, their relatives and friends following this loss. In this senseless horror, our country has lost brave men and women who had their whole lives and careers ahead of them in service of our homeland.

No words can fully express the pain the families left behind are going through or fill the void left by the departed and wounded soldiers. But we stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the bereaved.

Our thoughts and prayers for hope and strength are with the families at this difficult time. We wish quick recovery to the wounded.

Rt Hon Raila Odinga.
January 28, 2017

Munich Terror Attacks

Munich Terror Attacks

Once again, the new brand of terror has claimed lives and shattered the peace of a key European city. I offer sincere and deep condolences to the people of the Federal Republic of Germany and particularly to the residents of the peaceful, beautiful and resilient city of Munich. I join other citizens of the world in condemning in strongest terms the attacks that have claimed lives of innocent people going about their daily routines.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and the wounded whom we wish quick recovery and success in their dreams in the days ahead. Terrorists are clearly developing new tactics in their war against humanity. I call upon the global community to get together quickly and device new ways to respond to this development as old approaches and assumptions will not do. The threat is no longer continent specific but global. A new round of global dialogue is therefore urgently required to understand the new dimensions and new players and to craft new appropriate responses.

Rt. Hon Raila Odinga, EGH



JULY 23, 2016.

Devolution is here to stay

Devolution is here to stay

Devolution is a baby we have to nurse and babysit to maturity despite its deformities. We started down this new road only three years ago. It still has much to be done. It has many rough parts to be smoothened. It has many problems yet to be solved. But I have an enduring faith, and I urge you to share this enduring faith, that this devolution road is the right road.

It is the road to the future. It serves the interest of harmony. It is the road ahead to a better, more equal and more prosperous Kenya for all Kenyans. Any other road takes us only to the past.

Devolution carries our nation’s prospects for a life in which citizens develop and pursue their aims, potential and ambitions to the fullest, without the constant interference and domination of big brother government in Nairobi.

But Devolution is facing internal and external challenges.

County Governments must put their fiscal houses in order. They must reign in corruption and deal with the perception that they are the new centres of graft. According to the Auditor-General, Counties are losing billions of much needed money through careless spending and disregard for procurement regulations. If reports by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission are to be believed, almost every county has flouted tender rules and violated staffing guidelines. A number of counties are accused of favoritism, nepotism, tribalism and marginalization of regions or clans in recruitment and service delivery.

These are luxuries we cannot afford if the promise of devolution is to be fully realized. They are the reasons Kenyans asked to be released from the suffocating grip of centralized government. They must be left with the National Government where they currently have a cozy home.

But Counties are not the sole authors of their problems. Nearly all counties are victims of the acts of omission and commission by the National Government. The national government continues to hold onto devolved functions and the resources for implementing those functions. That is why the budgets of the National Government remain bigger than the combined budgets of the 47 counties in sectors that are already devolved.

The National Government continues to deploy its members as procurement officers for counties in contravention of the law. This is motivated by the need to continue with the old habits of using the procurement process to enrich a few people. It is possible that the corruption that has gripped county procurement processes is a carry over from the National Government. Counties must be allowed to train and deploy their own procurement officers.
Counties are still inconvenienced by delayed and inadequate disbursement of funds by the National government. In some cases, county governments are simply conduits for the National Government to steal money from Kenyans.

The procuring of equipment for health facilities is one such project. It was fronted as a project that was to be funded by the National Government. By the time the National Government approached county governments it had already signed an agreement with suppliers for the lease of equipment for seven years. County governments were then threatened into signing MOUs to accept this equipment. The public was fed with a lot of propaganda on how governors were refusing to take free equipment for the county health facilities. Among the equipment that has been leased under this contract are scissors, trays, trolleys, tongs and similar tools that would be cheaper if they were purchased.

Come 2016, counties are now being forced to surrender Ksh 95 million to be deducted from their share of funds annually for seven years as the payment for the lease of these equipment.

Kenyans in every county have therefore been forced to lease equipment for Ksh665 million over 7 years; funds that they would never have elected to spend in this manner. This scheme is definitely a scandal.

The contract needs to be made public. A forensic audit of the process for budgeting and procuring this equipment needs to be done including the determination of the value for money.

To date, many counties have not fully received the billions that were allocated to fight El Nino last year. Here again, counties were used as conduits of the National Government.
Delays by the National Government to disburse funds to counties have particularly affected delivery of health services. But it is the governors taking blame.

I want to challenge the National Government to fully and ungrudgingly let go of devolved functions. The National Government must make its budgets reflect the goals, ideals and aspirations of devolution. The refusal by the National Government to let go of state corporations whose functions have been devolved is frustrating county governments. For instance, although Agriculture is fully devolved, nearly all its parastatals remain in the hands of the National Government. The same applies in the health sector.

Institutions that ought to have died like the provincial administration are being revived and rebooted to compete and confuse the county governments. The National Government is busy rebranding the old order instead of dismantling it. The money that the National government is using to sustain duplicated functions could easily finance the operations of devolved units and ensure efficient, adequate and timely delivery of services by counties.

Despite these unending roadblocks, counties have made tremendous and unimaginable impact on our people.

Agriculture, a devolved function, has reemerged as the driver of the economy in the last two years. Healthcare, another devolved function, has recorded tremendous progress despite funding and staffing problems.
Even the National Government cannot deny that health care services were in shambles when counties took them over.

Everywhere there were too few hospitals and no drugs, no bedding no beds. Some counties were able to construct and equip up to 20 hospitals, dispensaries and health centres within the first year. Ambulance services are now taken for granted in parts of the country where none existed for the last fifty years. The number of doctors has increased from about 3,000 three years ago to over 4,500 today.
With increased and predictable funding, Agriculture and health sectors could easily meet and surpass expectations. Increased and predictable funding could easily see counties provide universal health insurance whose absence is confining many of our people to early graves because of unaffordable costs. Anybody saying that county governments have done nothing is stuck in a regrettable past and wants to make Kenyans miss the future.
To help secure this future, I wish to appeal to our senators who are the custodians of devolution, together with members of county assemblies and the governors to end the unhealthy competition between them and work together to secure devolution.

The Senate must stand true to its role as the protector of devolution. Governors and Senators must extend hands of friendship and show unity of purpose for the remainder of their terms, even if they are going to run against each other in 2017. The National Assembly must join in friendship to enhance the new order instead of fighting it.

The National Government must also end its unhealthy war with county governments. It is time the National Government gave governors their rightful roles in the new Kenya.

We must accept governors as the constitutional Chief Executives of the Counties. The Chief Executive of the National Government, H.E. the President must accept this reality and forge and nurture a culture of consultation and not confrontation with governors for the good of the nation. The National Government must stop seeing governors as enemies to be subdued but as partners in the struggle for a better Kenya.

Finally, I wish to address a matter that is going to choke everyone if not tackled urgently and soberly; our uncontrolled borrowing.

In the 2015/2016 Financial Year, the National Treasury allocated Kshs 362 billion for debt repayment. This figure has risen to Kshs 433 billion in 2016/2017, an increase of Kshs 71 billion or 20 per cent in one year. At this rate, in five years, the country will be spending all the tax revenue on repaying public debts with nothing left for capital and recurrent expenditures. Sooner rather than later, debt service will take priority. This will mean less revenue share for counties and more trouble for devolution. Counties will suffer, yet they are not getting any shares of the borrowed money. Let’s join hands and raise the alarm now. We have been flirting with disaster and we now seem to be embracing it in the name of debts.

Our salvation lies in strengthening the Counties and making them effective bulwark between the people and an ever-encroaching National Government that is determined to gather more power unto itself and to minimize and emasculate the functions of other organs and other levels of government.

Together, we have scored significant victories for devolution in the last three years.
But we must not live in the fading memory of those victories.

Let us join hands one more time, in this coming year and look ahead and anticipate successive new victories for devolution.
Let us not allow the fire we lit in 2010 to flicker and die.

Let us nurture the flames and ensure the future generations find not its ashes but its hope and promises.

Thank you all.

Post Election Violence Victims

Post Election Violence Victims

Uhuru and Ruto must stop mocking the victims of PEV:

I began writing this from Paris where I had come for a special meeting of the Emerging Markets Forum hosted by the Governor of Banque de France.

The theme of the meeting was “Striving for a Just, Prosperous and Harmonious Global Community.” It was attended by various world leaders and particularly President Alassane Ouattara, President Horst Koehler, Michael Camdessus and Hiroshi Watanabe.

While in Paris, I learnt of a medieval dance that originated in France called the “danse macabre,” which is French for “the dance of death.” It started in the mid 14th Century and involved a procession in which people danced to the graves of the dead in their community in celebration of death.

As I thought about this very perverse type of custom and traditions, I could not help but compare this with what President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have planned to do at Afraha Stadium tomorrow, April 16, 2016.

Firstly, I wish to explain my position on the collapse of the cases. I did congratulate my friend Hon. William Ruto for being free from the cases, as I had also done to my brother President Kenyatta.

Ruto’s freedom was of particular concern to the Orange Democratic Movement as it proved, as we had always maintained, that ODM did not plan any violence against other Kenyans. Ruto could not have planned for the eviction and murder of so many ODM supporters in so many parts of the country including Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru and Kisumu. Ruto certainly could not have evicted so many perceived ODM supporters from the remote parts of central Kenya where the party then had to hire buses and ferry people to Kisii, Kericho, Kakamega, Kisumu, Eldoret and other parts of western Kenya.

The collapse of the cases brings little to Kenya in terms of justice and an end to impunity. While we all agree that our leaders got caught up in a mixture of botched investigations and subversion of the administration of justice, we must admit that the collapse of the I.C.C engagement with the Kenya situation denied this country the only chance it had to end the culture of impunity that has condemned us to an orgy of violence with every election.

As we reflect on the cessation of our engagement with I.C.C regarding the post election violence, we must moan the continued lack of justice for those who were killed, the helpless women who were raped and the multitude of persons who lost their homes and were displaced.

Clearly, as a nation, there is nothing to celebrate about. Instead, we have to reflect on the many critical decisions that we need to make. We have many people who we still need to condole and reparate and a national sense of justice that needs to be reconfirmed.

In light of these circumstances, it amounts to mocking the dead and the surviving victims of Post Election Violence for the President and his Deputy to assemble their political supporters at Afraha Stadium to celebrate the end of the pursuit of justice over the atrocities of the mayhem in 2007/2008.
The only picture that comes to mind is that of the President and his Deputy leading a procession of Jubilee followers performing the ‘danse macabre’ over the graves of their fellow county men.

What Uhuru and Ruto should be doing is keeping their jubilation in check and thinking of the pain that abounds in the country. There is pain over continued lack of justice for the hundreds of young Kenyans shot in their backs as they ran away from the steaming barrels of AK47’s. The children who helplessly watched their mother’s being beaten and raped are hurting. The thousands whose homes, property and places of worship were incinerated beyond imagination remain pained. That elderly father who had to identify his son’s maimed body from a sea of blanket covered corpses, the young girl who discovered her mothers body lying in a pool of blood as stray bullets tore through their “mabati” home, striking her mother in the chest all remain in pain.

Kenya does not need a self-absorbed jamboree hosted by the Presidency but a genuine engagement to pursue truth, justice and reconciliation. Justice was always intended to be our shield and defender. Without justice, the shield is gone, and we are exposed.
Uhuru and Ruto must cease this continued mockery of the victims of the Post Election Violence and lead this nation towards the truth and reconciliation that will save us from what is quickly becoming an irreversible descent towards another orgy of violence.

We need truth and reconciliation in our Presidency. Barely a couple of years ago, the Deputy President was complaining that people close to the President “fixed” him. With the Jubilee Coalition constantly marketing itself as a partnership to unite communities, these loudly pronounced accusations must be addressed openly to remove the suspicion they have created among the people.

We need truth and reconciliation in our institutions. The National Intelligence Service provided a lot of the evidence that I.C.C cases were riding on, and in particular what is now known as the confidential Exhibit 19 and 19A of the Waki Report. These are the exhibits that were compiled by then Director General of NIS as evidence against Ruto and other ODM members. The president must now make these exhibits public if he is serious about truth and reconciliation.

The President should open up the envelope and let the people deal with the I.C.C ghosts and exorcise them from their national psyche.
Similarly, the Police must come out openly regarding their operations in the 2007/2008 period. We need to know how they ended up shooting close to the declared 500 people. We also need to know the exact number of people the police shot. Most critically, the police must answer the yet unanswered question of what happened to the over 1000 Kalenjin youths that went missing during and after the post election violence.

We need truth and reconciliation among our communities. In 2007/2008, neighbours rose up against neighbours. Long time family friends picked arms against each other’s parents and children. They burnt each other’s homes.
We can’t sweep these realities under the carpet and move on. We must bring people together to talk and make peace. This has been done successfully in South Africa and Rwanda and we have seen it bring lasting peace.

And lastly, we need truth and reconciliation in the whole country. The President must now publish the list of all the people who died in the Post Election Violence, those who were injured and those who were displaced. He must also publish what reparations his government has given to each of them.

Just last week, we observed the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda. That was on April 7. I ask that we consider undertaking a similar initiative like Rwanda’s village courts.

I think we can have “Baraza Courts” in villages that were affected by the Post Election Violence. Let people come together and say what they did, why and on whose instructions. It is never too late to pursue truth and reconciliation.

APRIL 15, 2016.

Lost money

Lost money

Those who still harboured any hopes that the Government of Kenya prudently used the proceeds of Eurobond money and will fully account for it to our citizens must now burry those hopes. After many twists and turns, the Central Bank of Kenya yesterday declared that the information and documents it holds in relation to the Eurobond is privileged and cannot be disclosed to third parties.

We, Kenyans have suddenly become third parties in the case of money borrowed in our name to be paid by all of us, our children and our grandchildren. But it is the final realisation that the money is lost which must concern us. Everything points to that.

We have been on the trail of this money since last year when we wrote to the PS and CS Treasury asking for information on how the money was spent. We were told the National Government had set up a desk at the National Treasury where all information regarding the loan was readily available. It turned out no such desk existed.

Then Kenyans were told that all the proceeds of Eurobond were put in infrastructure projects that the government would make public in three months. It never happened.

Next we were told the money got lumped with those from other sources and used to finance public infrastructure projects and it was not possible to pinpoint which money funded which project.

Then the government embarked on an elaborate campaign with the support of the private sector, spearheaded by the Kenya Bankers Association writing lengthy columns in the national dailies on how all the Eurobond money had been accounted for.
Two weeks ago, in another twist, the National Treasury CS Mr Henry Rotich disclosed that all the proceeds of Eurobond were used to settle debts incurred by the Grand Coalition Government.

At around the same time, we established authoritatively that the Government had equally misled the International Monetary Fund on the proceeds and use of the proceeds of Eurobond. We wrote to the IMF seeking clarity. We attach that letter to the IMF.

It is this ever changing and conflicting position of the government that compelled us to write to the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya in the belief that he would have the final word and the duty to share it with the public on this money.

Yesterday, to our dismay, in response to our request, the governor declared and we quote him:

“The information and documents held by the CBK in relation to the Eurobond is privileged under the banking laws, and therefore cannot be disclosed to third parties.”

The information we had sought from the CBK is attached here.

We wish to state that CBK is a State organ. The Governor of the CBK is a State officer.

The money that the CBK banks belongs to the people of Kenya. It is the people of Kenya, not the government, who are the clients of the bank. The government is the manager of the people’s money. CBK cannot justifiably and legally erect a wall of privilege against the owner of the money; the people of the Republic of Kenya.

A matter of grave concern to us is how the CBK has chosen to operate without a Board. Under the CBK Act, the Board of Directors is obligated to determine the policy of the bank and keep in constant review the performance of the Governor. Yet for over two years, the CBK has not had a full Board.

The Governor is operating under the policy direction of the chairman, Mr Mohammed Nyaoga and the Principal Secretary to the Treasury Dr Kamau Thugge, who are the only members of the Board.

This is the reason there is so much confusion at the CBK.

How does the CBK say it has a policy to keep public information confidential when the Constitution is clear that the information must be published and publicised? Section 35 of our Constitution guarantees, among other things that:

1) Every citizen has the right of access to information held by the State; and
(2) The State shall publish and publicise any important information affecting the nation.

At the start of our search for the truth on Eurobond, we made a commitment to the people of Kenya and we reiterate that commitment today. We shall not rest until we get to the bottom of the Eurobond saga which we maintain, is a case of grand robbery against the suffering people of Kenya.

Until the Government proves otherwise, we maintain that Eurobond money was raised abroad and stolen abroad. All that the government brought home was the debt.
We are not letting this matter go. We are exploring many options to help us get to the truth.

For a start, we shall therefore be writing to the Chairman of the CBK seeking to know how he came to give such a policy directive to the governor against the Constitution of Kenya.

We are witnessing the subversion of the People’s Constitution. The Chairman of the Board must explain this treasonable position by a State organ. And we will demand punishment fitting this crime.

Malindi Polls

Malindi Polls

All CORD MPs and other elected leaders who were assigned to monitor Malindi polls as super agents must report and remain at the polling stations. till the end of the voting exercise. We are concerned at the campaign of black mail and arm-twisting that Jubee is adopting in the region manifested in arbitrary arrests including that of Mr Philip Etale and we have assigned senators James Orengo and Johnstone Muthama to take up the case of Mr Etale.

The rest of our leaders must take up their roles at the polling stations and in getting out voters without any diversions or delays. We wish to put on notice those government officers behind this campaign of harassment and intimidation being meted out on ODM supporters and officials. There will be a time for each of them to carry their crosses and answer for their crimes.

For now, the best revenge is for our people to go out and cast the vote, protect the vote and defeat the evil regime. Let us not be diverted. Leaders must singly focus on this task.