Raila’s Book: KIbaki worried more about Muthaura, not Uhuru

CaptureInitial analysis of  CORD leader Raila Odinga’s autobiography provides an interesting encounter between the two and Ocampo suggests that former president Mwai Kibaki only got worked up when former ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo called out former head of the civil service  and secretary of the cabinet Francis Muthaura.

In his autobiography, Raila Odinga – The flame of Freedom set to be launched on Sunday, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga recounts how Mr Kibaki shouted: “No, no, no! You cannot go on this way!” as the names of the Ocampo Six, the alleged masterminds of the 2007 post-election violence, were read to them.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo started by reading the names of “the Ocampo Six” and had read out the names of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta (then Finance minister), Mr William Ruto (Education) and Mr Henry Kosgey (Industrialisation).

“When Ocampo reached Muthaura, Kibaki exploded and began to protest loudly,” says Odinga.

The 1000 paged book is set to open the Odinga family, probably the most talked about political family in independent Kenya, to a public that has shown two distinctive traits towards anything Odinga- a phobia and a mania.

However, this may not be the last of Odinga’s books because it reveals very little about the 1982 coup attempt which political opponents have often used to malign the former PM as a power hungry individual. Understandably, with the kind of politicians currently in the 11th parliament, and the executive, this is not the term to discuss 1982!

“The full explanation of our efforts to bring about popular change will have to wait for another, freer, time in our country’s history. The publication of a biography of me in 2002, where the writer intimated a peripheral role for me in the coup attempt, caused a vindictive outcry – indicating that freedom of speech is, at the time I tell this, my story, as shackled as ever in our country.”

Mr Odinga becomes philosophical when recounting his life in prison — he was detained three times in nine years — noting that the crackdown on dissidents was designed to break even the strongest of spirits.

“One of the most difficult things about detention is its timelessness,” he says. “You do not know whether your release will ever come, or whether it might be tomorrow or in 10 years’ time. This can make you feel hopeless and depressed.”

The 37 chapters of the book narrate Mr Odinga’s personal, professional and public story spanning four decades and it easily intertwines with Kenya’s political history



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