Raila compares the African Union to fish with a rotten head


Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga

The African Union is not doing enough to fulfil its democratisation mandate, Cord leader Raila Odinga has said.

Mr Odinga took issue with the performance of the union at a time it was attempting to form a court to try leaders accused of crimes against humanity.

Pundits say formation of the court is an attempt to have charges facing Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court dropped.

The DP is charged alongside radio journalist Joshua arap Sang.

“In my community, we say a fish begins to rot in the head. I’m not sure the AU’s head is fresh,” Mr Odinga said.

He was speaking at the Serena Hotel on Monday during the launch of the memoirs of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The books, My Watch, have been banned in Nigeria due their criticism of the Goodluck Jonathan government.

Mr Obasanjo details his struggles as a military chief. As an army strongman, he organised an election and handed power to Shehu Shagari, a civilian, in 1979.

“We could not launch the memoirs in Nigeria in the most ordinary way. We had to do a public presentation. We have been accused of contempt of court because some people wanted to block their publication,” Mr Obasanjo said.

The autobiography My Watch is published in volumes. The first gives a preview of the retired general’s early life and his path to the military while the second volume is an anecdote of his political and public life. The third volume is a “now and then” story.

Mr Obasanjo hosted top Cord leaders and former presidential hopefuls Peter Kenneth and Musalia Mudavadi. He said the continent was rich in political history.

“There is always something to learn. Each African country can do better that they are already doing,” Mr Obasanjo said. He admitted making mistakes during his rule but insisted was not lost.
“We were consistent in doing some things right because we loved our country,” he said.

Mr Obasanjo who went down in history as the only man to lead a country as military and civilian ruler in two non-consecutive terms praised former South African President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu for their role in his country’s return to democracy.



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