Home International NewsAfrica Why Museveni never wanted Raila Odinga to be Kenya president

Why Museveni never wanted Raila Odinga to be Kenya president

by Odongo Christopher

ODM Leader Raila Amolo Odinga at a past function [Source/bbc.com]
In his book The Flame of Freedom, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Raila Odinga explains his relationship with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

According to the book, the relationship between the two leaders was marred with mistrust.

It is recorded that Raila rejected Museveni’s offer to mediate in the crisis that emerged after the controversial 2007 presidential election.

The African Union Special Envoy had no trust in the Head of State and never wanted him anywhere near Former President Mwai Kibaki.

He believed that Museveni could not be trusted to be a neutral person in the mediation. Odinga compelled the Ugandan leader to return to Uganda when he arrived in the country for the talks.

“He (Museveni) had come on his own, but we thought he was conspiring with Kibaki. He had called me prior to leaving Uganda and told me Kibaki had said he could come, asking me if I had any objection, to which I said no,” wrote Mr Odinga.

Makerere University political historian Mwambutsya Ndebesa tried to give an explanation on why Museveni was not ready for Raila’s presidency. He argued that Museveni felt Raila was an ambitious and fearless leader.

He adds that Museveni felt Raila was a threat to his government. He further said that Museveni was not ready to be threatened by any leader in the Eastern African region.

Raila had packaged himself as a pan Africanist and champion of political reforms in African, which left Museveni an unhappy man.

A communications scholar at the University of Nairobi, Dr Dismas Mokua argues that Raila felt that Museveni is an opportunity and wanted to take advantage of the situation in Kenya to remain relevant in the political arena.

“Mr Odinga also perceives President Museveni as a reserved leader who slithers in whenever he sees an opportunity to maximise on hence his desire to always tackle him head-on,” said Dr Mokua.

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