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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Was That Really Raila Odinga On NTV Spotlight?

Supporters of ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga are still in shock after watching a man who appeared to be the candidate being interviewed on the popular NTV “On The Spot” TV show yesterday.

The man stammered, looked tired and almost withdrawn and was a far cry from the usual Raila Odinga that Kenyans have gotten used to.

Further enquiries by this blogger revealed that the NTV performance was not the only time that supporters of the man have gotten worried. In an address to ODM supporters in South Africa a few weeks ago, a source tells me that those who attended the meeting were surprised and disappointed that the man just repeated himself and did not say anything new or relevant to the particular function.

Clearly all is not well with the ODM presidential candidate.

One theory puts it down to the extreme pressure the presidential candidate has been putting himself under in recent times. Kenyans have seen Raila arrive from an overseas trip during the day, only to realize during the 9 pm TV new bulletin that he also made it to a political rally in some far flung area of the country. It seems that this kind of pressure is finally taking its’ toll on the presidential candidate. Experts advice that he should be careful to take enough rest and to limit his public engagements from now on.

Interestingly the Nation On the Spot series to discuss the various party manifestos are being held in the residence of the candidates and the previous day, show presenter Judy Gichuru visited Hoo Ndii Emm candidate Kalonzo Musyoka’s home. If points were to be awarded for performance of candidates, then there would be no doubt that Musyoka performed much better than his ODM counterpart.

But governance and corruption lobby personalities are even more brutal with their criticism of Raila. Many of them who have so far considered this candidate the most attractive in terms of addressing governance issues are now disappointed that he seems to have considerably toned down his stance towards fighting corruption. Interestingly PNU did not bother to address corruption in its’ manifesto and the fear is that what happened to President Kibaki is now happening to Raila even before he gets to State House.

My worries over the issue of our presidential candidates goes even deeper. It is now clear that the scenes playing before our eyes are beginning to bear an uncanny resemblance to the events of 2002 shortly before the National Rainbow Coalition shot into power. Top on my list of concerns is the fact that no presidential candidate is addressing the issue of how they are going to finance their various grand schemes. When asked that question by Judy Gichuru last night, Raila gave the exact answer I heard Mwai Kibaki give in 2002. He said that there was a lot of money going to waste via corruption and that by stopping corruption the cash will be diverted to foot the rather hefty bills related to the promises given so far. We have not even heard a single convincing explanation on how corruption is going to be dealt with by either ODM or ODM-K which would make PNU the most sincere political party when it comes to this issue since they have chosen not even to talk about it.


Anonymous said...

I watched the show and I thought his performance was very good ?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Anonymous said...

The guy is ok, only that he works alot with less sleep. That task i must admit is hard. They meet during day and night. thats why.... but he is doing good and we expect him to win.

Anonymous said...

Raila articulated himself very well, although towards the end he was showing signs of fatigue. Did any notice Julie Gichuru almost breaking down when she talked about Ida Odinga's compassion for the poor ? She was literally balancing tears

Prince Charming said...

I believe that is your opinion and can not even influence those who did not watch the show. I watched the entire bit of the show and I don't agree with you at all. He may have stummered but he answered all the questions fielded to him very well. We even know why by passes have been stalled and why the slum upgrade project never took off and the same persons who frustrated the projects are the same ones who are asking why Kibera slums exist.

Anonymous said...

I watched the whole programme and felt he did quite well. In fact i have seen some other comments to the effect that the presenter, Julie Gichuru was soft on him.

Bobo Youth said...

During 2002 general elections when he was campaigning for Kibaki, Raila dossed off during a press conference. He attended less talk shows during the same period.

If he is able to attend a talk show and still articulate issues during this hectic period yet he spends sleepless nights campaigning and meeting supporters, it is a plus for him.

Bobo Youth said...

Has Kibaki ever attended a talk show? He is an inaccessible president.

Secondly, PNU is DP glossed in blue uniforms. The same individuals who were calling the shots in DP have now taken full control of PNU. That's why Njoki Ndung'u could not withstand DP's smelly air

Anonymous said...

I also feel that the post is not a reflection of what happened on the show.Just because raila was not vigorously nodding his head,laughing and talking in a high pitched voice does not mean that he did not properly articulate issues.

He did.... and I think he should be given credit for all his hard work and his hands on approach.

However I do agree that he needs a four day holiday....I propose Mauritius.

antonio said...

Pity that guys commenting are chosing to be blind and bring irrelevant issues to the discussion.
Kumekucha is quite pro-Raila so have to give him props for been able to give constructive criticism to his candidate.
I will start with the host..i think Julie does not have what it takes to be a political talk show host so we never get value for our time watching these so-called interviews.
Having said that i was disappointed by Raila.He was passionless and boring..quite unlike him.
As for his policies:
1.The cash for the needy is idealistic way of dealing with inequality and i trash it wholly.Questions are who decides the needy?how is it distributed?who pays for it?
2.Energy policy-i give him marks for thinking outside the box..wind,solar,geo-thermal,bio-mass need to be considered ASAP.
3.Roads issue-dual carriageway from msa to malaba is great but did not hear figures just general "we will have toll stations and private concession to companies."
4.De-congesting nairobi-he will move govt offices out of does that help?by-passes are great but from his description they are meant to cater for the outlaying traffic(trucks from msa etc)so question is how does he address the traffic going into the city?i did not hear of an overall metropolitan transport policy!The statement about construction of a flyover from nyayo stadium to westlands was hilarious.julie should have asked cost projection,cash projection,viability and time frame but to me am wondering how is that a priority?!!!!
5.Rail-great ideas such as the daily trains to msa,ksm,nanyuki and the idea to connect nakuru to juba would bring alot of revenue.but again no figures to back it for the electric train....i laughed so hard!
5.Corruption-no ideas no policy only talked of what kibaki did not do!
6.Free secondary-no figures of how to fund just his usual line of 30B stolen which he will recover and use!
7.Majimbno-instead of explaining to me who does not understand what ODM majimbo means he started complaing of how PNU are doing propaganda!Then he says power will be devolved to a 'unit' which he didn't specify..and i thought what the hell!he is the president in waiting and he has not decided how majimbo will work?!and this is the so-called differentiating factor?!
If elections in Kenya were decided on issues then Raila Odinga should not even be a contender because how can a presidential candidate with a month to elections do an interview and at the end of one hour i as a voter do not have a single quantifiable attribute i can ascribe to you as to why i should vote for you?
Pity in Kenya its all about tribe and euphoria coz if Raila is the change then i do not know what change means!
How i wish we would all wake and realize all these so-called leaders are not our salvation.
I heard this recently and i think it summarises our predicament..Kenya kuna mafuriko ya wanasiasa na ukame wa viongozi!

Shanel Wetola said...

The fact that he has such a busy schedule and he can still manage to articulate issues the way he did, makes me convinced that we shall vote in the best candidate.
If at all Kibaki has ruled for 5years yet he is not as energetic and vibrant like Raila. Then Raila is best suited. The problem now with some Kenyans is that they are overexpecting from Raila because he has always been the best. Relax.

Anonymous said...

Where is Raila? He left our shores on Monday without saying goodbye.

It is rumoured that Raila has gone to meet representatives of Energem Resources, a company which owns 55% of Spectre International (the company that owns Kisumu Molasses plant). Presumbaly he's gone to get more campaign funds from them, possibly in return for a promise to hand them the Kenya Pipeline Company if and when he comes to power?

The reference to Kenya Pipeline Company in the ODM manifesto is very conspicuous. Having opposed the privatization of Kengen, Telkom and Safaricom, why now is Raila saying very clearly that he will privatize Kenya Pipeline Company if he is elected president?


Anonymous said...

To Antonia,

It is impossible to wake up a man who pretends to be sleeping. You are such a man.


Anonymous said...

To Antonio

i think by the time yu will be awake, we shall be having a new Prezzo in the name of Raila... go to sleep will u.

Mundumwami said...

i beg to differ a little bit but these dream Raila speaks of is not his but what deep inside us we consider the national challenge. For it to be achieved it will need our effort and commitment since after all we are the financiers and the workers. But lets face it every great effort needs direction, inspiration, and leadership which he wants to offer and not the end result. Martin L King Jr once said darkness cannot drive away darkness only light can, hate cannot drive away hate only love can. Therefore even as we approach the elections nothing is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. The ultimate victory will not be my candidate won but where we will stand in future and and we will narrate to uor grandchildren how we overcame thse challanges and controversies. The future is not in ten yrs time but one day at a time just as as we age. We have seen the past and we know when you have an elephant by its hind legs and he is trying to run away its best to let him run since no man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.

bloggeratti said...

I didnt watch the show, but Chris's post and the numerous comments point to one fact I've always articulated. ODM has a damn good PR machine. I'd liken ODM to the mexican/phillipines soap operas that are so popular on Kenyan TV - it has lots of drama, but very little substance. Grand ideas but little to back it up.

On the interview:
If Hon. Raila faltered once or twice on national TV, that's a huge minus. Julie Gichuru comes across more like a damsel-in-distress than a hard hitting journalist. It's hard to be at loss for words with Julie considering she always pussy-foot's around her charges! Lord help Raila if it were good-old Louie Otieno.

Vee said...

I watched the show and I think he was more believable than Kalonzo who took us round in circles and always missing to answer the key question - how will you fund all your great suggestions.

Anonymous said...

I think Raila did very well. For someone with his schedule, he did well. I dare Kibaki to try giving an interview and all we will be hearing will be inecessant repetion of development, development, development which only his friends have felt.

Vee said...

Actually since Kalonzo & Raila have spoken to us on TV is Kibaki too large and out of reach for him to come talk to the TV public? Really we'd like to hear specifically what he intends to do.

Anonymous said...

Raila has always been sleeping even in parliament! He makes contradictory comments about himslef and his colleagues..Just wait and see the way that guy is going to tumble down before the election period. The religious issue of signing MOU's, the running mate of Musalia (whom Raila has always accussed to be chief architech of goldenberg..e.t.c) will bring him down to a bitter loose. Raila will be his won enemy, I have no doubt about that!


Yvonne said...

Pls that was the best i ever got from that dude. Pls dont subject Kibaki to that....the guy is a hands off fellow.. Economist only know how to work they cant articulate their ideas.
Antonio, i didn't hear you ask where all the money will come from in 2002 but at least some changes were done.. So relax na kazi iendelee

aoriri said...

Attacking a civilian American political consultant Mr. Morris by Kibaki and allies was sad, embarrassing and primitive. The man should have been accorded respectful treatment and protection under the laws of Kenya . Britain and other countries used his services to run their campaigns successfully in spite of their knowledge of his affair with the woman. I wonder what would happen to our politicians if all are subjected to same moral laws especially extramarital affair as a litmus test for public office as in some countries.
This un-orthodox and cheap methods used by PNU and the President to demonize Raila, ODM and everyone associated with him is evil. PNU are now joined by the representative of selected evangelical churches whose role in election politics is welcome and relevant especially in questioning the MoU between Raila and the Muslims unfortunately, those leaders did not seek an audience with either Raila or the Muslim leaders find out the truth but went to the press reading the PNU script not knowing that their the President had signed a similar document in 2002. I wonder whose side they are serving. Certainly not not Christ or Muiru!
My fellow ministers have done dis-service for not questioning the authenticity of their information about Raila before crucifying him. One thing you cannot criticize Raila for is TRUTH.

I am surprised at the length some people can go to assassinate one another character. There is an email circulating around the globe online, the message is Kenyans must stop following Raila. He is not a Christian and bent to destroy Kenya using Muslims. The email targets Christians to pray against Raila campaign because his is a danger to the country’s progress. The email was sent to some members of my church including my wife. How low can we go! It breaks my heart hear Raila being referred to as a devil worshipper simply because he is running for the office of the presidency. What happened to the Raila “the warrior”—-not long ago the Kikuyus had referred to as ‘warrior’ (njama) while in central province. I trust those voices will rise again and shame these negative voices of from PNU.
Mr. President, before you throw the first stone on Morris or anyone as ask yourself, how many times have I or my cabinet members left the country to attend medical treatment in Britain or other counties when I know very well that Kenya has excellent doctors? Some of those PNU casting stones at Raila & ODM frequently fly overseas to purchase items that can be bought locally and cheaply including yourself sir.
Dick Morris is a professional political consultant with international experience in elections politics. He is not taking any funds from Kenya and it would have been nice for PNU to take this as a challenge in competitive politics.
Attacking the way done is shocking and sad. And by the way could HOn. Tuju or Hon. Michuki tell Kenyans about the Armenians profession or work they did in Kenya (Artus & bro.)?
Mr. President we are praying for a peaceful and civil election where all Kenyans become winners. And it could have been nice for Minister Kimunya to let us know something about Anglo leasing or other alledged financial in my recollection foreigners were involved.

And finally to Dr. Mutiso ( evangelical churches leader) should seek the truth no matter where it leads and in this case you have betrayed your calling. Raila is not the problem but corruption, mismanagement and lack of respect of the laws, who best represent truth, justice and mercy?.... Political campaigns are about promises which some people honour and other don't. Kibaki to has failed except for the economy which if you look at some of our african countries then our perfomance is bismal in comarison to countries such as mozambique with above 20% economic growth rate. And by the way Kibaki signed the same MoU with Moslems in 2002but so far i have not heard your voice the way it came against Raila

Odoyo Oriri (Rev)
CEO, ACA Incorporated

Anonymous said...

I strongly feel that the only way Kenya will move ahead is if we stop voting along tribal lines and vote for the candidate who will improve the economy, improve health care services, improve the education system, improve the infrastucture, eradicate corruption and create more job opportunities. After all having lived away from home, I have now learned to identify myself as a Kenyan.


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