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The man stammered, looked tired and almost withdrawn and was a far cry from the usual Raila Odinga that Kenyans have gotten used to.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