Mr. Raila Odinga is the present Prime Minister of Kenya and his followers fondly call him “Agwambo”, meaning ‘mysterious’ in his native language. His father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga served as the first Vice President of Kenya. Raila Odinga is presently serving in the Grand Coalition Government. Since 1992, Odinga was a Member of Parliament for Langata Constituency. In addition to this, from the year 2001 to 2002, Mr. Odinga was serving the energy sector as the Minister, along with serving as the Minister of Roads, Public Works and Housing from 2003 to 2005.
Mr. Odinga has struggled a lot to be where he is at the moment. He has a vision for Kenya and its people. He wants to transform the current political scenario of Kenya for the better. He wants to bring Kenya to the forefront in the world map. With his eyes set for the right kind of revolution, Odinga wants to strike out the evils of corruption, nepotism and tribalism from his country Kenya. And he is finding the support from the people, who consider him as fearless and just the right kind of Prime Minister to bring Kenya to the modern age.
After finishing his early education from Komulu School, Kisumu and Maranda School, Banda, Mr. Odinga set out for his secondary education at the Herder-Institut, Leipzig. He learned German language and in 1965, he got the opportunity to study at Magdeburg College of Advanced Technology with the help of a scholarship. He graduated with a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering.
In the year 1970, Mr. Odinga returned to Kenya and joined the University of Nairobi where he taught for four years. During that time, there was an uprising among the people for the political change and Mr. Odinga was keenly involved in the movement. Kenya at that time was run by one-party system and people were trying to restore the political pluralism. In this connection, in the year 1982, Mr. Odinga was detained for showing his support in bringing the change. During the detention period, Mr. Odinga was confined to isolation and callous conditions. He was detained again for two more years after being released. It was in the year 1991, Mr.Orlando finally saw the light at the tunnel as he was released but his life was under constant threat. So therefore he went to Norway where he stayed in exile and he was granted political asylum for four months. But soon afterward, he returns to Kenya, and under his headship The Forum for the Restoration of Democracy was founded. It has stood up to be the first new political party which was registered subsequent to the multiparty state in Kenya.
Mr. Odinga’s battle against the political system gained momentum when the government finally introduced the multiparty democracy. Mr. Odinga was never disheartened despite being detained for nearly 1o years all along leading the life of an exile. Mr. Odinga showed his commitment and worked towards the reformation and promotion of justice, equality, prosperity and progress for the betterment of his country.
In the year, 2007 Raila stood for the General Elections and he gain momentous support from the people. Though he was chosen for the Presidential Candidate but another candidate named Kibaki won the majority in Eastern Province and defeated Raila. Although his party, ODM got the majority votes which helped it to come out triumphantly and the party was declared as the party with the majority votes, 99 out of 120 seats, among all the other parties which stood for the election. However, Raila’s opponent Kibaki was chosen as the President amongst controversies, and the election commission was accountable for the fraud. Nevertheless, Odinga declined to present an election petition before the courts by taking the help of the legal system. The outcome of the election results were seen where huge supporters of ODM across the country came out to the street and protested against the election results.
Mr. Odinga has now took up the responsibility of a Prime Minister along with sharing the roles of an Executive with President Kibaki. This agreement has been brought upon by the international community. Mr.Odinga has imbibed in him the values of justice and equality from his father Jaramogi. Mr. Odinga has been actively involved in the fight against poor governance, poverty, disease and ignorance– menaces which has been hampering the lives of the Kenyan for centuries.
The African Leadership Forum is being immensely benefited by Mr. Odinga’s membership, who is also functioning as a resource person with the help of the US International Republican Institute. It has been helping many African nations, like Burundi, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe etc in resolving conflict and working towards creating better democracy. Mr.Odinga’s uphill struggle in bringing back Kenya from the verge of catastrophe and restoring peace in the country was recognized by the University of Nairobi and in the year 2008, Mr. Odinga was awarded with the prestigious honorary doctorate by the university.
The Kenyan society needs a leader who remains committed to the goal- the goal of leading Kenya to the path of progress. Mr. Odinga is the right person who is committed to the in-depth constitutional and institutional reforms, in promoting justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity to the Kenya society. He has the support of his followers who trust him as much as he trusts himself. In him ingrained the qualities of a hands-on Prime Minister and can be the President whom Kenya wishes to have, to fix the unfixed.