Does Raila Odinga understand the pain and sacrifices of a Kenyan soldier?

If there is one person who is thrilled by Raila Odinga’s comics dominated speeches, then that’s me.

Those football match narrations preceded by a kitendawili leave you with no doubt that the scion of Jaramogi is a man who possesses unmatched charisma.

Unfortunately, all my admiration and respect for Baba fades away the moment he takes to a podium and initiates a spirited attack against those who direly need the support and encouragement of every true Kenyan patriot each day; our men and women in uniform.

Several times in the past, Raila has directed the blame of his inability to capture the presidency towards our forces and once again this week, he called a press conference at his Capitol Hill office to allege that there are Kenya Defence Forces personnel currently being trained at the Embakasi barracks on how to rig him out during the August 8th Elections.

Definitely, Raila’s allegations are baseless, unfounded and malicious.

But I won’t dwell on that for now.

Instead, I seek to understand whether the NASA presidential candidate is really aware of what it means to be a soldier.

Has he ever taken time to reflect on the invaluable sacrifices those – fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters – in service make to keep him and all of us safe, before making such reckless remarks?

It’s one thing to play politics and try to pull all available stunts to win an election, it’s another to have the audacity to malign those who put even their own lives on the line to safeguard our hard earned sovereignty.

The moment Raila invites a battery of journalists and confidently accuses our disciplined forces of being part of an imaginary scheme to propagate impunity, he leaves me wondering whether he really understands what it means to put on that uniform, grab a gun and go to war whose origin you can barely trace.

As he confidently accuses our forces of being part of a non-existent scheme allegedly engineered to interfere with the electoral process, is Raila conversant with the anxiety that grips a newly wedded Chepkoech whose husband leaves her and ventures into an unknown territory for a mission; never sure whether he will come back alive?

Does Raila really understand the pain of Atieno who sees off her only son as he heads to battle which she isn’t sure he will survive? Has any of Ida Odinga’s children been to a battlefield in the first place? Can she even allow her only surviving son, Raila Jnr to put on a combat, pick a firearm and go to the battlefield that is Kismayu even for a single day?

Does Raila comprehend the pain and struggles of Kitili who spends most of his 20s and probably his 30s in the middle of nowhere, fighting a war whose end he can’t​ foretell?

Does Raila understand the pain of 13 year old Wambui whose dad is never there to guide her teenage life because he is thousands of miles away trying to safeguard what our forefathers paid the ultimate price for?

Does Raila know the panic that hits Moraa who one day wakes up to news that the camp of the battalion to which her husband of merely three years was attached has been over run by the Al Shabaab somewhere in Somalia?

Does Raila really identify with the pain and agony that hits an ordinary Kenyan family when their sole breadwinner and their only hope is brought home in a casket draped with a Kenyan flag yet he left them alive and healthy?

Does Raila Odinga really understand?

Yes, Agwambo might want to be president; and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, attempts to discredit our soldiers so that he can achieve his own selfish goals is the biggest show of disrespect for those brave Kenyans who lost their lives in the line of duty in Magburaka, Sierra Leone in 2000, El Adde Somalia in 2016 and in all other less publicized instances.