It is easy to conclude that Raila Odinga takes credit for far too many things, not least the famous “Kibaki Tosha” which, truly, came at a time when Raila and his group of New KANU rebels had nowhere else to go and no choice but to endorse a decision that Wamalwa, Kibaki and Ngilu had already arrived at.
Raila’s supporters are loath to hear any suggestion that his “Kibaki anatosha” call at Uhuru Park on October 14, 2002, was not the decisive clincher that thrust Kibaki to the Presidency.
The excitement that was generated by the other key opposition candidates selecting one leader on September 18, really left the rebounding Rainbow rebels with no choice but to join NAK since, in a simple game of numbers, Simeon Nyachae’s Ford-People was destined to go nowhere even if the Rainbow rebels had joined it.
As Charles Hornsby avers ( In ‘Kenya: A History Since Independence,’ page 680):
“In reality, there was little choice. Inside NAK, Wamalwa and Ngilu had already conceded. From the LDP, Saitoti lacked a mass following. The opposition needed a senior Kikuyu politician to avoid a rout in Central Province, and the choice of Odinga would have divided both the nation and alliance, since most Kikuyus would have joined an ‘anyone but Raila’ party at the drop of a hat.”
And as to why Raila never ran on his own under LDP to challenge Moi’s choice and Kibaki at the ballot in the way that Nyachae did, is a no brainer. He was going to lose and he needed to be on the winning side and humiliate KANU.
EDITORIAL NOTE: This article is an excerpt from Dr. Joyce Nyairo’s masterpiece, ‘KENYA @50: TRENDS, IDENTITIES AND THE POLITICS OF BELONGING.’