Raila toilet talk diminishes own stature

Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s toilet story has not only stunned many but served to undermine the personality of a man who, only a year ago, was regarded as an alternative to President Mwai Kibaki.

Speaking at the coastal city of Mombasa, Raila told a public gathering that he had been allocated a smaller toilet than what the President would have been given. Raila was visibly angry at the absence of the Coast Provincial Commissioner at the launch of the National Oceans and Fisheries Policy.

The statements have left Kenyans wondering how someone of Raila’s stature can engage in petty quarrels and in public. But Raila was not done: he went on to insult President Kibaki as “primitive.” Raila further said that the President is operating in a “Jua Kali” manner. The term Jua Kali is a Swahili phrase used to denote informal businesses such as hawking and roadside contractors.

Nowhere else on earth will a Prime Minister or senior government official get away with such remarks. Not only are such statements a sign of insolence but are treasonable in certain countries. However, with Kibaki’s weak leadership, Raila is unlikely to lose his job. What he has lost though is much respect from people who once admired him.

“If you hate your job so much, why not resign?” is the question in the minds of many.

“Did we vote for you so that you can ride big cars, walk on red carpets and get exquisite toilets?” others are asking.

Last Saturday, with the collapse of the Kilaguni talks, Raila’s ODM party denied claims by Kibaki allies concerning pettiness on the part of the Prime Minister and his handlers.

Apparently, ODM was not happy with accommodation arrangements that put the Prime Minister in a hotel room far from the President. Other claims indicate that ODM functionaries were miffed that they were getting smaller mattresses and blankets than their PNU counterparts.

At the time, everybody dismissed the claims as a fabrication aimed at soiling Raila’s reputation but yesterday, Kenyans heard it from his own mouth. The real reason behind his grievances against Kibaki lie in the fact that he is not getting the recognition he feels he deserves.

“I am the Prime Minister and President Kibaki should be courteous enough to consult me as his partner in this coalition … it makes me feel embarrassed before the public when he contradicts or makes decisions of national importance without my knowledge,” said the Prime Minister.

Kenyans are fast getting disillusioned with the Grand Coalition of President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The country is facing serious challenges in the form of raging famine, persons displaced by ethnic clashes, an out-of-control police force and a diminishing international reputation. At the moment, Uganda has virtually annexed a Kenyan island with little response by the Kenya government. The country is adrift, floating in the big bad world without direction and waiting for the next storm to hit.

As the people suffer in hunger, disease, poverty and crime, the leaders are busy fighting it out for limousines, red carpets and … toilets.

What a pity.


With reports by the Daily Nation and Standard newspapers.


4 Responses

  1. The issue is not about toilets…..its this…if govt officials on the ground (eg the PC) dont take the time to erect a tent and welcome the country’s prime minister..then it shows that they have no respect for the office….but of course its not them personally ..they have been ordered not to welcome the PM.

    Another thing , Kibaki cant fire Raila. According to the accord if ODM leaves govt…the govt collapses and we go straight for elections

  2. This sounds like biased reporting that this kind of paper is famous for… no wonder you dont make to main stream

  3. We Kenyans are being held to ransom by this two individuals, Kibaki and Raila bickering,waste of government resources, corruption ,flamboyancy, tribalism….In a nutshell they are just a bout the most disgusting individuals….It,s time to move on..?

    Read Full article on http://MadMoran@Blogpost.com

  4. It may well be true that if ODM leaves the government, there must be fresh elections. But then, we don’t have an electoral commission, we don’t have returning officers and clerks. Only the chair of the Independent Interim Electoral Commission has been nominated. Therefore, ODM cannot really walk out, assuming they even wanted to.

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