Their fathers were once political allies, however after just two years they broke apart.They had a good dig at themselves and eventually headed into the graves, now let’s see how the rivalry unfolds.
Jomo Kenyatta also known as senior Kenyatta became the first president of Kenya post-independence in 1964, whiles senior Odinga served as the vice president at that time.
Kenyatta was noted to be ideologically capitalist whiles Odinga was seen to be the socialist.
Years into their political lives in 1966, Odinga gave up his seat as vice president and turned out to be a fierce opposition to senior Kenyatta. Today in Kenya, he is noted to be the doyen of opposition. Well, he tried on several occasions to get into the state house but was unsuccessful.
Senior Keynatta died in 1978, and then 16 years later, Odinga followed. The old men passed on and their sons took over; Raila Odinga, son of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Jomo Kenyatta.
Raila Odinga, the 72-year-old son of Kenya’s first vice-president, has run for the presidency of Kenya and failed on three occasions, in 1997, 2007 and 2013. In 2007, there were alleged reports of election rigging which resulted in some heavy conflict which led to 1,400 people losing their lives.
Eventually, the matter was resolved and Odinga was made ceremonial Prime Minister and interestingly, Kenyatta was made President. However, Odinga was later summoned before the International Criminal Court(ICC) for the conflict in 2007 after his tenure of office as Prime Minister was over.
Fast forward to 2013, the sons of the founders of Kenya renewed the long aged rivalry. Raila Odinga at age 68 contested the 55 year old Uhuru Kenyatta who was then sitting President and lost by a rather close margin. Kenyatta reached the 50 percent needed to avoid a run-off by winning 6,173,433 votes out of more than 12.3 million cast. Odinga won 5,340,546 votes, 43.3 percent in an election contested by eight candidates. About 8,000 votes pushed Kenyatta above the 50-percent mark. The turnout, at 86 percent, was the highest ever in Kenya’s history. Odinga as usual, believed the election was rigged.
Just when it looked like that was the end of the long standing opposition leader, he has emerged again as the main contender against Kenyatta in the 2017 general election, and this time round, the other parties have formed an alliance and Raila Odinga has been chosen as the leader of the alliance; National Super Alliance.
However, there is a determined effort to oust one of the longest serving political parties in the history of Kenya. The road to the state house has been a rough one, Kenyatta is said to have called the Odinga a “mad man” and Kenyatta’s vice has also had his bite calling him a “witch doctor angry for power”. On the part of Odinga, he has described Kenyatta’s administration as “irredeemably corrupt”.
A defeat for Kenyatta will make him the only first term president of Kenya unlike his predecessors who enjoyed up to a second term, and it will also be crowning moment of the longstanding rivalry between the two families.
Odinga will finally get a stint at presidency after three unsuccessful attempts. A defeat shall surely end the long standing rivalry and Odinga shall end his political career just as his father who was never able to clinch that Presidential seat.
Who is Raila Odinga?
- Aged 72, son of Kenya’s first Vice-President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga
- Nicknamed Agwambo (act of god) by supporters
- Trained as medical engineer in former East Germany
- MP for Africa’s biggest slum, Kibera, for 20 years
- Plotted coup in 1982
- Holds record for being Kenya’s longest-serving detainee
- Also for switching political parties – currently standing for Nasa