Raila Odinga was born on 7 January 1945. Raila Amolo Odinga was born at Bondo Church Missionary Society Hospital, in Maseno, Kisumu District, Nyanza Province to Mary Ajuma Odinga and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (who died in January 1994).
Mr Raila Odinga is a leading Kenyan politician who served as the 2nd Prime Minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013. He is the son of the first Vice President of Kenya, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Raila Amolo Odinga draws a large chunk of his support base from most regions in Kenya, most notably the Coastal Region and his native former Nyanza province.
He is called “Agwambo”, Luo for “The Mystery” or “Unpredictable” or “Jakom”, meaning Chairman or “Baba” meaning father. Raila Odinga enjoys a fanatic following across the country with very loyal supporters who see him as the only person who can solve Kenya’s deeply rooted problems.
Raila Odinga Education Background
He studied at Kisumu Union Primary School. Then he later joined Maranda Primary and Maranda High School until 1962. Raila Odinga then went to Herder Institut, a part of the philological faculty at the University of Leipzig in East Germany. Later in he received a scholarship that in 1965 sent him to the Technical School, Magdeburg (now a part of Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg) in the GDR.
Raila graduated in 1970 with an Msc (Masters of Science) in Mechanical Engineering. While studying in East Berlin during the Cold War, as a Kenyan he was able to visit West Berlin through the Checkpoint Charlie. Raila Odinga when visiting West Berlin during that time, he used to smuggle goods not available in East Berlin and bring them to his friends in East Berlin.
Later on, he returned to Kenya in 1970. In 1971 he established the Standard Processing Equipment Construction & Erection Ltd (later renamed East African Spectre). This is a company known for manufacturing liquid petroleum gas cylinders. In 1974, Raila Amolo Odinga was appointed group standards manager of the Kenya Bureau of Standards. In 1978 he was promoted to its Deputy Director, a post he held until his 1982 detention.
When did Raila Odinga Joined Politics?
Raila was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Langata in 1992. He served as the Minister of Energy from 2001 to 2002 and as Minister of Roads, Public Works, and Housing from 2003 to 2005. He ran against incumbent Mwai Kibaki in the 2007 presidential election. Odinga was appointed Prime Minister in April 2008 in a power-sharing deal with Mwai Kibaki, after the controversial 2007 elections. This ended the post-election violence that claimed many lives and displacement of many people. As the prime minister he was responsible for Supervisor and Coordinator of a national unity coalition government.
How many times Raila Odinga Vied for President of Kenya?
Raila Odinga first ran as a presidential contender in the 1997 elections, coming third after President Daniel arap Moi of KANU and Mwai Kibaki of the Democratic Party. He contested for President again in the December 2007 elections on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket.
In 2013 he vied for presidency under CORD with Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate and lost to Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee Alliance Party.
On 27 April 2017, Raila Odinga was National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition presidential candidate for the 2017 Kenyan presidential election, with Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate. Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner however Raila Odinga petitioned the Supreme Court which made a finding that the election was not validly conducted and ordered a fresh election.
On 26th October 2017 Kenyans went for a fresh election however Raila Odinga withdrew his candidature and urged his supporters to participate in the elections. This was after the Electoral Body IEBC declined to his request for reforms within IEBC before the repeat polls as ordered by the supreme court. One of the critical reforms were that the people who bungled the elections not to preside over the new polls including the IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba and the entire IEBC secretariat.
One senior Election Commissioner Dr. Roselyn Akombe Kwamboka resigned sighting divisions between the commission and how it won’t be possible to hold credible polls with the commissions as currently constituted. The same sentiments were echoed by Wafula Chebukati, the Chairman of IEBC however he proceeded with the elections.
The elections have since elicited mixed reactions as they were marred with low voter turnout, massive boycott countrywide and controversial numbers by the IEBC chairperson. The voter turnout according to international Media was 27% while IEBC placed it at 48% then revised it to 34%. The conflicting numbers have made many question the credibility of the repeat Kenya polls. Four Counties namely Kisumu County, Migori County, Homabay County and Siaya County did not vote during the repeat polls.
2007 Kenyan Elections
ECK, the electoral body at the time results showed that Raila swept the majority of the votes in Rift Valley (Kenya’s most populous area), Western, his native Nyanza, and Coast. While Kibaki won majority votes in Nairobi (the capital), North Eastern province, Central province and Eastern province, taking 4 provinces against Raila’s 4. Raila’s ODM party got 99 out of the 210 seats in the parliament, making it the single largest party in parliament.
The ECK declared Kibaki, the winner of the presidential election by a slim margin of about 230,000 votes. Raila disputed the results, but refused to follow due process of petitioning the courts, believing that the courts were under manipulation by Kibaki and so could not give a fair and impartial hearing. ODM supporters across the country rioted against the announced election results, triggering the worst national violence in Kenya since independence.
Kriegler report, commissioned to investigate the violent aftermath of the 2007 elections and alleged vote-rigging, stated that about 1.2 million dead voters existed in the voter’s register, raising serious doubts to the integrity of the election.
Raila Amolo Odinga and Multiparty Politics in Kenya
Raila Odinga is a big name in Kenyan Politics, Africa and in the world today. He is the most decorated politician in Africa after Nelson Mandela. Many people see him as a forward-thinking and strategic leader.
He is one of the leading forces behind the democratization process of Kenya, particularly during the repressive regime of President Daniel arap Moi (1978-2002) and the lead-up to the adoption of the new Constitution (2010) that re-affirmed many formerly neglected fundamental rights.
President Kibaki did not appoint Raila Odinga as Prime Minister in the new government, contrary to a pre-election MOU. To make it worse Kibaki didnt give LDP (Raila’s faction) half of the cabinet positions as per the MOU. This betrayal precipitated disquiet which in time led to an open rebellion and a split within the cabinet and a push for a new constitution that Kibaki had promised Kenyans within his 100 days in office.
Contrary to the pre-election draft, Kibaki’s government consolidated presidential powers and weaken regional governments. Raila opposed this and went on to campaign with his LDP cabinet colleagues on the referendum ‘No’ side, opposing the President and his lieutenants in a bruising countrywide campaign. During referendum on 21 November 2005, the government lost by a 57% to 43% margin.
Embarrassingly for Kibaki,out of 8 provinces,only one ( Central Province where his tribe the Kikuyu are dominant) voted “yes”. This disappointed President Kibaki which made him sack the entire cabinet on 23 November 2005. He left out Raila and the entire LDP group.
Formation of ODM by Raila Odinga
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) was formed after this from Orange which was the symbol for the “No” vote in the constitutional referendum.
Raila’s own Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya suffered a setback In August 2007, when it split into two. Odinga becoming head of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) while the other faction, the ODM-K, was headed by Kalonzo Musyoka who parted ways with Raila.
On 27 December presidential election, Raila lost when the Electoral Commission declared Kibaki the winner on 30 December 2007, placing him ahead of Odinga by about 232,000 votes.
The protested their loss through for mass action. The government’s response was heavy-handed as it deployed police and paramilitary units to counter public protests, later violence broke out in the country. Which led to the death of about 1000 people and displacement of about 250, 000.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan brokered a power sharing deal between Kibaki and Raila Odinga which brought the violence to an end. This made Raila Odinga the second person in Kenya’s history to become Prime Minister after Jomo Kenyatta who held the position between 1963 and 1964.
Detention of Raila Odinga
During unrelenting human rights abuse by the government of President Daniel arap Moi, Raila Odinga was placed under house arrest for 7 months in 1982. He was suspected for collaborating with the plotters of a failed coup attempt against Moi. He was later charged with treason and detained without trial for six years. One of his painful moments was when the prison wardens took two months to inform him of her death in 1984.
On 6 February 1988, Raila Odinga was released only to be rearrested in September 1988 for his pro-democracy and human rights agitation at a time when the country continued to descend deeper into the throes of poor governance under the one-party state.
On 12 June 1989, Raila was released only to be incarcerated again on 5 July 1990, together with Kenneth Matiba, and former Nairobi Mayor Charles Rubia, multiparty system and human rights crusaders. on 21 June 1991 Raila was finally released and in October, he fled the country to Norway amid indications that the increasingly corrupt Kenyan government was attempting to assassinate him.
Raila Odinga Family
The Raila Odinga family lives in Karen, Nairobi and have a second home at central Farm, in Nyeri County. Raila Amolo Odinga got married to Ida Oyoo on September 1st 1973. They have four children, Fidel Castro (Born 1973, Died in 2015), Rosemary Akeyo (born 1977), Raila junior (1979) and Winnie Irmgard (1990).
Raila Odinga Children
Fidel Odinga was named after Fidel Castro. He was a businessman and a solid pillar in his father’s political endeavors. He is survived by his widow, Lwam Odinga and their son, Allay Raila Odinga.
She is a humble and a passionate educationist who works as the Director of the Raila Odinga Center. She is also involved in other business ventures. The Raila Odinga Center is dedicated to improving education standards across the country with its main program operating out of Kibera slums in Nairobi. Rosemary Odinga has interests in snail farming and is a mother to two beautiful girls, Saphie and Senayi.
Raila Odinga Jr – Junior Odinga, Raila Jr
Raila Odinga Jr, his father’s namesake, is a businessman with varied interests from energy to entertainment. He is married to Yvonne Kibukosya the daughter of Suzanne Gachukia. The Gachukias (Suzanne’s Parents) are the properties of Riara Group of Schools.
Winnie was named after Winnie Mandela. She serves as the Director of Green Outreach Foundation Africa, an initiative centered around renewable energy to meet the emerging demands of the modern-day world. Winnie Odinga is also a professional photographer. She studied Communication and International Area Studies as a double major student at Drexel University in Philadelphia
Raila Odinga net worth
Its estimated that Raila is one of the top 10 richest people in Kenya.
Raila Odinga Contacts
The Raila Odinga Facebook page
Raila Odinga Twitter Handle
The Raila Odinga Website