Raila Odinga: From sworn enemy to Uhuru’s most trusted political ally
Raila Odinga’s new-found status within the Jubilee government remains as mysterious as it is intriguing.
Just 16 months back, the opposition leader was an outcast, political rival, and sworn enemy to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He would barely be spotted near any government office.
The ruling party’s MPs and senior government officials, including President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, all took turns to have a go at him in public.
How things have changed.
Nairobi News takes a close look at the rebranded Raila Odinga.
1. On Wednesday, Odinga announced he had hosted Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia. That meeting, Odinga clarified, was meant to brief him on the preparations being undertaken for the upcoming International Youth Day.
2. On Tuesday, Odinga had put out a statement on Twitter confirming his meeting with officials from the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Development Authority. In the meeting, Odinga said, he was ‘briefed’ on the mega project which consists of seven key infrastructure projects in the region.
3. On July 23, Odinga confirmed he had hosted the Chairman of the National Police Service Commission, Eluid Kinuthia, who was accompanied by Commissioner Dr Alice Otwala.
“We had a discussion regarding the key role they play as an institution in furtherance of their constitutionally mandated functions,” said Odinga.
4. On July 11, Odinga received a briefing from officials of the Strategic Food Reserve Trustee Fund on the food situation in the country with a particular reference to maize.
5. On June 19, the opposition leader met with stakeholders in the forestry sector and discussed interventions aimed at increasing forest cover in Kenya including engaging County Governments.
6. In April this year, Odinga accompanied President Kenyatta to China to attend the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) forum.