When he was appointed African Union’s envoy in October last year, a host of Kenyans were sceptical about the significance of Raila Odinga’s new assignment, with others even dismissing the development as a ploy to politically neutralise the Opposition leader.
But the recently concluded 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa may well have changed this perception.
During the two-day event, Mr Odinga joined African leaders in deliberations in the Ethiopian capital.
Complete with a golden circular badge on his coat lapel, reserved only for participating heads of state and high-profile guests including United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader savoured his moment as VVIP at the Addis Ababa event.
From the “high table”, he mingled freely and shared hearty moments with continental leaders, a factor that quickly prompted teasers on social media that Kenya was represented at the Addis Ababa event by “two presidents” — Mr Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.