You should wait for real presidency, Raila

Thursday December 7 2017

Raila Odinga

Nasa leader Raila Odinga. 

This is an open letter to Nasa leader Raila Odinga.

For many years, we have shared a common vision of change and democracy that we struggled for, under the conviction that without change, our country would stagnate and die.

Of course, as we struggled for change, others struggled for the status quo and even dictatorship.

We have been struggling for electoral power with which to actualise our vision and convictions.

Unfortunately, our struggles have been only partially successful. Our losses notwithstanding, we all continue to struggle for change that will eventually deliver desired and necessary reforms.

In pursuance of that change and further reforms, you want to be sworn in as the fifth President of Kenya on December 12, though President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in on November 28.


If you are sworn in, our dear land will have two presidents, two governments and will be in a state of war.

Kenya will be in a state of war because no country can have two armies and have peace and no country can have two presidents and not be at war.

And while your presidency will not have the legal power of the Uhuru presidency, it will be a shadow presidency that can still scare.

I beg you to continue using peaceful, legal and constitutional means to acquire the presidency. 

After South Sudan became independent after a protracted war with the north, it formed a government of two armies, one commanded by President Salva Kiir and the other by Vice-President Riek Machar, a perfect recipe for the disaster and civil war raging now.

Brother Raila, I agree with your hesitancy to be sworn in as president, which you expressed at the Nasa meeting in Maanzoni, Machakos County.

But I know some people called you a coward and urged you to agree to be sworn in. But I know you have never been cowardly.

So, when you announced that you would be sworn in on December 12, you were only agreeing with people who had disagreed with you at Maanzoni.

But if you are sworn in by a convention of the people’s assemblies, though without the force of law and Constitution, Kenya will have two governments and two presidents, with one side armed and the other unarmed.


You, other Kenyans and I should not allow this confrontation to happen in what might look like a trap. If we allow Kenya to slip into a war like it happened in Biafra and Rwanda, resulting in the deaths of millions of people, we shall bear joint and collective guilt of our collective conscience because we could have stopped this.

When we suffered detention and imprisonment for change, it was because there was no freedom to seek change.

Equally, people only go to war when they must. If reforms can be won without pain, blood and death, that is the way to go.

Some great people such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Mother Teresa offered great service to humanity without government and military might.


Only the situation of one president, however flawed, will deliver the stability and reforms that Kenya wants through a national dialogue.

But this will not be possible without you retreating from being unconstitutionally and illegally sworn in.

Because President Kenyatta has already been declared validly elected by the IEBC and sworn in by the Supreme Court, grudgingly, we must work for the reforms we want under him.

The President has invited you and other leaders to a national dialogue.

It would not be cowardice but courage were you to accept this invitation and champion dialogue for electoral and other reforms.

Before you take the grave matter of being sworn in, listen to as many voices as you can. It can help.

Mr Wamwere is a veteran politician. [email protected]