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RAILA’S BID TO THE AU COMMISSION CHAIR: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW?

By Charles Okech,

Some call him Baba others call him the Enigma, but his true name is Raila Amollo Odinga. A man

whose playbook in Kenya’s politics shall be forever referenced by those who seek to immerse

themselves in it. From spearheading the second liberation movement to championing a new

constitution while maintaining a degree of relevance at every interval of Kenyan politics, the

alluded man is set to go after the realms of rulership. This follows his declaration of interest in the

post of chairperson of the African Union’s Commission on the 15th of February,2023.

As expected, when a man of such magnitude makes any movement, it often comes with a lot of

speculative or factual rhetoric. To accelerate factuality, this article comes in handy to access

comments made, and discuss the office of the AU chairperson and what the future could hold when

it comes to Kenya’s second prime minister ascending to that office. To begin with, we access

comments made by UDA’s South Nyanza Coordinator Mr. Kennedy Ondiek at Citizen TV’s

daybreak program, suggesting that at the election of Raila to the post, he must align himself to the

Kenya Kwanza’s policies and Kenya’s Foreign policy.

Indeed this assertion is non-factual, merely based that on the fact the African Union Chairperson

is not a diplomat of his home country but is the highest official of the AU Commission and works

best for the interests and values of the commission and shows no biasness to any of the member

states. Furthermore, Siaya County Governor James Orengo has gone on record saying that the

office of the chairperson will not deter the former prime minister from participating in Kenyan

politics. In accessing this, there is some fact to this while at the same time there is a sense of

contradiction as to the expected performance of the office bearer of the chairperson of the AU

commission.

It is first and foremost important to emphasize that the office of the chairperson is politically

neutral, hence the engagements of the chairperson must be done neutrally. In the event, that Raila

is to make a word on Kenyan politics once elected, he is going to do that from a neutral standpoint

which shall be guided by facts but not by his personal political belief of Kenyan politics.

Furthermore, Kenyan political parties such as the ruling party UDA have come out to endorse

Raila’s candidature for the seat. While this could be a good play by the ruling part, it does not

influence much the chances of a Kenyan in the name of Raila to get the seat.

However, what shall be of importance going forward, is to watch how Nigeria’s former President

Obasanjo uses his regional political muscle to steer Raila to the office of Chairperson by lobbing

different capitals in the continent to vote in his favor. While at the same time watching how

President William Ruto will use his African glory to help Raila ascend to that coveted seat.

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