How Raila's Joblessness Forced Him Into Politics

  • Raila Odinga adjusting an ODM-branded cap.
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  • Most Kenyans have come to respect Raila's indomitable role in Kenya's politics today but very few are aware that he pursued the venture accidentally.

    A report by Daily Nation detailed that the former premier had no choice because his family was out of work and so he decided to pursue politics.

    The publication further reported that, following the fallout between the then president Jomo Kenyatta and Raila's father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the Odinga family were cut out of government employment opportunities.

    All other avenues that the family could make genuine income were also reportedly shut by the state.

    The harsh conditions against the family reportedly proceeded well into former President Daniel Moi's regime.

    Raila Odinga (right) and his brother Oburu Odinga.

    "Mr Odinga entered politics by sheer accident – after employment opportunities in government and all other avenues to earn a living through “genuine means” were shut on the Odingas.

    "This was after their father, Kenya’s pioneer vice-president, fell out with President Jomo Kenyatta and later President Daniel Moi," reported the paper.

    The conditions were not any simpler for Raila's elder brother, Oburu Odinga, who was considered as a much better contender of the political lineage after his father.

    Oburu was considered as the “dangerous” social scientist and economist.

    Raila, on the other hand, was relegated to the position of a “technical person” having studied engineering until he stormed his father's event in 1992 armed with rowdy youth.

    The premier was 46 years old at the time and his storming of Ford Kenya’s National Delegates Conference was how he cemented his place in national politics.

    Later that year, he landed two elective posts, one as the Deputy Director of elections and later as the Member of Parliament for Lang'ata constituency through the Ford-Kenya ticket.

    Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his late father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.