Ruto is Repeating Mistakes Jaramogi Made: Oburu Odinga

  • A collage image of former Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.
    A collage image of former Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.
  • Oburu Odinga has compared Deputy President William Ruto's current political undertakings to those of his late father Mzee Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

    Speaking during an interview with Citizen TV on January 30, 2021, Oburu stated that his father made a mistake while serving as Jomo Kenyatta's deputy. Oburu noted that the mistake bore resemblance to the current situation between DP Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    January 30, marked 27 years since the demise of Oburu's father and former Vice President and Opposition chief Jaramogi.

    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right) and his brother Oburu Odinga.
    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right) and his brother Oburu Odinga.

    The Odinga family idolised their late father as a revolutionary leader who advocated for development in the country. In the course, Oburu reflected on his father's political ideologies and relationship with founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

    He noted that at the beginning, Jaramogi and Kenyatta enjoyed a great friendship that saw the former VP represent Central Kenya besides championing for Kenyatta's release from detention.

    Oburu stated that Jaramogi was emotional about his relationship with Kenyatta and could not stand anyone criticising Kenya's first President. However, their relationship later deteriorated after they differed on political and economic ideologies.

    "Jaramogi believed in an approach which was more socialistic in nature but Kenyatta believed in the capitalist way of development," Oburu stated.

    He revealed that at one point he had advised his father to quit politics, but he refused and continued to champion for the rights of the people. Jaramogi later resigned as VP.

    Oburu stated that his father thought he could clinch power just because he was popular, referencing it to the current situation with DP Ruto.

    "I asked him, why didn't he just persevere as VP and join the pecks of VP. Like the same situation of Ruto now and Uhuru, because he was very popular and thought he was going to use that popularism and take power and change things the way he thought. He later learned he made a mistake," Oburu stated.

    He noted that his father's decision to oppose the president and quitting as VP would later strain his chances of leading the country.

    Oburu's sentiments come at the back of political tension in the country pitting DP Ruto, his allies and supporters against proponents of the famous handshake between President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

    The DP and his allies have openly criticised decisions undertaken by the president, leaving little to be desired of the once publicised bromance between the two leaders.

    Over the course of their second term, a number of leaders allied to the opposition and President Kenyatta have called for the DP's impeachment or resignation. A move, if he is to consider, might have serious repercussions if Oburu's testimony is to manifest itself yet again.

    In recent polls conducted from across the country, the DP has emerged with the most following, giving him the lead in the race for State House.

    DP Ruto addresses a gathering at Burma Market in Nairobi on Thursday, January 28, 2021