The Kenya Forum | Support for Raila Odinga as AU Commission Chairman - The Kenya Forum

February 28, 2024


Raila Odinga’s quest to move to African Union as the Chairperson of African Union Commission, has been long overdue.

More by Rieko Mwenyewe

Support for Raila Odinga as AU Commission Chairman

Support for Raila Odinga as AU Commission Chairman

Raila Odinga has friends in high places...

Rieko Mwenyewe reports from Kisumu on reaction to Raila Odings bid for the chairmanship of the AU Commission…

The journey of Raila Amolo Odinga for the position for the African Union Commission Chairman started when Kenya’s Prime Cabinet Secretary and Foreign Affairs Minsister, Musalia Mudavadi forwarded the name of Raila Odinga to the headquarters of African Union at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

UDA Support

The United Democratic Alliance spontaneously supported the idea after Odinga himself accepted the nomination. Although the issue was not part of the formal government agenda at the Joint National Executive Retreat and Parliamentary Group consultative meeting in Naivasha, National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah said they would back Odinga, noting that he is an African Statesman.

“Whenever any Kenyan is nominated for or applies for a job anywhere in the world, we as Kenyans are obligated to support him. He is not going there as ODM leader but as a Kenyan and we support his bid,” Mr. Ichung’wah told the nation, as reported by The Star newspaper on Thursday 22nd February 2024.

The Kikuyu MP said should Mr. Odinga win the nomination, it would be a major accomplishment to himself and the Kenya Government.

“If he has offered himself for that international job, we shall treat him as a Kenyan and support him,” he said.

The AU Commission

The Commission Chairperson is elected by the Assembly for a four-year term, renewable once for another term of four years.

The Chairperson’s functions include overall responsibility for the Commission’s Administration and Finances, promoting and popularising the AU’s objectives and enhancing its performance.

It also involves consulting and coordinating with key stakeholders like member states, and development partners, appointing and managing commission staff, and acting as a depository for all AU Treaties and Legal Instruments.

Cross-Party Support

Following the endorsement for Odinga by the UDA, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) headed by Kalonzo Musyoka, now the undisputed leader of Asimiyo One Kenya Alliance expected to take over from Odinga, gave a spirited support for Raila Odinga.

Stephen Kalonzo Mushioka, the Leader of Wiper Party said that if the likes of Hon. Elusegun Obasanjo the renowned past President of Nigeria, could suggest the nomination of Raila Odinga, who in his good senses could oppose Odinga to take the position of AU Chairmanship.

The other big associate parties like the Jubillee Party was supported by David Murathe, the Deputy Chairman and the Secretary General Hon. Jeremiah Kioni. The duo pledged that the entire Jubilee Party, including the President of Kenya Emeritus H.E. Uhuru Kenyattaa, had also endorsed Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga to move to the post of the Chairperson of African Union Commission.

The Leader of Democratic Action Party of Kenya, Eugine Ludevic Wamalwa also endorsed Raila Odinga’s nomination.

ODM stalwarts like, the Chairman John Mbadi, the Leader of Minority in the National Parliament, Opiyo Wandayi, the Minority Whip, and Junet Mohammed, also gave their full support to Raila Odinga’s nomination.

The question of whether Raila Odinga is qualified for the position of Commission Chairperson of African Union Commission is answered by the fact that he has been the Head of Infrastructure Development for the whole of African when he was appointed by H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta from March 2018, a position relinquished in October 2023.

The View on the Streets of Kisumu City

Bernerd Aende Ogada: “I have heard the issue and I am fully in support of the nomination” he said, “adding that his following of Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga history of Kenya Politics had no comparison”.

Kisumu West Luo Council of Elders, Alloyse Obuya Onguko said he was sure that the nomination of Raila Amolo Odinga has no comparison. The tasks Hon. Odinga has covered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the South Sudan and Ethiopyia involving insfrastucture of Road Works and Dispute Resolutions were commendable.

The Paramount Chief and Ruoth Ogayi of Kisumu West Luo Council of Elders, Jaduong’ Paul Osendo Odera, said that he had only positive words to pronounce on Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga.

A Boda Boda Rider, Japolo Otieno Ogalo, when supporting the nomination of Raila Odinga was sceptic on who will effectively replace Hon Odinga mostly on the rights of the people of Kenya he, however, supported the interest of Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga.

Even the Secretary General of UDA, Mr. Cleophas Malala, who has often been very negative about Odinga, this time endorsed the nomination of Hon. Raila Odinga.

On my part as a Kenyan and a freelance writer, I believe that Hon. Raila Odinga’s quest to move to African Union as the Chairperson of African Union Commission, has been long overdue.


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