When Illinois Senator Barack Obama gave his maiden speech at the Democratic Party Convention in 2004, many saw the emergence of a new star in American politics.
Few, however, believed he would rise so fast to hold the highest office in the land. And even fewer believed they’d see a black US President in their lifetime. Many are still in disbelief that Obama was elected President, not once, but twice.
Just as there were many who never believed a black man, let alone Obama, could be elected US President, so there are many who don’t want or believe a Luo and Raila Odinga in particular, will be elected President.
Those who believed that a black man could not become President in the US did so solely based on racism and nothing else. Dr Martin Lurther King’s message that judge a man by the content of their character and not the colour of his skin fell on deaf ears when it came to this lot.
Much as racism was the determining factor for those resisting the presidency of a black man, so too is tribalism and deep hate is a major factor in those who don’t want a Luo and Raila to become our President.
Those deeply entrenched in the corrupt system in Kenya, and who stand to lose the most were Raila to be elected the head of state, have successfully exploited this tribalism-based hatred of Raila to deny him the presidency twice.
It is said the third time is the charm and, going by what has happened thus far, this third time, indeed, would be the time Raila cannot be denied.
The key to this is simply a united opposition, woven together with its realisation that, together, victory is at hand but, divided, would be nothing but a guarantee that Jubilee will remain in power.
Neither they nor the country can afford that for if the opposition doesn’t unite and the result is another five years of the same dearth of progress and development thwarted by historic levels of corruption. Then, for sure, they shall be rendered irrelevant for the rest of their lives.
Put another way, the only way to remove Jubilee from power is a united opposition and that’s as true for August 8 as it would be for 2022 and infinitely until such a time the opposition is united as was the case in 2002.
Only a fool could wait that long when the smart thing to do is to remain united now and avoid the prolonged suffering of our people.
Once united and solidly behind one candidate — and, again, it goes without saying who that candidate should be — then what shall follow and needs to be done to remove Jubilee from power will be much easier.
That’s not to say there aren’t challenges that lie ahead: There are and key among them is the never ending quest for Jubilee to want to remain in power in total disregard of the people’s expression of their will, in other words, rigging and attempt to use the government machine to achieve their mischief.
That cannot be allowed to happen, and the only way to ensure that is a united opposition, which will thwart any plans to change the will and the decision of the people.
It is the prayer of those of us who love our country that going to this general election, we will have a united opposition that will remove Jubilee from power. This will pave the way for our country to finally reap the fruits of Independence that have eluded us ever since.
Samuel Omwenga is a legal expert and political commentator based in the United States