When did Uhuru lose the ‘system’ to Ruto? – Winnie Odinga reacts after Raila’s poll defeat

Sunday, October 23rd, 2022 17:34 | By
Winnie Odinga
Winnie Odinga, the last-born daughter of opposition leader Raila Odinga, during a past campaign rally. PHOTO/Courtesy

The family of Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga is still reeling from the shock of the loss of the long-serving opposition leader in the August presidential poll, his last-born daughter Winnie Odinga says.

In an interview with a local daily, Winnie disclosed that the family, like millions of Kenyans who woke up early on August 9 to vote for Raila, was disappointed in the results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

She likened Raila's loss to the defeat of Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump in the United State election of 2016.

Just like Raila, Clinton who ran on a Democratic Party ticket was touted as the front-runner, in the contest that pitted her against Trump of the Republican Party.

"The presidential poll was not just about our family. Millions of Kenyans staked their future on Baba (Raila) winning," Winnie told Sunday Nation.

"These people are disappointed, bitter, hurting, and living in disbelief, and Baba feels it. As a family feel their pain and sense of loss, it got me thinking of the Clintons (of America) and their shock loss to Trump in 2016."

She, however, revealed that Raila remains strong and will actively play his oversight role as opposition leader.

"Baba remains strong, my mum (Raila) too is strong and so is the entire family. We are focused as always on the battles that remain to be fought," she added.

She seemed to differ with those claiming that President Uhuru Kenyatta 'played' Raila in the August polls, following the former Head of State's endorsement of the ODM party leader's bid for the presidency.

Winnie, however, alluded that the former President was not in control of the so-called system in his last days in office. She claimed Raila's main challenger, William Ruto of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance was.

"I do not think Uhuru played Raila. The question, however, should be – at what point did he lose hold of the so-called system to Ruto?" she posed.

Winnie Odinga denies mismanaging campaigns

At the same time, she denied mismanaging his father's campaigns leading to his loss.

"There is a misconception out there that elections are a one-unit affair, but that is not the case. We have the campaigns, of which I was part of and which we delivered and the Election Day, that was executed by another team that comprised of outgoing Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries and among other people. This is the team that handled poll logistics, including post-poll affairs at Bomas of Kenya," Winnie said.

She added: "I was a mere worker and a supporter, just like the other millions of Kenyans. Yet again, elections are complex processes and ours was no exception. Two years later, America is still struggling to get to the bottom of what happened with their elections in 2020, without forgetting 2016. The UK took time to get to the bottom of the Brexit vote and the role of Cambridge Analytica."

While insisting that she delivered on her mandate to popularise Raila's bid Winnie said: "We got into this race when the Deputy President (now President Dr Willian Ruto) was the runaway candidate. We rebranded our candidate; worked on messaging and eventually thereby pushing his popularity numbers from 11 to 52 per cent at the point of going to ballot."

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