After spending time reading and responding to many posts attacking Raila, I have come to the conclusion Raila cannot do enough for a certain hardcore haters who remind me of Rush Limbaugh, a Right Wing Nut Radio Host in the US who for the two terms Bill Clinton was president, slept and breathed Clinton, railing against him daily and not once did he ever find anything good to say about Clinton; and that is being on air daily for roughly 2,900 days during that period, or the equivalent of starting to rail against someone before a child is conceived through when the child is conceived, born, crawls, learns to walk, learns to eat, learns to read and write and is old enough to tell you there is something wrong with you if you can’t find anything good to say about a person all this time.
For Limbaugh, Clinton never did anything good, never mind Clinton is credited for turning the US economy around and creating budget surpluses in the country of $69.2 billion for fiscal year 1998, $76.9 billion in fiscal year 1999 and $46 billion for fiscal year 2000, the only times the country had seen such performance since before Clinton was a small boy. On the other hand, Clinton was succeeded by George W Bush who sent the country’s economy in a downward spiral and is credited for creating the country’s recent economic crisis that President Obama is trying to fix.
The point is this, Limbaugh to this day sings praises of George W Bush and has yet to say anything good about Clinton which leads to the conclusion there are people who can just never be satisfied with a leader no matter how good he or she is and no matter what he or she does. Raila has not been spared this phenomena.
Reading and listening to some of these tirades against Raila, an uninformed person or someone who otherwise has these naysayers as the source of their information would be mistaken to believe Raila is responsible for everything wrong and nothing good in Kenya which is obviously not even remotely the case.
Fortunately, however, the naysayers always number in the minority otherwise these leaders will never see a moment of elected office no matter how good they are or can be. Put another way, a good leader aims to do good for the vast majority of those he or she leads for he or she knows you cannot please everyone all the time and that aught never be the objective to begin with; it’s enough you do more than enough to meet the needs of those you lead and this is precisely what Raila does as anyone who looks at the man objectively has to conclude.
Having said that, I am re-posting below my earlier thoughts about Kibera slums and Raila which has been a recurring accusation lobbed against Raila lately by some of his most avid naysayers in a number of forums:
“The reason why I paint the slums is because I believe our country will develop one day and there will be no slums.”
Rahab Shane, Painter, Banana Hill Art Collective.
I just watched an episode of “Noble Exchange” on Halogen TV where this artist and her husband were interviewed. Her sentiment I have quoted above is poignant for several reasons: First, it is an optimistic statement; in her own words, she is painting the slums as an historical record to look back to long after the slums are gone.
Second, her sentiment lays no blame on anyone when there is plenty to go around, including this and other groups on the Internet which can do something about this problem, if they so chose and that is to say nothing about the government.
Third, even though the particular painting being featured was the Kibera slum, the artist sees the problem not from a tribal or political point of view but from a humanity point of view and thus her all inclusive use of the phrase “I paint the slums” as opposed to “I paint Raila’s Kebera slums,” which would have been choice words were she to cast the issue in tribal or political terms targeting Raila for blame.
Fourth, the Banana Hill Art Collective came to being as a result of PEV yet Rahab and other artists at the Collective have commendably chosen messages of hope over messages of hate and division so characteristic and at the core of what drives an alarming number of Kenyans since that time and who knows for how much longer; as one of the artists, Rahab’s husband, Shine Tani put it, he looked up, saw a clear blue sky representing calmness, peacefulness and tranquility and contrasted that to the post election carnage and general chaos and what he ended up with is a painting theme he calls the “Blue Sky” in which he portrays the prayer, As It Is Done in Heaven, Let it Be Done on Earth; in other words, may the peace in Heaven also happen here on earth. This was Shane Tani’s prayer and so was it for most of us in Kenya post election 07 and is still our prayer.
So in the end, it is not about the Kibera slums, or the rampant poverty in Kenya or the lack of food or clean and safe water for many, etc; rather, it is about whether we have in us a leader who can finally unite the country while delivering on these long elusive needs. Many of us have analyzed the available pool, declared or otherwise and have concluded Raila Odinga is such a leader and that is a majority view as recent polling in the country indicates as well. It therefore goes without saying it makes sense to support Raila in his bid for the presidency or if you have to oppose him, then do so with something more substantive than simply because he is a Luo or other irrelevant and bogus reasons such as the one I have heard here that Raila created and has kept the Kibera slums for his political benefit which is not only bogus but absurd.
Peace, Love, and Unity.