The following is an excerpt of an exchange about Raila’s electability as president of Kenya in one of the online Kenyan forums on April 20, 2011:
Blogger: “[Raila] is still popular yes. You’ll notice I avoid simplistic arguments and or theories. He does have baggage. What we need is for any and all who were in KANU including even chiefs to be swept away wholesome and a brand new crop to come in and effect change under the new constitution. A mwananchi on the street told me that yesterday. It is an accurate assessment, I maintain.”
There are several reasons why your rationale for opposing Raila for president is faulty: First, if the standard for electing a new president is now someone without “baggage,” you’ll have to (1) define what that is and (2) find that person (good luck, regardless of how you define it) (3) determine whether that individual has the leadership skills necessary to lead a nation (4) determine whether that individual has what it takes to win the presidency in Kenya, including the essential tribal credentials and (5) hope and pray those with “baggage,” including luggage full of cash do not as a united front pay every voter in the country to vote against that individual and defeat him just to make the point wewe unafikiri ni nani?
Second, when you say that what we need is for “any and all who were in KANU, including even chiefs to be swept away wholesome” you run into the same problem; what do you mean by “who were in KANU?” After you apply that criteria; who is left to run for president over the age of 9? Put another way, do you mean to say I and other thousands of Kenyans who were KANU members cannot run for president under your criteria? Does that make sense to you?
Third, when you say we need a “brand new crop” to come and “effect change under the new constitution;” what exactly do you mean by that? Is your contention you can pluck Joe Smith from the street, put him in State House and voila, the new constitution is implemented?
There is a reason why job postings require experience of some kind and level of skill unless the job requires no skill or experience. Every political contender in all political societies going back to the ancient Greek society which started it all has had one or more characteristics a voter may deem undesirable or “baggage” but it is not perfection that is sought in good governance and politics, or age, or being a novice but in quantum possession of a combined good and bad native to all mortals but separated from the rest in the ultimate superiority in tested and proven leadership and visionary ability and qualities.
This is what we have to look to as we prepare to retire Kibaki and install his successor and in my book and a majority of Kenyans, Raila possesses the latter set of qualities and ability and thus the reason I support him for president.
I proudly say this as a reformed anti-Railaist (2002) who since that time gave him another look and concluded he is the man.