Raila Enunciates His New Vision for Kenya In Address to Kenyans in Minnesota

26 Sep

It was vintage Raila.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga gave an electrifying speech to Kenyans in Minneapolis, Minnesota yesterday.

The PM addressed a number of issues that I am separately reporting in a blog to follow but if there is one major news from the PM’s speech, it is that Raila basically enunciated his new vision for Kenya: Let’s not reinvent the wheel; the vision for a true Kenya is right there in our national anthem!

In responding to a young Kenyan who spoke in behalf of young Kenyans in a Diaspora who, in his brief speech, asked the Prime Minister what he, and by extension, the government would do to bring the American Dream to Kenya, Raila first noted his appreciation and understanding of the young man’s thinking and concerns but at the same time the PM advised the young man, and through him, all Kenyans that Kenya does not need the American Dream; we have our own found in the first stanza of our national anthem:

O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders.

The PM paradoxically pointed out something I believe has hitherto been obvious but hidden until Raila articulated for the first time ever that all the dreams we can have for our country are essentially enshrined right there in this very stanza and these are:

  1. A united, peaceful Kenya with no tribalism or negative ethnicity or discrimination based on any other characteristics;
  2. A country where justice flows like a river;
  3. A country with plenty of everything we need and necessary for our prosperity and welfare;
  4. A realization and actualization of the fact that the plenty we must have will not drop upon us like manna from heaven, rather, it must and shall only be obtained through not just the labor of our hands, but also through our creativity, intellect, resolve and determination guided by a responsive and responsible government.

I am certain the young man who posed the question has never thought of the full extent of the stanza and neither have most Kenyans.

Sometimes, it takes the obvious to point out the obvious and Raila has done just that and I believe this re-defines who he is and in essence, why he must be our next president.

Not too long ago, a reader of one of my blogs asked the question, what is my ideology and without even taking a moment to think about it, I rattled out the following:

  1. I believe in the sovereignty of the people through their democratically elected leaders and institutions.
  2. I believe elected leaders are to serve the people and cater for their interests first and foremost.
  3. I believe that elected officials cannot and must not be allowed to use public office as a means to enrich themselves
  4. I believe the government exists solely for the purpose of ensuring its citizenry has the basics essential for sustenance of their lives at a standard well above the poverty lines as well as to provide for its safety and general welfare.
  5. I believe as a means of providing for its people, the government has the obligation to ensure natural resources are economically and responsibly exploited for the benefit of its citizenry through a distributive process that is fair and equitable for all via taxation and spending policy that ensures equal and equitable taxation and expenditure
  6. I believe the government has an equal obligation to promote private enterprise and entrepreneurship through tax incentives
  7. I believe in the rule of law and strengthening of our judicial system to allow for fair and just redress of grievances.
  8. I believe in a strong presidency with reasonable checks and balances. I do not wish to see a clawless lion at State House.
  9. I believe in gender equality
  10. I believe in a one Kenya where tribe and ethnicity has no value other than matters strictly cultural

In that blog, I said,

“There you have it my friend. This is what motivates me to do what I do as I truly hope we shall see all this come to pass in the not too distant future, certainly after the 2012 elections.

What Raila is saying is all these ideals and more are already spoken for in our own Kenyan dream as envisioned in our national anthem.

Raila is also saying we have simply been unable to put them into play largely because those charged with the responsibility to do so have failed, including ourselves in some cases.

Until now.

Now is the time to elect a president who can finally implement this vision

Now is the time to elect a president who knows and fully understands what that vision is and how to bring it to life.

In a nutshell, no one knows this vision better; no one understands this vision better; no one can implement this vision better than the man who has sounded the bell that we have been off track for decades because of our inability to really understand the true meaning of the dream envisioned in our national anthem.

And that man is Raila.

The country will make a serious mistake in not coming to this conclusion come 2012 and failure to do so would leave us short of realizing this dream Raila has articulated as no other candidate vying for the presidency I can see has what it would take to actualize the dream fully.

Indeed, none of the candidates has even as bothered to tell us what they stand for other than defeating Raila and listing of the ills the country has faced or faces is not a dream or vision.

There will be others to lay claim of their ability to deliver as much of the dream as Raila as well but in my view, these will be nothing but Johnny come latilies.


Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Politics, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , ,

11 responses to “Raila Enunciates His New Vision for Kenya In Address to Kenyans in Minnesota

  1. David Mark A

    September 27, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Mr. Omwenga, you trully captured Raila’s speech, and yes that was a real challenge, let me say a wake up call, to all of us who love Kenya, to know who we are, celebrate our heritage, diversity and unite and that together we can build Kenya effectively than when devided.

  2. Samuel N. Omwenga

    September 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    You have summed it up well David.



  3. Benson Metho (@metho2011)

    September 27, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    PM statement caught many of us an off guard. It is about time that we as Kenyans start appreciating our home country and believe that we all have a Kenyan dream as well. We all need to know that change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. It is our responsibility to bring the change.

  4. Samuel N. Omwenga

    September 27, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    Very true and well stated Ben; I agree completely.



  5. David Mark A

    September 27, 2011 at 11:27 PM

    Mr. Sam, with your permission can I post this on my facebook profile notes pliz? Some friends of mine have been tryong to get it and read it but they can’t, that may simplify things for them. Let me know.
    Thanks again.

  6. Samuel N. Omwenga

    September 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    No problem David; you can post any of them in your Facebook as long as you indicate I am the author.1

  7. David Mark A

    September 28, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    Thank you so much sir, and thanks for everything. I really do enjoy your writings.

  8. ed

    September 29, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    Lets overcome the past undoings of the previous regimes and start afresh(kazi ianze) then together we will realize the Kenyan dream.
    God bless Kenya.

  9. gilbert kamanda MN Veteran

    October 2, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Well put/\.The Rt Hon PM said it all.


    October 23, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Sam and friends Let me extend a word of compliment to the way you caught this. I am actually the young man you are referring to in this context. I was glad that the Pm used this opportunity and content to articulate what many Kenyans need to know. When I was choose to speak on behalf of the youths, some points came out crystal clearly and I said that they must be put said. One of them was “Taking the Kenyan dream back from America to Kenya.” I know just as many us do that, many Kenyans in the diaspora have credible credentials that they can constructively use to help in reconstituting our beloved country Kenya. These ideas are busy building the American dream, and my point was we should use the expertise in these young people to actualize the Kenyan dream. At baseline, I am very open and welcome criticism, and when the PM took the opportunity point out the dream we should go and actualize in Kenya.

  11. Samuel N. Omwenga

    October 24, 2011 at 4:00 AM


    Thanks for your comment. It is encouraging there are young people like you out there and I am confident from your speech and comment here now that you are definitely in the class of young leaders on a path to make a difference in Kenya’s future.

    Keep that up and let me know if I can be of any help.




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