Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga has long been regarded as a socialist or rather as a fighter for the downtrodden for which he managed to be MP for Kibera for more than 20 years.
The contrasting nature of the constituency – home to the sprawling Kibera slums and the lush Karen suburb – best serve to illustrate Raila’s personality.
On one hand, he has spent most of his adult life fighting for causes that resonate with majority of impoverished Kenyans. That has earned him the tag of Kenya’s leading socialist and his sojourn in East Germany for his education has served to cement this.
On the other hand, however, he is an established businessman whose fortune has conservative been put in the range of Sh100 billion.
While it is largely not the work of a Member of Parliament to cater for the day to day welfare of his people, Raila has been accused of practising hypocrisy by living in plenty in the comfort of his Karen home as his constituents wallowed in poverty in the Kibera slums.
That is the hypocrisy that undermines his promise to deliver Kenya from the throes of Egyptian domination to the promised land of Canaan.
Close allies admit that Raila, who was detained without trial severally by former president Daniel arap Moi, has previously used his positions in government to enrich himself which would surprise those who vouch for his anti-corruption credentials.
For instance, he is known to have taken advantage of his appointment by Moi as Energy minister following a merger between KANU and Raila’s National Development Party (NDP) to seal lucrative deals in the petroleum sub-sector that continue to pump millions into his pocket to date.
He is also said to have had links with former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi that saw him pump US$3 million into the Narc campaign that saw Mwai Kibaki become Kenya’s third president in 2002.
The relationship between the two can be traced to Raila’s tenure as Energy minister during which time he is said to have clinched deals with the Libyans allowing him to import petroleum products at cheaper rates before selling them exorbitantly to local consumers.
The method used by Spectre International Ltd, the Odinga family’s flagship company, to acquire the Kisumu Molasses Plant at a throw away price continues to haunt Raila to date.
While Raila has largely succeeded in portraying his quest to become Kenya’s President, those in the know are aware that behind him are several foreign influence peddlers keen for a stake of Kenya’s cookie jar.
They range from American, British, German, Chinese to Nigerian politicians and businessmen keen either to influence policy or ink contracts with his administration if he ascends to the throne.
Recently, Kenyans were, for instance surprised that apart from the official manifesto launched by Nasa, there existed another detailing projects that would benefit tenderpreneurs bankrolling Raila’s campaigns and their foreign masters.
That only goes to explain why Kenyans should be wary of the promise to deliver them to a land of plenty. Unlike the Jubilee administration that has gone out of its way to ensure that vulnerable groups also benefit from national resources, under Nasa, only a few will partake of the national cake.