Raila Amollo Odinga also popularly known to Kenyans as Agwambo, is the son of the first Vice President of Kenya, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Odinga.
Raila Odinga – Profile, Biography and Timeline
January 7, 1945: Raila Amollo Odinga is born.
Raila Odinga attended Kisumu Union Primary School, Maranda Primary and High School, Nairobi University, and Herder Institut, a part of the philological faculty at the University of Leipzig in East Germany
1970: Raila Odinga worked as a lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
1971: Raila Odinga established the Standard Processing Equipment Construction & Erection Ltd (later renamed East African Spectre), a company manufacturing liquid petroleum gas cylinders.
1974: Raila Odinga was appointed group standards manager of the Kenya Bureau of Standards, in 1978 he was promoted to its Deputy Director, a post he held until his 1982 detention.
1982: Raila Odinga was placed under house arrest for seven months after being suspected of collaborating with the plotters of a failed coup attempt against President Daniel arap Moi in 1982. He was later charged with treason and detained without trial for six years.
February 6, 1988: Raila Odinga was released from prison.
September, 1988: Raila Odinga was rearrested for his involvement with human rights and pro-democracy activists.
June 12, 1989: Raila Odinga was released.
July 5, 1990: Raila arrested again together with Kenneth Matiba, and former Nairobi Mayor Charles Rubia. Raila was released on June 21, 1991
June 21, 1991: Raila was released and in October, he fled the country to Norway alleging government attempts to assassinate him.
October 1991: Raila Odinga fled the country to Norway alleging government attempts to assassinate him
February 1992: Raila returned to join FORD, then led by his father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. He was elected Vice Chairman of the General Purposes Committee of the party. In the months running up to the 1992 General Election, FORD split into Ford Kenya, led by Raila’s father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, and FORD-Asili led by Kenneth Matiba. Raila became Ford-Kenya’s Deputy Director of Elections. Raila won the Langata Constituency parliamentary seat, previously held by Philip Leakey of KANU.
January 1994: Raila Odinga’s Father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga died.
1997: In the 1997 General Election, Raila finished third after President Moi, the incumbent, and Democratic Party candidate Mwai Kibaki. He retained his position as the Langata MP.
June 2001 t- 2002: Raila Odinga served in the Moi’s Cabinet as Energy Minister
2002: The then President, Daniel Arap Moi, pulled a surprise by endorsing Uhuru Kenyatta – a son of Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta to be his successor. Moi publicly asked Raila and others to support Uhuru as well.
Raila and other KANU members, including Kalonzo Musyoka, George Saitoti and Joseph Kamotho, opposed this step arguing that the then 38 year old Uhuru, was politically inexperienced and lacking leadership qualities to lead government. The Rainbow Movement went on to join the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which later teamed up with Mwai Kibaki’s National Alliance Party of Kenya (NAK), a coalition of several other parties, to form the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) that eventually defeated Moi’s protege, Uhuru Kenyatta.
November 23, 2005: Raila opposed the draft constitution and when the document was put to a referendum on November 21, 2005, the government lost by a 57% to 43% margin. Following this, President Kibaki sacked the entire cabinet on November 23, 2005. When it was formed two weeks later, Raila and the entire LDP group were left out. This led to the formation of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) – an Orange was the symbol for the “no” vote in the constitutional referendum.
August 2007: Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya split in two, with Odinga becoming head of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) while the other faction, the ODM-K, was headed by Kalonzo Musyoka.
September 1, 2007: ODM elected Odinga as its presidential candidate in a National Delegates Conference held at the Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi. Odinga received 2,656 votes; the only other candidates receiving significant numbers of votes were Musalia Mudavadi with 391 and William Ruto with 368. Earlier, Najib Balala had withdrawn his candidature and endorsed Raila. The defeated candidates expressed their support for Odinga afterward, and Mudavadi was named as his running mate.
October 6, 2007: Odinga launched his presidential campaign in Uhuru Park in Nairobi on October 6, 2007, which saw a record attendance in this or any other venue in independent Kenya. The police estimated an attendance of close to 50,000.
December 30, 2007: The chairman of the Kenyan election commission controversially declared Raila’s opponent, incumbent president Mwai Kibaki, the winner of the presidential election by a margin of about 230,000 votes. Raila disputed the results, alleging fraud by the election commission but refused to adhere to the constitutional procedure and present an election petition before the courts.
Most opinion polls had speculated that Odinga would defeat president Kibaki. Independent international observers have since stated that the poll was marred by irregularities favouring both PNU and ODM, especially at the final vote tallying stages. Many ODM supporters across the country rioted against the announced election results.
April 2008: – Raila Odinga became the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya in a coalition government
Raila Odinga Family, Wife and Children
Odinga is married to Ida Odinga (born Ida Anyango Oyoo). They live in Karen, Nairobi (but have a second home at Opoda Farm, Bondo District). They have four children—two sons and two daughters: Fidel (born 1973), Rosemary (1977), Raila Jr (1979) and Winnie (1990). Fidel is named after Fidel Castro and Winnie after Winnie Mandela.
Raila Odinga – Wealth and Business
Raila Odinga is an industrialist with interests in liquefied gas cylinder manufacturing (the East African Spectre), industrial ethanol production and Petroleum import and distribution.
Raila Odinga Link To Barack Obama
In a January 2008 BBC interview, Odinga asserted that he was the first cousin of U.S. president Barack Obama through Obama’s father. However, Barack Obama’s paternal uncle denied any direct relation to Odinga, stating “Odinga’s mother came from this area, so it is normal for us to talk about cousins. But he is not a blood relative.” Obama’s father came from the same Luo community as Odinga.