Raila Odinga Biography
Raila Odinga was born at Maseno Church Missionary Society Hospital, in Maseno, Kisumu District, Nyanza Province on 7 January 1945 to the late Mary Ajuma Odinga and the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the first Vice President of the Republic of Kenya. He went to Kisumu Union Primary School, Maranda Primary and Maranda High School where he stayed until 1962.
Raila Amolo Odinga spent the next two years at the Herder Institut, a part of the philological faculty at the University of Leipzig in East Germany. He received a scholarship that in 1965 sent him to the Technical School, Magdeburg (now a part of Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg) in the GDR. In 1970, he graduated with an Msc (Masters of Science) in Mechanical Engineering.
Raila returned to Kenya in 1970. In 1971 he established the Standard Processing Equipment Construction and Erection Limited (later renamed East African Spectre), a company specialized in the manufacturing of liquid petroleum gas cylinders. In 1974, he 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.
Raila Odinga is married to Ida Odinga with whom they have four children; the late Fidel Castro, Rosemary, Raila Junior and Winnie.
Raila Odinga Family
Raila Odinga Children
Raila Odinga married Ida Oyoo on September 1st 1973. Together they have four children, the late Fidel Castro (2015), Rosemary Akeyo, Raila junior and Winnie Irmgard.
Until his untimely demise, Fidel Odinga was a businessman and a solid pillar in his father’s political endeavors. He is survived by his widow, Lwam Odinga and their son, Allay Raila Odinga.
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Rosemary Odinga is a passionate educationist serving as the Director of the Raila Odinga Center. This institution is dedicated to improving education standards across the country with its main program operating out of Kibera slums in Nairobi. Rosemary Odinga has interests in snail farming and is a mother to two beautiful girls, Saphie and Senayi.
Raila Odinga Jr – Junior Odinga, Raila Jr
Raila Odinga Jr, his father’s namesake, is a businessman with varied interests from energy to entertainment. He is married to Yvonne Kibukosya.
Winnie serves as the Director of Green Outreach Foundation Africa, an initiative centered around renewable energy to meet the emerging demands of the modern day world. She is also a professional photographer.
Raila Odinga Family Photo
History of Raila Odinga
Raila Odinga Detention
In 1982, Raila Odinga was placed under house arrest for 7 months by then Daniel Moi, the President of Kenya. Raila was later charged with treason following his political agitation for wider democratic space and detained without trial for six years. His mother died in 1984, but it took the prison wardens two months to inform him of her passing, an experience he openly confesses as one of the most traumatizing in his hitherto eventful life.
Released on 6 February 1988, he was rearrested in September 1988 for his involvement with human rights and pro-democracy activists pressing for multi-party democracy in Kenya, which was then a one-party state.
Raila Odinga was released on 12 June 1989, only to be incarcerated again on 5 July 1990, together with Kenneth Matiba, and former Nairobi Mayor Charles Rubia. Raila was released on 21 June 1991, and in October, he fled the country for Norway with a hint that the Kenyan government would attempt to assassinate him.
Raila Odinga – Multi-party Politics
At the time of Raila’s departure to Norway, the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD), a movement formed to agitate for the return of multi-party democracy to Kenya, was newly formed. In 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.
When Jaramogi Oginga Odinga died in January 1994, and Michael Wamalwa Kijana succeeded him as FORD-Kenya chairman, Raila challenged him for the party leadership. The elections were marred by controversy after which Raila resigned from FORD-Kenya to join the National Development Party (NDP). 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.
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After the election, Raila supported the Moi government, and led a merger between his party, NDP, and Moi’s KANU party. He served in Moi’s Cabinet as Energy Minister from June 2001 to 2002, during Moi’s final term.
In the subsequent KANU elections held later that year, he was elected the party’s secretary general (replacing the late J. J. Kamotho). In 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 his current Deputy in the CORD Coalition Kalonzo Musyoka, the late George Saitoti and the late Joseph Kamotho, opposed this step arguing that the then 38 year old Uhuru, was politically inexperienced and lacked the leadership qualities needed to govern. 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.
Raila became the second father of multi- party democracy in Kenya after Kenneth Matiba. It was at this point that he earned his nickname; to his political followers, he is also referred as “Agwambo”, the meaning of which is Mysterious One, or “Jakom”, meaning Chairman.
President Kibaki failed to honor a pre-election agreement regarding political equity among the stakeholders in NARC and a pledge made to the Kenyan people to review the Kenyan Constitution within a hundred days of the election.
The perceived “betrayal” led to an open rebellion and a split within the cabinet, which culminated in disagreements over a proposed new constitution for the country. The government-backed constitutional committee submitted a draft constitution that was perceived to consolidate powers of the presidency and weaken regional governments as had been provided for under an earlier draft before the 2002 Elections. Raila opposed this, and when the document was put to a referendum on 21 November 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.
Raila Odinga – 2007 Presidential Elections
(ODM) while the other faction, the ODM-K, was headed by Kalonzo Musyoka. On 1 September 2007, the 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.
Odinga launched his presidential campaign in Uhuru Park in Nairobi on 6 October 2007.
Following the presidential election held on 27 December, the Electoral Commission in declared Kibaki the winner on 30 December 2007, placing him ahead of Odinga by about 232,000 votes. Raila and his ODM leaders rallied against the decision with James Orengo and Prof. ANyang’ Nyong’o calling for mass action. Later violence broke out in the country after widespread incidents of police brutality. Following two months of unrest, a peace deal between Odinga and Kibaki, which provided for power-sharing and the creation of the post of Prime Minister, was signed in February 2008; it was brokered by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Odinga was sworn in as Prime Minister, along with the power-sharing Cabinet, on 17 April 2008. The post of Prime Minister was last held by Jomo Kenyatta between 1963 and 1964 following independence. Odinga is thus the second person in Kenya’s history to hold the position.
Raila Odinga – 2013 Presidential Elections
Raila Odinga’s party, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) joined Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Party and Moses Wetangula’s Ford Kenya (FK) in a CORD coalition (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy) for the presidential race with Raila as the presidential candidate and Kalonzo as his running mate.
Raila ran for President in the elections held on 4 March 2013 and garnered 5,340,546 votes (43.70%) out of the 12,221,053 valid votes cast. Uhuru Kenyatta garnered 6,173,433 votes (50.51%). As this was above the 50% plus 1 vote threshold, Uhuru won it on the first round without requiring a run-off between the top two candidates.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) therefore officially declared Uhuru Kenyatta the president elect on Saturday 9 March at 2:44pm. Uhuru was set to take office as Kenya’s 4th president.
However, Raila Odinga in a press conference shortly after the results were announced noted that the election had been marred by massive failures by the BVR kits, EVID (electronic voter identification or “Pollbooks”), RTS (results transmission system or “tallying system”) and the RPS (results presentation or “transmissions system”). He stated that the manual tallying was suspect leaving him no choice but to contest the result in Kenya’s highest court, The Supreme Court.
Mindful of bringing the challenge, Raila Odinga and his lawyers George Oraro, Mutula Kilonzo, and James Orengo, secretly instructed Raj Pal Senna, a Management Consultant from Barcelona to carry out a forensic investigation of the technology used in the Kenyan General Election 2013, during which the IEBC made claims on TV and media that there were “technological challenges”, that “servers overloaded” and that “database crashed”. Raj Pal Senna included in this work a forensic examination of the evidence of IEBC and Uhuru Kenyatta in relation to the technology deployed during the Kenyan Presidential Elections. Raila Odinga and his lawyers then took appropriate legal steps to verify the findings of Raj Pal Senna by consulting authorities in the USA and the UK. The findings of the Raj Pal Senna were then documented in his witness statement for Raila Odinga, and became to be known as “Witness Statement RO6″
Kenya’s chief justice Dr. Willy Mutunga announced on Monday, 11 March that the Supreme Court was fully formed and ready to deliver its judgment within 14 days as stipulated by the Constitution of Kenya.
During the Petition hearing, Chief Justice Willy Mutung made a finding rejecting second affidavit of Raila Odinga which comprised 900 pages, on the basis that it amounted to “new evidence” which is not permitted under the Constitution. Subsequently, The Supreme Court issued a ruling dismissing the petition on 30 March 2013. The Supreme Court while declaring Uhuru the next President also declared that the IEBC should not have included the invalid/spoilt votes in the calculation of the final figures and percentages. Chief Justice Willy Mutunga also directed that the EACC (Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission) and the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) carry out a criminal investigation of the IEBC in relation to the BVR, EVID, RTS and RPS.
Raila Odinga – Currently
Raila Odinga now serves the Republic of Kenya as the Leader of the Official Opposition keen to ensure the full and proper implementation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the promotion of democratic ideals and the protection of equity & justice in our society.
Raila Odinga Age
How old is Raila Odinga
Raila Odinga was born at Maseno Church Missionary Society Hospital, in Maseno, Kisumu District, Nyanza Province on 7 January 1945 to the late Mary Ajuma Odinga and the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the first Vice President of the Republic of Kenya
Raila Odinga Photo
Raila Odinga Profile 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 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 Amolo 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.
Raila Odinga Video
Raila Odinga website – http://rao.co.ke/
Raila Odinga Website : http://rao.co.ke/
Raila Odinga Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RailaOdingaKE
Raila Odinga Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/RailaOdinga/
Raila Odinga Contacts
Raila Odinga Secretariat
P.O. Box 10311 – 00100
Tel: 020 271 2497
Raila Odinga News
Raila Odinga: Kenya’s tenacious, veteran politician
At an age when most would be retired, Raila Odinga, Kenya’s veteran opposition leader and one-time prime minister, is to run again for president — his fourth bid to become head of state.
The 72-year-old has been a mainstay of Kenyan politics since the 1980s but has never achieved his presidential ambition, his career emulating that of his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, who led the opposition for three decades but never the country.
On Thursday he was named standard-bearer of the National Super Alliance coalition which hopes to overcome traditional opposition divisions to defeat incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, 55, and his ruling Jubilee Party in the August poll.
The Kenyatta vs. Odinga battle is set to be the last in a generational political rivalry between the two families that began when Jaramogi Odinga lost out to Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first post-independence leader.
Raila Odinga – Political Royalty
Born into political royalty, a member of Kenya’s western Luo tribe, Odinga entered parliament in 1992 during the rule of president Daniel arap Moi and after spending much of the previous decade jailed or in exile during the struggle for democracy.
Odinga vied for the presidency in 1997, 2007 and 2013.
Many observers agree with Odinga’s view that the 2007 election was stolen from him, triggering widespread politically-motivated tribal violence which left more than 1,100 dead.
To stop the killings international mediators forced a deal that saw the incumbent, Mwai Kibaki, continue as president with Odinga taking the specially created position of prime minister in a power-sharing government.
He held the post until 2013 when he lost the presidential election to Kenyatta.
The violence of 2007 looms over Kenya’s politics a decade on, adding fuel to the smouldering fire of tribal resentment, with many Luos believing they — through Odinga — are being denied political power by a cabal of Kikuyu elites currently led by Kenyatta.
Already, Odinga and others have said their supporters might take to the streets if this year’s vote is stolen and suggested that anything short of an Odinga victory will be proof of rigging.
Supporters regard Odinga as the social reformer Kenya needs, while detractors say he is a rabble-rousing populist unafraid to play the tribal card.
Long renowned as a firebrand speaker able to galvanise a crowd with his growling oratory, Odinga, described as stubborn and sometimes short-tempered, seems to have lost a bit of his rallying skills with some attributing the change to ill-health and advancing years.
With speech notes in hand he often stumbles and labours his words — especially in English — but speaking off-the-cuff and in his native Swahili he still has the ability to inspire.
Raila Odinga – No Communist
Married, Odinga has three surviving children: Rosemary, Raila Junior and Winnie.
Odinga grew up an Anglican and later converted to evangelicalism, being baptised in a Nairobi swimming pool by a self-proclaimed prophet in 2009.
He studied engineering in communist former East Germany, and he named his eldest son Fidel, who died in 2015, after the Cuban revolutionary.
However, observers say the “socialist” and “communist” labels he was given were more an attempt to discredit him by the Moi regime than an accurate reflection of his leanings.
After returning to Kenya in 1970 Odinga set up as a businessman before following his father into politics.
In a recent televised interview he described himself as a social democrat who wanted to fight inequality.