With just six month to the next general elections questions have been asked about the whereabouts of Ida Odinga are gaining momentum. This is because the former Prime Minister’s wife has always been strongly on the forefront of Raila’s parliamentary and presidential campaign since Raila began his political career over 30 years ago.
During the 2013 general elections Ida was a powerful force in the CORD campaign even establishing her own political lobby group – SIBANDUKI – to mobilize political support for her husband. She was also heavily involved in The League of Women Voters and other women caucuses which she leveraged to sell her husbands candidacy.
In 2007 Ida was even more active – sometimes going to the extent of even interfering in lower level elections where she thought her husband was being misadvised. A case in point was when she interfered with Rachel Shebesh’s Nairobi parliamentary elections and pushed for Elizabeth Ongoro instead. Raila had to nominate Shebesh after the elections.
However this time around Ida is said to believe that Raila’s presidential ambitions are a lost cause. She is also especially upset with the decision by her husband to force her daughter Rosemary to contest in Kibra just so that Raila can sustain his father’s political dynasty now that Fidel is dead. She believes that the pressure on their daughter is what has led to the sickness she is suffering from, which has seen the family have to transport the daughter to South Africa when it became serious.
It is also believed that Ida has never forgiven Raila for rushing the funeral of her first born son so as to conduct the Homabay senatorial by-elections. She is also suspected to still harbor misgivings about her son’s death – and to believe that her husband’s politics was somehow directly or indirectly responsible for the death of her favorite son.
Sources indicate that Ida has demanded that her husband allow someone else from NASA to be flagbearer in 2017 and he supports them like he supporter Kibaki in 2002. However Raila trusts his coalition partners even less than he trusted Kibaki. Raila also believes that NASA would collapse if he was not the candidate. Ida has apparently told him it is okay even if NASA collapses; it is time for him to retire to his family as they have given too much for this country.
Will Raila shelve his presidential ambitions for the sake of his dear family? Only time will tell