The “Deep State” was never on Raila’s side in the 2022 general elections owing to his push to fight corruption according to revelations.
How Azimio leader Raila Odinga lost the 2022 general election to first-timer William Ruto still puzzles many of his supporters.
Raila unsuccessfully vied for the fifth time but lost to his opponent, the then deputy president William Ruto who won the seat at the very first attempt, a seat that has troubled Raila FIVE times.
The Azimio leader, against the odds, had the backing of the sitting President Uhuru Kenyatta, and many expected the presidency was his to lose.
Even with the myth surrounding the “deep state”, his Azimio supporters expected or even assumed Raila had already won the top seat.
However, according to a local publication, Raila’s stance against corruption scared power brokers who felt he would punish them.
Raila Oginga has for a long time had a love-hate relationship with the deep state if it does exist.
His history as a left-leaning politician did not augur well with brokers and western powers
In his manifesto, Raila even stated that if he is elected president, promised to send any corrupt person to prison, regardless of previous government positions.
The same treatment would be extended to any other public official, both retired and active.
Following this proclamation, the deep state ended up keeping Raila close to them yet so far from power.
They ensured that Raila is kept busy to tame him.
Raila Odinga has never been irrelevant at any time in his political career. He has always been the center of attention at every major political event in Kenya.
He was vocal during Moi, Kibaki, and Uhuru’s reigns.
He has been respected by all these leaders, who even worked with him at some point.
But the main question has remained as to why these leaders never helped him to clinch the presidency.
Uhuru Kenyatta tried, but he never really went out of his way to help him to clinch the presidency.
He never really went out of his way to actively campaign for him, but rather sent out people who were not as influential as he was.
Raila even recently claimed that the international community and multinationals were opposed to his candidature for presidency in the August general elections.
Speaking at a book launch on Thursday, October 6 at the National Museum, Raila said that certain international monopoly capital had doubts about his ambition to make Kenya a manufacturing hub.
The myth about Deep State
The phrase has become popular in recent years to describe a strong clandestine cabal that is not legitimately in power but still bends the will of the people during elections and afterwards.
Raila Odinga’s supporters have consistently asserted that there is a plot at the highest echelons of government to deny the former prime minister, who lost the presidency in 1997, 2007, 2013, and 2017, the position.
However, the word may have first been used locally by former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka in a December 2019 interview with Citizen TV.
“Kenyans must know that there is a ‘deep state’ government,” he said. “A country is never run by these politicians who shout [the] loudest.”
A year later, Musyoka, an influential member of the Azimio La Umoja coalition which backs Odinga, said, “I don’t know if there is a deep [state], what I know is there are interest groups and some of them have [an] enabling capacity.”
In September 2021, yet another member of the ruling party coalition reinforced the now widespread belief of a “deep state”.
In an interview, Francis Kimemia, a former public service head and current governor for Nyandarua county in central Kenya said, “The state exists. I can assure you it is deeper than deep. If you have two candidates at the rate of 50-50, and the ‘deep state’ backs one, you can be sure which one will win. The international community plays a great role in who becomes elected.”
The so-called cabal is said to have the right of first refusal to influence choice positions and lucrative contracts in government and business.
Members are believed to be in the presidency, the security agencies, the electoral commission, and other parts of the civil service that supposedly work in tandem as an “All-Seeing Eye”.
So, the biggest to the Azimio supporters is where was the Deep State when Raila was losing and why Uhuru wasn’t doing something about it.
In a chest-thumping bravado, Oburu Odinga, Raila’s elder brother and now Siaya Senator in 2021 said, “we now have the system,” this time round, and Raila wouldn’t lose the election.
Raila diehards were so enamored with this “we now have the system” aphorism, they believed the presidency was theirs for the taking.
One of the Azimio coalition parliamentary contestants and a long-time friend of Raila Odinga even lamented over the deep state mantra in an interview “We’ve been losing the election because we don’t have the state on our side, now we have it,’ pervaded Raila’s campaign so much so that contrary opinion or advice of whatever sort was not entertained,” said the politician.
“The Deep State is on top of things, become the standard mantra for vexing problems that needed practical solutions.”
The most egregious of these vexing problems was the issue of agents and their payments, said the politician. “We implored the coalition honchos to ensure that agents were deployed countrywide. Of course, that never happened.” Why? I asked. “Oh, the Deep State is in charge. It was Oburu’s maxim cut and paste – we now have the system, sit back and relax.”