News Brief

Daughter of Kenya’s Former Prime Minister Speaks on IEBC Protests

Two days after a violent police crackdown, Winnie Odinga defends Kenya's IEBC protestors while slamming elitism among the middle class.

Winnie Odinga (Queen Kazi), the daughter of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga posted a thought-provoking observation on Facebook today, about Monday’s violent protests which called for electoral reforms within the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Two days after Kenyan police used teargas and beatings to disperse disgruntled demonstrators in downtown Nairobi, the younger Odinga spoke up on the poor attitude middle-class Kenyans hold of those who choose to go out and demonstrate peacefully.

IEBC stands accused of corruption, and demonstrators fear that the the commission will help the reigning Jubilee party rig 2017 elections. Reports about looting, vandalized property, and snatched phones surfaced. The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) say they will continue to protest until the IEBC is disbanded.

Winnie Odinga via Facebook

Read Winnie Odinga’s (aka Queen Kazi) Monday post below:

The Kenyan middle class' online chastism of the lower class right to protest is the most disgusting, elitist thing I've ever seen in my life and I simply cannot believe this is Kenya. It reminds me of the French statement "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" or in English "let them eat cake." Supposedly spoken by a French Princess upon learning that the peasants had no bread. It is a complete lack of understanding to believe that people take to the streets because they are "commanded" to do so by politicians or the uppity assumption that they are unable to reason simply because they are lower class.

It is disdainful and elitist to refer to poverty stricken people as "dear stupid Kenyans." I mean honestly, do you think the lady you pay to wash your underwear, clean your floors and bathe your children that you know very well has two children of her own but you insist on paying 10,000 shillings a month doesn't have anger inside her?

Do you think that by making your children call her "auntie" and letting her have Sunday off to go to Church is a satisfactory way of living for her?

As you sleep until 8am and she's up at 6 waiting in the cold for the Makini bus to pick your children up while her's walk an hour in this torrential rain to go sit in a dusty classroom, did you expect business to always be as usual for her?

Middle class Kenya needs to wake up. Every time you pay someone less than 50,000 shillings a month you are responsible for creating a home in the slum. Surprised? Or did you think 12,500 would afford your househelp a chalet in Muthaiga? A lady in Mukuru kwa Njenga, Mathare, Kangemi, who believes her vote was stole is 100% capable of reasoning that this electoral commission must go. a commission that is directly responsible for forcing upon a corrupt, tribalistic, elitist government. Just peer out of the tinted window of your Subaru to see all the people you splash water on when it rains. That is real kenya. Life isn't always Village Market, Mercury or Nakumatt Junction, real life in Kenya will not be shown on Netflix it will not be televised. Real life is in the streets and if you ever stood up for anything a day in your life you would know how important this struggle is for your fellow man that is unable to provide.

Lastly, I insist that we all read The flame of freedom, and if you've read it, read it again. It aptly describes the eight glorious years spent by the person in the forefront of these "unlawful protests" at Nyayo torture chambers, at Shimo la Tewa prison at Kamiti and a host of other prisons being tortured for the rights of Multi-party democracy and freedom of expression, freedoms that I will forever be grateful allow me to express myself on a forum such as this today.

News Brief
Podcast cover art.

Bobi Wine's Release Detailed in Latest Episode of 'The Messenger'

Trauma is the topic on the podcast's latest episode: "The Ballot or The Bullet."

The latest episode of The Messenger is something to behold.

Created by Sudanese-American rapper Bas, The Messenger throws the spotlight on the thunderous circumstances many African countries face, with a close focus on Ugandan politician Bobi Wine.

In his most recent traumatic experience, Wine and his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi were released from a nearly two-week military house arrest following the ruling of a Ugandan court. Keeping up with current events and circumstances that Wine finds himself in, the latest episode of the podcast recounts the traumatic events that led to Wine's very public abuse and eventual house arrest.

Upon his release, Wine spoke with The Messenger and had this to say, "I want to remind the world that we went in this election knowing how corrupt the staff of the electoral commission is. We saw this through the campaign and the world saw how much was oppressed, how biased and one sided the electoral commission was, and how much it was in the full grip of General Museveni. And therefore we are going to test every legal test, we shall take every legal test. We shall take every legal step. And indeed we shall take every moral and morally proactive, nonviolent, but legal and peaceful step to see that we liberate ourselves. The struggle has not ended. It is just beginning."

Listen to Episode 7 of The Messenger here.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


The 9 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (January)

Featuring Ayra Starr, Reekado Banks x Tiwa Savage, Femi Kuti, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Joeboy, Yung L, Buju and more