- Where’d Kenya be if Raila Odinga Coup’s made it through?
- A Kenyan Somali Army General Stopped Raila Odinga’s Coup in 1982
- International media and foreign policy experts warn Odinga has been steadfast in attempting civilian coups in Kenya after the failed 1982 military putsch.
At midnight on Sunday, 1 August 1982 global media news reports confirmed that a faction within the military’s Kenya Air force was responsible for a coup in Nairobi. The 1982 Kenyan coup d’état attempt was a failed attempt to overthrow President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi’s government. The Raila Odinga led coup was quickly suppressed by forces commanded by Chief of General Staff Mahomoud Mohamed, a veteran Somali military official. Raila Odinga conceded playing a central role in the botched 1982 coup in Kenya, in Enigma, authored by Nigerian Babafemi Badejo in 2006.
The bizarre scenes of Kenya’s fleeting coup attempt are imprinted in the citizens and victims minds. Hundreds died while thousands of airmen lost jobs and worse tens of thousands lost property and business worth millions. Actually, Kenya’s economy was humbled and the world got angry. After the putsch was suppressed, Washington called President Moi congratulating him for defeating the Raila Odinga led coup. For the United States, the specter of instability in Kenya has remained a serious problem with global aspects since it is one of Washington’s best friends in black Africa. The US advanced Nairobi money to rebuild after the coup.
Coups; the Catastrophic Ramifications
The most subtle scene of a coup is death and eventual loss of civilian freedoms. Raila Odinga, a populist who draws much of his political clout from a cultish-ethnopolical establishment, attempted to grab power from President Daniel Moi. Moi, just 3 years as president was neither corrupt nor a dictator then. Rwanda, Somalia, Libya, Burundi, and Egypt are classic examples to look at when analyzing the destruction that comes with coups. The catastrophe that follows coups, either military or civilians has far reaching ramifications on a country’s socioeconomics and political unity. Loss of life and property are the most immediate outcomes of coups. Catastrophes caused by coups are characterized by escalation of violence and ethnic rifts. After violence and suppression of free-flow of essential services such as banking, basic food commodities and medicine manifest followed by a steady decline of the economy besides a severe political instability, civilians suffer while coup plotters and their cronies assume power and escalate the misery to strengthen their grip on power . Countries like Somalia and Libya completely collapsed and subsequently failed.
Raila Odinga admission that he played a central role in the botched 1982 coup de-tat is disturbing. He has championed nationalism and democracy however it is surprising he has an insatiable penchant for power. This penchant for power has more than often nearly destroyed a sprawling multiethnic country fueled by nationalism and guided by Western philosophy. His coup sought to destroy a state nation and build an ethnic-cult empire, often the ideal vehicle for despots since ethnic empires are fueled by cultish-populist ideals, not nationalism.
Kenya has been lucky though, it has weathered the storms of coups and street protests masterminded by Raila Amollo Odinga (like witnessed in 2007 political violence stoked by his inability to concede election defeat). 2017 General elections in the most powerful country in East and Central Africa are interesting to watch since the road ahead will be equally complex. Odinga as usual will attempt to exploit the ugly political defeat affair to accelerate his plans to augment the powers of rigged elections claims and expand his shortcuts to find his way to power.