Can Ruto Convince US to Ban Raila? Experts Explain

  • Widespread reports stating that the Kenya Kwanza government had contacted foreign powers to tame former Prime Minister Raila Odinga sent ripples across the nation, with different political factions advancing their agenda. 

    A host of leaders affiliated with President William Ruto claimed that the Opposition Chief would be denied entry into western nations, accusing hime of plotting to disrupt Kenya’s peace and stability. 

    Belgut Member of Parliament, Nelson Koech, stated that Odinga’s political activities would prompt western nations to “place sanction” against Odinga, arguing that the Orange Democratic Movement Party Leader had shown a “high appetite for causing political and economic instability”. 

    In his argument, Koech, Chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Defense and Foreign Affairs, noted that the development would not be a new political occurrence Odinga were to be punished. 

    Azimio Chief Raila Odinga and Leadership Group Director Abraham Nda-Ishaiah in Abuja, Nigeria on January 30, 2023.jpg

    Azimio Chief Raila Odinga and Leadership Group Director Abraham Nda-Ishaiah in Abuja, Nigeria on January 30, 2023.

    ODM Party

    Several Kenya Kwanza leaders and politicians also shared his stance in reference to Odinga’s current political movements. 

    However, Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi, argued that Western countries would affirm Azimio La Umoja allegations that the elections were stolen, if they were to heed such requests.

    International Relations experts added that it would be impossible for any foreign nation to fall into such a trap. 

    John Gachie, a foreign affairs analyst, noted that it would be a tall order to have a foreign nation meddle with the political affairs of Kenya unless proven that Raila’s activities threaten national security. 

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, the International Relations expert affirmed that no evidence linked Odinga to activities classifiable as a threat to human rights or the nation’s security through his political rallies. 

    Gachie cast doubts that Kenya Kwanza would pursue such an endeavour given the magnitude of the burden of proving that Odinga’s actions warranted such sanctions. 

    “I doubt that would be possible, and if any foreign power would want to block Raila Odinga from accessing their countries on such grounds. 

    “Raila is not wanted or listed, and all he has been doing is within his rights and mandate to keep the government in check,” he told Kenyans.co.ke

    According to the pundit, circumstances under which a leader can be blocked from accessing a foreign nation include cases where one is found culpable of violating human rights, drug trafficking or terror activities.

    ODM Party leader Raila Odinga addressing residents in Kakamega on February 25, 2023

    ODM Party leader Raila Odinga addressing residents in Kakamega on February 25, 2023


    Raila Odinga

    However, the analyst explained that such countries could limit an individual’s travelling based on their customs, including Visa requirements

    Edwin Kegoli, a political analyst, added that banning Raila would be inconsequential as he would resort to causing more havoc at home. 

    “What would it cost Odinga if he is not to fly out or be treated as a special person abroad? Raila has been through worse in his political journey and such a move by the government would only embolden him and heighten his activities,” he told Kenyans.co.ke

    “Ruto’s government is panicking about Raila’s activities, hence resorting to sanctioning strategies. This gives Raila more impetus to push harder as it means he is making serious headway,” governance expert Martin Andati added. 

    In retaliation to the threats of placing him under travel restrictions, Odinga laughed off the reports maintaining that he was not interested in travelling abroad and instead was committed to ensuring pushing for reforms in the country. 

    An unperturbed Odinga issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government with a raft of demands which, according to him, failing to honour them would prompt him and his supporters to take to the streets for mass action. 

    Amid the heated discussion surrounding the news about Odinga’s possible travel ban- Kenya Kwanza principals chose to steer off the discussion and left their foot soldiers to comment. 

    However, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua was on record stating that Odinga’s term as African Union’s High Representative for Infrastructure was terminated due to his political stance. 

    According to Kenya Kwanza allies, the government struck the first blow in the row with Raila, reiterating President William Ruto’s sentiments that he would be coerced to bow to the opposition’s demands.

    File photo of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga speaking at a public rally

    File photo of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga speaking at a public rally.


    Raila Odinga

    drug stolen

Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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