Kenya’s former PM Raila Odinga vying for presidency

Raila Odinga,
Raila Odinga,

Some 19.6 million Kenyans will vote on Tuesday to elect the country’s fifth president. Raila Amollo Odinga, the son of Kenya’s first Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, has been an active political player in Kenya’s politics since early 1980s.

Born on January 7, 1945, Odinga is a flag bearer of second liberation campaigning on the platform of reformist politicians in National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, a coalition of five political parties that have nominated him to contest the upcoming Aug. 8 elections.

The 72-year-old Odinga has been associated with pushing for political reforms, sometimes taking leadership of the reform process that culminated into the new constitution that Kenyans approved in a referendum in August 2010.

A mechanical engineer by profession, Odinga who is former Prime Minister, is seeking the presidency in a fourth attempt to become the nation’s fifth president.

Odinga received his early education in Kisumu, on the shores of Lake Victoria, and then at Maranda School in his ancestral home area of Bondo.

In 1965, Odinga joined the Magdeburg College of Advanced Technology (now Otto-Von-Guericke University) to study mechanical engineering (production technology). He graduated with a Master of Science degree.

Odinga returned to Kenya and in May 1970 and joined the University of Nairobi, where he taught until 1974 as a tutorial fellow in the department of mechanical engineering.

Odinga has held various cabinet positions under Moi and Kibaki administrations and controls the Odinga business empire.

Odinga is a firm believer in welfare state as reflected in the current manifesto of NASA. Enditem

Source: Chrispinus Omar and Robert Manyara, Xinhua/

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