FULL TEXT: This was The Last Newspaper Interview Fidel Odinga Gave

January 13, 2015

fidel-odingaBy Derek Otieno for People Daiy
Like his late grandfather, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, father Raila, he enjoyed his own constituency of supporters and lovers across the country. In a rare interview at his favourite haunt, The Rubi Cut, two weeks before demise, he opened up …
PD: Recently, your Mum, a lady say you have so much respect for hinted that you are old enough to make a political decision. What has come of it so far?
Fidel: No, you are suggesting that the decision is made by my Mum. That is not the thing. I am old enough to make a decision. I believe that the right time will come when I have put everything in place for an announcement. I respect the current MPs. They were elected on ODM tickets and I cannot announce the decision when the current legislators are still occupying their seats. I cannot make an announcement that will look like sabotage.
Q. You were meant to plunge into politics when your dad was having a stab at the presidency under the new constitution in 2013. What happened?
A. It could have been destructive for me to vie for a seat while the cause I was supporting was the Presidential Campaign. I think I could have been distracted by my own campaign. I was involved in the deep running of the Presidential Campaign and the logistics involved in it like other members of the family.
Q. So, was the family behind the move to skip the 2013 General Election?
A. No. The time for me standing was not ripe and politics, as I have learnt from my family and parents, is something that is not instant. It is a decision that involves many things. We have the campaign staff to take care of. There are other logistics and a proper programme that should be in place before an announcement of that magnitude is made. It was my own decision.
Q. It is rare that you have a loyal following in the country that cuts across various sectors of the society despite your privileged position in society. You are from one of the country most political families. What ticks in this case?
A. My parents instilled discipline in me at a very young age and I have been taught to respect all and sundry. I believe that for me to be part of humanity, I need to treat all with respect, irrespective of their age, religious and economic background. My Mum is a disciplinarian and taught us how to live with people. She has on the other hand helped people in life to be what they are. In our family, we were taught to treat all visitors the same and look at them with respect.
Q. Your appeal to the youth notwithstanding, what about any projects that you have initiated for them?
A. I believe that in life, we are all the same. We are all equal in the eyes of the Almighty God and with that, I treat all the people in the country with respect and with that I attract friends from all walks of life. I cannot count on one section of the society to form the core of my friends. My friends are found in all parts of the country and from all backgrounds.
Q. You are involved in a philanthropic activities. They are countless from the figures we have. Is it a calling?
A. I come from a normal background. I don’t think there is a problem with me helping out a friend where and when I can. In a normal day, I meet so many people and I cannot just wish them away. I have good friend like Ogada (Mark) and Okumu (Osoti). They are my good friends. We meet often and if you go back to our background, these are people from places far away. But, I love them for what they are. Humble and loyal.
My Mum taught us to share and I can assure you that there is no day in our lives that visitors come and leave without sharing what we have.
Q. What about your relation with Gor Mahia?
A. To me, supporting Gor Mahia is what many refer to as way of life. I love the team and at times of hardship, I have pooled my friends to help the club achieve some of its ambitions. I have always had a soft spot for this great club.
Q. Back to politics, is joining Kisumu Rugby Club and Gor Mahia a grand scheme to join politics? Others have done so before.
A. I am not doing so for politics. I am a true sportsman and I support the events for the development and not for politics. I believe in true competition offering the youth of this country a sporting chance.
Q. Finally, out of this interview’s set rules. Which seat are you going for? Kisumu East, Kibra or Lang’ata?
A. No. That is not for now. I will make a decision when the time comes. You will be among the first ones to know.

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