Raila Junior, the fourth born of Opposition leader Raila Odinga, has issued a clarification for his earlier tweets which has in the last few days drawn mixed reactions on social media after criticizing a section of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leaders.
In his early morning tweet on Wednesday 16th September 2020, Junior clarified his views were his own and not the party’s and that he was grateful to ODM for allowing democratic space in which different views and opinions are expressed. And in apparent response to his critics within the party he says ” My views were not targeting any leaders & I apologize for any misunderstanding caused”
The tweets which have been hailed as courageous and bold by some Kenyans have also been criticized by a section of ODM party members who may have interpreted them as going against his father’s party. Responding to Junior’s apology, Dancun Makori says “It will be better if you stop talking about ODM and have something else to do.”
Several people however think that the apology is unnecessary as Junior has a mind of his own and is entitled to his views. For example Ngetich Elisha however says “You have no apology to make if anyone can’t understand you infact you make a good leader by showing us that you can express you opinions without any fear”
In a tweet interpreted as critical of Deputy Party Leader Ali Hassan Joho, Junior has called for reforms in the ODM party saying “ We as ODM need to find our way back to basics, we’re not just about private jets & slay queens whilst abusing rival politicians, we have a development agenda clearly outlined in our manifesto, let’s focus on service delivery, democratic space, protecting private citizen rights”
And just the other day following the arrest of Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, Raila Junior slammed minority whip, Junet Mohamed, for not defending his fellow legislator. He tweeted, “Actually Junet Mohamed, as minority whip in the house and senior parliamentarian, I believe your position should be that even though you don’t necessarily agree with what Oscar Sudi said, you’ll defend his right to say it. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of our democracy!” He tweeted.
Junior has shied away from active participation in politics despite the fact that politics run in the family. Unlike his elder brother Fidel who passed on in January 2015, Juniro has focused more on business and owns a media production company that creates TV commercials.
He has however maintained a political presence through his largely unpredictable and sometimes controversial tweets. As we head towards 2022 general election, Junior’s twitter handle will be watched closely in days to come.