Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is aiming to put some distance between himself and the “analogue” label with the launch of a new, spiffy website that will rebrand him as a leader with his eye on the future. Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila’s main opponent in the 2013 polls, inflicted a mortal wound on the CORD leader’s campaign by casting him as an “analogue” politician stuck in the past. The launch of the www.rao.co.ke website is hoping to remedy that.
The website is scheduled to go live on Friday at 3 p.m. Currently, there’s a digital countdown clock on the site doing a 24-esque tick-tock count down to the big reveal. The only other words on the site are: “Something Fresh & Exciting is coming…
In the meantime, those in the know are dropping some hints about what the site will be about. It appears that the site will mostly be a platform for the former Prime Minister to stay in in touch – albeit virtually – with his supporters.
http://t.co/sisVwApc2h #RAOzinduka aims at creating platforms and opportunities for listening, learning & sharing views with @RailaOdinga
— Phil (@Phil_254) May 6, 2015
http://t.co/sisVwApc2h #RAOzinduka underlines @RailaOdinga belief in the power of technology in interacting with people globally — Phil (@Phil_254) May 6, 2015
http://t.co/PE1wXPDV7w#RAOzinduka is a user-friendly interactive medium that will invite feedback from Kenyans all over the world.
— Phil (@Phil_254) May 6, 2015
Are Kenyans excited by the upcoming launch of the site? If reactions on twitter are any indication then they most certainly are. The hashtag #RAOzinduka trended for most of Wednesday with Raila’s supporters using it to express their glee about the new site as well as to throw some barbs at their favourite target: the ruling Jubilee coalition.
The best ever president Kenya has never had #RAOzinduka
— Mathew Rotich,EGH. (@mathew_rotich) May 6, 2015
The man will go into the history books as a great leader. Youthfulness is not necessarily good leadership. #raozinduka — John K (@John0201K) May 6, 2015
The press and Jubilee PR has been trying so hard to make Raila unpopular but they forget that he still controls most of Kenta #Raozinduka
— Will Kioko (@KiokoWill) May 6, 2015
It’s like Mayweather and Paquiao, on is wearing the belt, the other is the people’s champion, #FatherOfDevolution#RAOzinduka — Hemedi Kazungu (@HemediKazungu) May 6, 2015
Raila is not universally loved so, naturally, there were also quite a number of Kenyans wondering what all the fuss is about.
so we will download food and jobs on that site #RAOzinduka — mugambi (@jeffmugambi) May 6, 2015
Sometimes we just need to know when to quit. #RAOzinduka
— JUJA PRESIDENT (@mutuma_ian) May 6, 2015
Rao should spare his tears by giving up and maybe groom someone else, some things are just meant to be. #RAOzinduka — KoroTheBeast (@brookinskipz) May 6, 2015
One thing is for sure though, the website puts any doubts that Raila won’t vie for the presidency in 2017 to rest.
Ready for real leadership. #rao2017 #raozinduka pic.twitter.com/HRGA6Q0Eil
— Pierre (@Onyango_2010) May 6, 2015
@RailaOdinga is rebranding and already launching his new website this Friday folks be ready for the showdown it’s 2017 again #RAOZinduka
— frederick okango (@fokango) May 6, 2015
Hopefully, the launch of this new site also means that Raila – and the CORD coalition in general – are ready to inject more energy into their actions as the official opposition in Kenya. The consensus currently is CORD is sleeping on the job and there are even suggestions that the coalition has been subdued – at best – or coopted – at worst – by the government. The way the recently parastatal appointments were dished out hasn’t done much to quell this suspicion. Kenya needs a strong opposition to keep the government in check and hopefully Raila and his gang are about to start doing just that.