Raila Odinga

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Raila Odinga (born 1945) is the former socialist Prime Minister of Kenya and a cousin of US President Barack Obama.[1] He received his higher education at Magdeburg University in Communist East Germany; his first son is named after Fidel Castro.[2] In 2007 Odinga was the candidate for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in the Kenyan presidential election. The disputed outcome of that election, which opposition activists claim was rigged to produce a victory for incumbent president Mwai Kibaki, led to widespread civil unrest in which around 1,500 people died and several hundred thousands fled their homes. In a power-sharing deal aimed at restoring stability and international support, Kibaki agreed to make Odinga prime minister. In the elections of 2013, Odinga was the candidate of ODM, but he didn't win.

Cultural and Religious Background

Like his cousin, Odinga is a member of the Luo people, many of whom are Muslims. Odinga himself claims to be an Anglican. Odinga achieved power with the support of the National Muslim Leaders Forum of Kenya. As part of the deal, Odinga has agreed to introduce Sharia Law to Kenya. He also agreed to a number of other policies, including:

  • “Popularize Islam, the only true religion… by ordering every primary school in Kenya in the regions to conduct daily Madrassa classes.”
  • “Impose a total ban on open-air gospel crusades by worshippers of the cross…”
  • “Outlaw gospel programs… on KBC, the National Broadcaster.”
  • “Impose a total ban on the public consumption of alcoholic beverages…”
  • “Impose an immediate ban on women’s public dressing styles that are considered immoral and offensive to the Muslim faith…”

Odinga has received outspoken support in his campaigns from Barack Obama, who was described by Kenyan government officials as Odinga's "stooge" during a 2006 visit.

Further Information



  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7176683.stm
  2. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2c8_1199824924