In a reflective discourse on his political trajectory, Aden Duale, the current Defence Cabinet Secretary, shared an enlightening backstory of his political inception, attributing it to the mentoring of Raila Odinga, the incumbent leader of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party.
Duale reminisced about his initial foray into politics, revealing that it was Odinga who ushered him into the political arena in 2007. The former National Assembly majority leader recalled his candidacy for the Dujis parliamentary seat, representing the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), the preeminent political party at the time.
Duale candidly spoke of how the ODM party’s ascendancy facilitated his triumph over Hussein Maalim Mohamed, a seasoned politician and ex-minister. “I was an ardent devotee of ‘Baba’ [Odinga]. That is why I credit Baba for my political apprenticeship. I was a neophyte in politics, and there was a palpable thirst for change in the Dujis constituency. The ODM, being the political flavor of the moment, was instrumental in this change, especially given the growing weariness toward the Mwai Kibaki regime. We were a contingent of young changemakers gravitating around the ODM,” Duale recounted.
However, the political camaraderie between Duale and Odinga experienced a schism leading up to the 2013 elections when Duale formed an alliance with William Ruto to establish the United Republic Party (URP). Since this divergence, Duale has maintained a skeptical outlook on Odinga’s political maneuvers.
Recently, Duale, a key figure in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, dismissed Odinga’s calls for protests and product boycotts. He censured Odinga, alleging a clandestine collaboration with Uhuru Kenyatta, resulting in rampant corruption, and subsequently blaming the deteriorating economy. Duale asserted, “Days before the election, the nation’s treasury was plundered. State capture became institutionalized, and vast tracts of land were illicitly acquired. Exorbitant funds were expended on the Isiolo-Garrisa road, with billions allocated just for murram.”
Duale’s revelations underscore the complex and shifting alliances in Kenya’s political landscape, highlighting the interplay between mentorship, loyalty, and political pragmatism.