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Ida Odinga: Ruto might not allow his wife to engage me for obvious reasons

In Summary

  • Ida also tackles a slew of issues including teen pregnancies, ODM politics and political violence.
  • She says she is however “easy” with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.

ODM party leader Raila Odinga’s wife says Deputy President William Ruto’s spouse Rachel may be limited in her engagements with her “for obvious political reasons.”

In an interview with a local newspaper, Ida Odinga however says all is fine between her and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.

“I have no problem with them (Rachel and Margaret). In fact, we are friends though we don’t meet often. But with Margaret, we are easy. Even with Rachel, we would be easy, but I know it won’t be easy for her. The spouse may not allow her to engage me for obvious political reasons. He may not like it.”

The two are on separate sides of the political divide, where calumny and putdowns fly like termites after a rainy night. Raila and UDA’s Ruto are also the veritable frontrunners in the 2022 presidential race.

Ida Odinga Speaks

In the interview with the Daily Nation, Ida also talks about the ODM party politics, her husband’s presidential bid (the umpteenth time), gender and teen pregancies.

Ida is the Managing Director of Spectre International, a family business. She says though she is hands-on in the running of the company, she is also a politician by default. “I’ve lived with it (politics) and it has never affected my business roles.”

Several instances of politically-instigated violence have been reported especially in campaign rallies. Last September the DP’s convoy was stoned at Narumoru, Nyeri, and only a month later at Korinda along the Busia-Kakamega highway.

“If there is a rally and you don’t like somebody, why do you go to the rally?” poses Ida. “Why don’t you stay home, go to the shamba and look after your goats. You know who is coming for a rally, why go there if you don’t want him?”

Teen Pregnancies

Ida says the issue of teen pregnancies in the country is alarming. A recent report by National Council for Population and Development says teenage pregnancy and motherhood prevalence is at 18 per cent.

“We must take responsibility as a society to be our young one’s keepers,” says Ida who runs Linda Kesho, a programme that enlightens girls about risky behaviours. “It’s quite absurd that girls between 10 and 14 are getting pregnant.”

Back to politics, Ida was cagey on whether her husband Raila will announce his presidential bid on December 9. “That’s his secret,” she said. “I’m also anxious and waiting like anybody else to know whatever he will say.”

-Nom de Plume


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