I did not incite ‘haki yetu’ riots in Zimbabwe- Silas Jakakimba

Silas Jakakimba

Zimbabwe police just fell short of calling him a fugitive and an anarchist who should be blamed for inciting the violence that erupted in that country after the elections. He claims he was there to represent Raila, but the ODM secretariat has disowned him. So where does the truth lie? Silas Jakakimba responds:

Based on your social media posts, you went to Zimbabwe to support the opposition at the behest of your party leader, Raila Odinga…

I have not posted on any of my social media handles anything to that effect. What you might have seen is a picture or two during Nelson Chamisa’s last engagements. However, what you have alluded to came from my formal statement to Kenyan media houses, when they contacted me on Sunday about an alleged publication in a local daily in Harare. The paper quoted a police officer saying they wanted to ‘interview’ me on my mission in Zimbabwe. Yes, I was in Zimbabwe on a noble mission - to show solidarity with my brother and friend Nelson Chamisa, but most importantly, to convey Raila Odinga’s goodwill message to the alliance’s leadership and the people of Zimbabwe on the occasion of such a defining transition window.

But the ODM secretariat has disowned you…

That is misleading. The ODM secretariat cannot and did not disown me. Whereas I am a life member of the change movement, I have never been an employee of the ODM secretariat. In as much as we are one team working for the same cause of realising a more equal society, I am answerable to the Raila Odinga secretariat.

What do you mean?

 The ODM party headquarters did not have an observer or a representative ahead of or during the Zimbabwe elections. For the record, it is not true that the Hon Raila Odinga did not send a (personal) envoy. Ignore such reckless statements. I was in Zimbabwe on official assignment. 

According to newspaper reports, the Zimbabwe police claim you incited opposition supporters to engage in violence. Is this true?

Nothing can be further from the truth. I was not on any discreet or sinister assignment in Harare. I arrived there publicly on Friday 27, left a clear record of my local contact persons on immigration documents. I later joined MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa on his last public rally on Saturday, July 28. I did not address that rally. Comrade Chamisa only recognised my presence and informed the crowed that Mr Odinga had sent an ambassador of good-will, and asked me to stand up and wave. I left Harare when the streets were busy, folks warm and welcoming, skies clear-blue and the nation pregnant with all the prospects of a peaceful transition.

So why would they create a story like that?

I believe it was diversionary. The purported allegation is not even remotely possible.

How come ODM has never nominated you to Parliament or the East African Legislative Assembly?

We should look at this differently. ODM ni chama kubwa, with a reservoir of several highly-qualified intellectuals and party stalwarts just like me. Our time will come.

Has the handshake between President Uhuru and Raila rendered ODM irrelevant as the opposition in parliament?

Not at all. Parliament has a constitutional oversight duty and for this, all MPs swore to do just that. If you follow parliamentary proceedings well, you’d note that a number of our MPs have actually upped their delivery in this respect. Remember most of the work also goes on at the committee level, a number of which are from the eyes of the public.

The law hasn’t changed. Why is it suddenly possible to arrest corrupt people, some for crimes committed 10 years ago?

Probably political will.

Do you regret baring personal issues involving you and your wife on social media?

Most people got this right, of course some few got it twisted. If the same thing were to happen again, I would run the same script, and it is not about laying bare personal issues on social media. Police records would indicate to you that we were dealing with a  matter of life and death, where someone who felt he had more money, would do anything around your space but sadly, including physically assaulting my person in the presence of my son and worse, threatening me with death. When the police issued several summons for him to appear before them, he declined and I felt so unsafe. I therefore decided to go public with these threats. This is someone who told me he would not hesitate to crush me dead like he had ‘done to others’. So, it was about my life. Period.

Have the two of you reconciled?

She remains the same beautiful mother of my lovely sons.

You accused her of cheating. Did you cheat on her?

What I wrote is till up, I only privatised it once it served its purpose – exposing a dangerous folk who threatened to kill me, and gave the reason behind it. This was already a police matter three months before then.

Assuming Baba retires from politics, which Luo leader, in your opinion, has what it takes to take over the mantle?

 Folks have always got this very wrong. Even Baba did not wait to be ordained. Our people place so much leadership trust on an individual who can stand up to some ideals, to some cause. Baba is currently doing his bit to leave one, united nation. Let everyone do their part.

We once had Young Turks. Why is your generation of politicians unable to live up to those standards?

It is because of lack of strong convictions around a cause or enduring ideals. But there is so much opportunity now for the African youth to stand up and be counted, from Cape to Tripoli, from Abidjan to Harare, from Nairobi to Luanda.

Why are young Luos suddenly building palatial homes in the village, which was not the case in the past?

Are you for real? If it is so, then I would attribute it to Christianity. Folks no longer believe in those old witchcraft stories. So, if you get some coins, why not buy stones and get yourself a roof over your head. My generation also likes going home a lot - always visiting with friends etc.

If you met Malik Obama, what would you tell him?

That as an elder brother to his siblings, he must learn to be a unifying factor to the larger family.


The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Sde.co.ke