ODM leader Raila Odinga for the Central people has been for a long time portrayed as an ‘enemy’ especially in the 2007, 2013 and 2017 general elections. This was a tactic employed by his opponents to deny him support in the vote-rich region. However, this time as 2022 general elections nears, he has a chance to eke it out with his opponents for support.
Over the weekend, he made eight stopovers between Nanyuki and Nairobi, including Karatina, where he addressed an excited crowd chanting his name and displaying oranges, ODM’s symbol, which is a situation distinct from 2007 when he was jeered in some instances and chased out of a local hotel. After the Laikipia and Nairobi campaigns, he attended another important meeting with leaders and tycoons from Mt. Kenya, who embraced him and dubbed the forum, “the beginning of the search for President Kenyatta’s successor.”
He was hosted by the Mt. kenya Foundation, whose chairman is Mr. Peter Munga. They said that they were impressed with Mr. Odinga’s forays into Mt. Kenya on Monday. The meeting was vital because it composed of the wealthy supporters of Uhuru Kenyatta and his predecessor Mwai Kibaki’s campaigns. This meeting is a clear indication that Raila’s fortunes have changed.
Mr. Munga likened Raila’as entry into Mt. Kenya to Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem. He told Raila not to worry about getting mass support in Mt. Kenya but he should support the gradual positive changes. The foundation’s vice chairman Mr. Titus Ibui said the group is looking for President Kenyatta’s successor who will stick to the Constitution and offer them a conducive environment to run their businesses.
During his meeting with the Mt. Kenya leaders, Raila acknowledged the problems faced by boda boda operators and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). He said he had forwarded their issues to President Kenyatta. Raila said to improve the economy, the youths should be empowered.
Igembe North MP Maoka Maore said that he heard Uhuru Kenyatta complaining that the person who ought to have taken the button from him ran in the opposite direction. He said it is now the time for Raila to be handed over the button. The Mt. Kenya Foundation leaders said they would meet OKA leaders to learn their plans for the region.