Raila Assembles Super Team to Take Over Mt.Kenya & Rift

  • While ODM leader, Raila Odinga, has kept his competitors guessing whether he will offer his candidature in a contest billed to be between the “hustlers nation” and the “dynasties”, his series of meetings with leaders from Rift Valley and Mt. Kenya region have signalled that he may be on the presidential ballot.

    The Star reported that the former prime minister has formed a super team with leaders from the two regions, regarded as Jubilee strongholds, that will help him succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.

    In both regions, Raila is said to be leveraging on his handshake with President Kenyatta to make inroads.

    Kirinyaga Governor, Anne Waiguru, a former fierce critic of Raila, on Wednesday, stated that the region was ready to warm up to the ex-PM.

    Apart from Waiguru, other leaders claiming to be popularising the handshake include MPs, Maoka Maore (Igembe North), Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town), Muturi Kigano (Kangema) and Wangari Mwaniki (Kigumo).

    Under the women-led Embrace movement, Sabina Chege (Murang’a Woman Rep), Priscilla Nyokabi (former Nyeri Woman Rep) and Youth and Gender Affirs CAS, Rachel Shebesh are said to be solidly behind Odinga.

    Other legislators believed to be supporting the former premier are Peter Mwathi (Limuru), Paul Koinange (Kiambaa), Maina Kamanda (nominated) and Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani).

    In Rift Valley, Raila has in recent months escalated his talks with key leaders from both North and South Rift, as well as gracing various functions in the vote-rich region.

    Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, who is Ruto’s main political opponent in Rift Valley, has been warming up to Raila in what could complicate the DP’s matrix in his own backyard.

    Recently, Raila met former Bomet Governor and Chama Cha Mashinani Party leader, Isaac Ruto, former Kuresoi South MP, Zakayo Cheruiyot, former Buret MP, Franklin Bett and former Konoin MP, Paul Sang.

    Early in July, Raila hosted Cherangany MP, Joshua Kutuny and his Moiben counterpart, Silas Tiren and within two months, the opposition chief has been to Elgeyo Marakwet County twice.

    Raila was first in the county under the leadership of Governor Alex Tolgos, who has fallen out with DP Ruto. Tolgos, stated that his decision to work with the ODM leader was due to the fact that Odinga was now part of the government and was well placed to address the challenges facing the people of Elgeyo Marakwet.