Billionaires Raila Banks On to Deliver Presidency

  • Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga addresses the nation on June 1, 2020.
    Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga addresses the nation on June 1, 2020.
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  • ODM leader Raila Odinga in September hinted at a possible stab at the presidency, challenging that "Baba hajachoka, ako tayari, je mko tayari (I am not tired, I am ready, what about you)?"

    As months edge closer to the next General Election, alliances have started taking shape and the enigma of Kenyan politics safely has the support of very influential and wealthy politicians in his circle. 

    Hassan Joho 

    Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho is a protege of Odinga. 

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    From left: Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho with ODM leader Raila Odinga and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed in Dubai on Thursday, July 9, 2020
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    The ODM deputy party leader is considered the most influential Coast leader where he has helped deliver the region to Odinga in the last three general elections.

    Joho, who also harbours presidential ambitions, is likely to shelve his desire in favour of his party boss to whom he has pledged his loyalty. 

    The governor's financial muscle is also a welcome addition to Odinga's war chest. 

    James Wanjigi

    The businessman is one of the silent actors in Kenya's politics. 

    Until 2017, his influence in the government remained a secret until he revealed that he helped form the alliance between Uhuru and Ruto in his house.

    ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) and businessman Jimi Wanjigi leave the court.
    ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) and businessman Jimi Wanjigi leave a courtroom after a past hearing
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    Wanjigi has since shifted allegiance to Odinga and has been a close ally. 

    Over the weekend, the two were spotted at a fundraiser in Raila's home county Siaya. 

    When it comes to funding campaigns, Wanjigi is a gem worth keeping. 

    Gideon Moi

    The Baringo senator is a potential running mate for Odinga.

    His long standing friendship with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his support for BBI could prove a worthy point for Odinga to note. 

    Gideon is the best option if Raila wants to counter Ruto's numbers in Rift Valley.

    A photo of President Uhuru Kenyatta when he condoled with Baringo Senator Gideon Moi at Kabarak following the death of Jonathan Moi, in April 2019.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta when he condoled with Baringo Senator Gideon Moi at Kabarak following the death of Jonathan Moi, in April 2019.
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    In July 2019, Kanu leaders disclosed that they were open to an alliance between Odinga and Gideon. This will, however, depend on whether Moi's youngest son will choose to run in 2022. 

    Francis Atwoli

    The Cotu Secretary General has been holding meetings with key Western leaders at his home in Kajiado.

    His discussions have been centred around uniting them around a common agenda to support a preferred presidential candidate. 

    After months of attacking Ruto, Atwoli finally declared support for Odinga's stab at the presidency. 

    "Of course Kenyans have great people including Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, Gideon Moi, and Joho who can do the job, but it appears to be Odinga’s time,” Atwoli stated in August. 

    File image of Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli
    File image of Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli
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    David Murathe

    The Jubilee Party Vice Chair likened the opposition leader to the late former South African President Nelson Mandela. 

    However, he encouraged Odinga to be a transitional president and only rule for one term

    According to Murathe, Raila would be the best person to nurture a young generation of leaders to take over after him. 

    Raila Odinga with David Murathe
    ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) confers with former Jubilee Vice-Chairman David Murathe during Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2018 at Kinoru Stadium.
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    Murathe enjoys an audience with President Kenyatta and is likely to influence his political decisions, having effectively locked DP Ruto out of the management of Jubilee. 

    Uhuru Kenyatta

    Though the Head of State has been non-committal about supporting Odinga's presidential bid, Raila has been riding on his influence. 

    While the opposition leader does not expect funding or endorsement from President Kenyatta, goodwill may be more valuable for him. 

    The former PM has been using the handshake to cement his rapport with the Mt Kenya leader and even more so, the BBI which is expected to be a springboard for his campaign. 

    Just days after Odinga formed a pact with elders from Uhuru's backyard to support the BBI proposals, the head of state summoned the leadership of the Senate and National Assembly in what is said to be precursor to the launch of the documents.  

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) nd ODM leader Raila Odinga during a previous meeting
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga during a previous meeting.
    Daily Nation