Raila - Joho Showdown as ODM Deadline Looms

  • ODM Leader Raila Odinga with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho
    ODM Leader Raila Odinga with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho
  • Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has up to Friday 26, to declare if he will vie for the presidency in an ODM ticket in 2022.

    The party's secretary-general Edwin Sifuna, said that Governor Joho had submitted his application for the seat, creating a potential showdown between Raila and Joho. Sifuna added that the party was yet to hear from other potential candidates but expected their papers before the expiry date.

    Speaking to the Nation, Catherine Mumma, ODM's National Election Board boss, disclosed that a team is receiving the application papers and that vetting would begin after the deadline expires.

    “After the deadline, they will analyse the applications and report to us then we will begin vetting,” she said.

    ODM leader Raila Odinga and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka during a meeting in April 2018
    ODM leader Raila Odinga and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka during a meeting in April 2018

    Over the recent past, Raila Odinga has ruled out the possibility of endorsing former NASA principals to run for the presidency. The ODM leader said that he did not have any political debt to pay and that he won’t pay any attention to people who want to extend their political mileage.

    Kalonzo Musyoka, one of the NASA principals and the Wiper Democratic Party leader, hit back at the ODM leader saying that the only endorsement he needed was from God.

    “Let me answer Raila Odinga while I am here in church. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka seeks endorsement from God,” he said.

    John Mbadi, ODM National Chairman, has however expressed his confidence that Raila will apply for the seat, although Raila has not publicly declared his intentions for the top seat.

    “I expect him to apply. I know he will apply. He has the credentials following his struggle for democracy, reforms and positive marks in the government as Prime Minister and Minister for roads and energy. These qualities outweigh his weaknesses. He is our best bet for the top seat,” he said.

    Top ODM politicians have hinted that they expect Raila to apply and if he does not apply they might as well leave ODM and politics altogether.

    “Raila must be the party’s candidate. If it is not him, we can as well abandon ODM and politics altogether. He is the only candidate that can steer the party to victory and eventually unify the country to prosperity,” Mark Nyamita, Uriri Mp said.

    If Raila Odinga submits his papers for the seat, it will be the fifth time he vies for the presidential seat. Governor Joho is optimistic that he will fly the ODM presidential flag in 2022 and he is hopeful that Raila will endorse him.

    ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) and Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho (right) at an event in September 2020