Waiguru Denies Endorsing Raila For State House

  • Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru (right) greets ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) at a past BBI meeting in early January 2020
    Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru (right) greets ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) at a past BBI meeting in early January 2020
  • Kirinyaga Governor, Anne Waiguru, has denied endorsing Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, for the country's top seat.

    Speaking on Saturday, August 21, during a Mt Kenya leaders retreat in Laikipia, the Kirinyaga Governor said they had not settled on a candidate for the presidential position yet. Her sentiments were echoed by Kiambu Governor, James Nyoro.

    Waiguru who has been a champion of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), which was nullified by the Court of Appeal, distanced herself from reports that she was allied to Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s handshake partner. 

    The Governor, who accompanied Raila to most of the BBI rallies, appeared alongside him at meetings in Mt Kenya, and defended him against Deputy President William Ruto.

    The Governor now says that they are in consultations with the former Prime Minister and other presidential candidates even as the elections draw closer.

    Ann Waiguru addressing the council of governors. Source: Facebook
    Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru addressing the Council of Governors.

    “We have not settled on anyone. There have been speculations that we are leaning towards Raila Odinga. That is not true. In fact, what we are doing is pure consultations. Whoever we think will articulate our issues is the one we will support,” Waiguru stated. 

    The Jubilee Governor averred that Mt Kenya would present itself as a united front and demand that candidates who seek the region’s support must first address crucial issues facing the region.

    "Many of residents think we are divided, yes, on account that we are talking to these people who are seeking the top seat, but you will witness many of these meetings before we unite,” Waiguru added. 

    Murang’a Woman Representative, Sabina Chege, added that the region would rally behind one leader after President Uhuru Kenyatta retires. Other leaders who were in attendance included former Nairobi County Speaker, Beatrice Elachi, and Ndaragwa Member of Parliament, Jeremiah Kioni. 

    In her last meeting with Raila in Nakuru County, on August 17, Waiguru recalled her tumultuous relationship with the former Prime Minister. The two were foes prior to the handshake when the opposition called for her apprehension and conviction after she was roped into the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.

    “If there is someone who has been on the forefront of supporting the handshake is Governor Minji Minji (her nickname). From day one when hands were shaken. I made peace. I cried. I had even sued Raila,” Waiguru recalled. 

    After the BBI was nullified, she issued a statement via her official page stating: “Kenya will go on. BBI intended well but we must respect the constitutional authority of the courts and find other legitimate means to achieve Kenya’s unity and prosperity." 

    “And for some of us, it’s time for serious introspection on the political way forward,” this last phrase left analysts debating on her next move. 

    ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses businessmen in Tigoni, Kiambu County on Thursday, August 12, 2021