The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, has officially announced his 2022 presidential candidature.
Raila made the announcement on Friday, December 10 during the Azimio La Umoja National Convention held at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.
The ODM leader, who started his speech with a narration of his detention, stated that he had been faithful to the people of Kenya and stayed true to the course of democracy and hence the need to run for the presidency next year.
Odinga further revealed that Azimio La Umoja will be known as the Azimio La Umoja Movement, which signalled a possible coalition ahead of the 2022 General election.Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga speaks during the Mashuja Day Celebrations in Kirinyaga on October 20, 2021.Raila
"I, Raila Amolo Odinga, hereby accept to present myself as a Presidential candidate at the Presidential Election on 9th of August 2022. I am not running for President to oppose anyone but to propose better policies," he announced.
Odinga on Friday, December 10, started his speech with a narration of his detention and the lifetime effects he has had to live with due to his six years in detention without trial.
Speaking during the Azimio La Umoja National Convention, Raila recounted his years in detention during the Moi era, where he was held in incommunicado, and in solitary confinement where he was not allowed to speak to anyone.
He also recalled that he did not suffer alone and applauded his comrades who were in detention with him for their strength to endure.
The ODM leader also recognized the strength of his wife, Ida Odinga, who he stated stood by him during his detention and also when many people deserted him due to his political woes.
"For years, I was not allowed to speak with other inmates and did not sleep on a bed. For months, I was held in solitary confinement. I wouldn’t wish this torment upon anyone, not even my worst enemy."
"Besides finding solace in reading the bible during years in incarceration, Mama Ida's love and support kept me going," he recalled.
He paid homage to the fallen heroes of the second liberation including Kenneth Matiba and Charles Rubia, George Anyona and Jean Marie Seroney. These heroes, Raila Odinga noted, paid the ultimate price for demanding better from the government.
Odinga also paid homage to President Uhuru Kenyatta for coming to the table and agreeing to the handshake, where the two came up with a pact to bury the hatchet and work together in bringing unity in the country.
"I must pay homage to my brother His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for the foresight and sense of patriotism in initiating the dialogue that led to the handshake. It takes a seasoned statesman to shake the hand of his rival. I thank him," Raila stated.
"I stand here before you today, a proud son of Kenya, a liberator and servant of the people for the last 50 years. I boldly declare that I’m neither repentant nor regretful of my own experience in the struggle for a liberated Kenya," he added.
On matters of economy, Raila defended the Inua Jamii (Pesa Mfukoni) programme which he had proposed stating that it is not a handout as widely publicized.
He explained that the programme is a social protection cover that will deliver Ksh6,000 per month to the two billion needy families.Raila Odinga addressing the National Governing Council on March 1, 2019.
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