IN PICTURES: Raila's Azimio la Umoja National Convention

  • Raila Odinga arrives at Kasarani Stadium during the Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Raila Odinga arrives at Kasarani Stadium during the Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Kenyans.co.ke
    Fred Gikandi
  • Former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, launched his fifth stab at the presidency on Friday, December 10, stating that he was best suited to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta when his term expires in August 2022. 

    He promised to make Kenya a better nation and to revive the country's economy, uplift the education and health sectors. Raila stated that he will release a comprehensive manifesto in the coming days. 

    Among the leaders in attendance were former Nigeria President, Olusegun Obasanjo, KANU leader Gideon Moi, COTU boss Francis Atwoli, ODM and Jubilee party members, businessmen and women, politicians and Kenyans. 

    Kenyans gathered at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja convention to witness Raila Odinga join the 2022 presidential race on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Kenyans gathered at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja convention to witness Raila Odinga join the 2022 presidential race on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Kenyans.co.ke
    Fred Gikandi

    A multitude of Kenyans turned up to celebrate Raila's big day at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi. A few politicians addressed the gathering before Media mogul SK Macharia spoke. 

    "Jaramogi (Raila's father) was a true patriot. The colonial government wanted Jaramogi to be the first Prime Minister and not Mzee Kenyatta, but Jaramogi refused. The truth is, the first-ever ‘Tosha’ call came from Mzee Jaramogi," Macharia stated. 

    He added that in 2013, Kibaki blessed him and asked him to support Raila as he (Kibaki) could not openly do so owing to his relationship with Raila. 

    "We sat down with Kibaki, he told me - 'since you're the one who brought and advocated for Raila, and you convinced him so that we might work together (and form a coalition) and since we ran together with him (Raila in 2002) stick with him. For me, my young man (Uhuru) is in trouble with the ICC and I cannot leave him behind, go and tell Raila that' Muthaura was with me."

    Royal Media Services (RMS) owner SK Macharia address Kenyans gathered at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Royal Media Services (RMS) owner SK Macharia addresses Kenyans gathered at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    TV 47

    Macharia defended his media house, Royal Media Services (RMS), from allegations of giving Raila favourable coverage, stating that he (Macharia) had the freedom to exercise his rights as a Kenyan citizen. 

    "I am exercising my personal constitutional right to political participation as a responsible and free citizen. My political views and preferences are completely independent of my businesses which are managed by impartial and competent professionals," SK Macharia stated. 

    He also endorsed Raila, stating that Mt Kenya was united behind him and will offer him unwavering support. 

    COTU leader Francis Atwoli at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    COTU leader Francis Atwoli at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    File

    Central Organisation Trade Union (COTU) boss stole the show at convention after castigating Deputy President William Ruto. Atwoli cautioned Kenyans from electing Ruto and also urged his KANU boss, Gideon Moi to dump One Kenya Alliance (OKA) to join Raila's bandwagon. 

    “In the history of Kenya, this is the first political organization to invite workers in such a big meeting. We will support you (Raila) because you support decent jobs and are willing to protect them. We support you because you are the only one who knows this is not the era of wheelbarrow,” he told the ecstatic crowd.

    "I want to let my party leader Gideon Moi know, when Mzee Daniel Moi passed away, he asked us not to leave you, and I want to assure you, we will not leave you in OKA, join Raila," Atwoli stated. 

    Raila Odinga addresses the gathering at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Mama Ida Odinga at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Kenyans.co.ke
    Fred Gikandi

    Mama Ida Odinga supported Raila's ambition and sked him to re-engineer the country back to greatness. 

    "I want to release you to do what you have o do for the people. These are your people," Mama Ida Odinga stated before ushering Raila to the podium. 

    Mama Ida Odinga and her husband Raila Odinga at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Mama Ida Odinga and her husband Raila Odinga at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    TV 47

    Raila read his speech and recalled how he fought for democracy and the liberation of Kenya. 

    "Listening to our people made me look back over the last five decades. It became crystal clear that while much has been achieved, it much remains to be done. I stand here, deeply concerned, indeed horrified, at how our peers at independence left us far behind.

    "Ideologies that divide us instead of uniting us. Ideologies that put the personal above the national good. To put our country on the path of lasting unity, stability and prosperity, I hereby announce the launch of a movement anchored on the pillars of Utu, Undugu, Umoja, Usawa na Usalizaji (humility, brotherliness, unity, equality and productivity) - Azimio La Umoja Movement," he stated. 

    Raila Odinga addresses the gathering at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Raila Odinga addresses the gathering at Kasarani Stadium during Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Kenyans.co.ke
    Fred Gikandi

    He noted that Kenyans had pressing issues that needed to be addressed, from equitable distribution of development resources, insecurity, poverty, drought and famine, education and health. 

    On this tenth day of December 2021, I Raila Amolo Odinga, having been faithful and committed to building a national, democratic and progressive Kenya in our lifetime, having worked with many patriotic Kenyans to achieve this goal, I do hereby accept to present myself as a Presidential candidate at the Presidential Election on 9th of August 2022 following the request and unanimous decision by this Azimio La Umoja," he announced his candidature. 

    Raila Odinga leaves Kasarani Stadium after successfully holding the Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    Raila Odinga leaves Kasarani Stadium after successfully holding the Azimio la Umoja national convention on Friday, December 10, 2021
    File