Showdown Looms as Raila, Ruto Book Same Venue for Final Nairobi Rally

  • Azimio La Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga (left) his UDA counterpart DP William Ruto at Uhuru Gardens and Makueni County respectively.
    Azimio La Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga (left) his UDA counterpart DP William Ruto at Uhuru Gardens and Makueni County respectively.
    Raila Odinga/DPPS
  • A political showdown is brewing in Nairobi as both Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga and his UDA counterpart DP William Ruto booked Nyayo Stadium for their final rallies on the same day.

    A press statement by Azimio Secretary-General Junet Mohammed dated Tuesday, July 19, announced that the coalition party would hold its grand rally at the stadium on the last day of campaigns - August 6.

    At the same time, Ruto's Digital Strategist Dennis Itumbi claimed that UDA had already booked the venue presenting a contract dated July 12.

    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the launch of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party manifesto at Nyayo Stadium on June 6, 2022.
    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the launch of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party manifesto at Nyayo Stadium on June 6, 2022.
    Twitter
    Sabina Chege

    "The Azimio campaign team led by #babanamartha will hold its last official campaign meeting in Nairobi at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday, August 6," read the statement in part.

    Junet did not provide documents on Azimio's reservation but Itumbi released a purported invoice paid to Sports Kenya - the organisation that manages the Nyayo Stadium. 

    "Hire of the Nyayo National Stadium for a political rally as per proforma invoice number (SK/P1/399 Vol IV/18)  amounting to Ksh1,508,000 plus a separate cheque of Ksh1 million refundable damage fee," the contract read in part.

    Itumbi pointed a blaming finger at President Uhuru Kenyatta accusing him of using the stadium to cause the two factions to clash.

    Unless the management of the stadium steps in to sort out the tiff, then there is a likelihood of a repeat of what happened at the Jacaranda Grounds.

    According to Itumbi, the DP, would not back down and would proceed to prepare the rally first. 

    "The Facts are simple. Hustler Nation booked, paid and got a contract to use Nyayo Stadium on August 6, 2022," he stated

    The sports complex has been used by both Raila and Ruto for previous events. Azimio launched its manifesto at the stadium while Ruto had a meeting with the Kenya Kwanza women's guild and hosted prayers at the stadium.

    Despite Kasarani Stadium having a greater capacity (60,000) than Nyayo (45,000), the sports colosseum is preferred by most politicians due to its centrality.

    Deputy President William Ruto at the Kenya Kwanza women charter at Nyayo stadium on June 10, 2022.
    Deputy President William Ruto at the Kenya Kwanza women charter at Nyayo stadium on June 10, 2022.
    File