PNU vows to back Raila, form coalition with ODM


PNU leader and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya announced his party’s decision to work with ODM in next year's contest. [Samson Wire,Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga’s bid to scale the mountain got a major boost after the Party of National Unity (PNU) endorsed his candidature.

PNU leader and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya announced his party’s decision to work with ODM in next year's contest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Speaking at a funds drive at a Nairobi hotel Thursday evening, PNU under the leadership of the former county boss, Munya said Raila was the candidate to beat in 2022.

“We are not folding but we are going to work together with ODM. Just like Jubilee, we are also in the government that will be formed in the next dispensation,” said Munya who has declared his interest for Meru gubernatorial seat.

He added, “We shall field candidates all over Mt Kenya like any other party but on presidency, we shall support Raila. We are standing firm with ODM party and have formalised a working union. As PNU, we will clinch the majority seats in Mt Kenya region."

Munya, Uhuru's ally, was the Chief guest at the event and thanked Raila for coming at the right time to work with President Kenyatta through the handshake.

He clarified that the arrangement doesn’t mean PNU has folded up. The planned formation, comes at a time there are talks that Munya is touted as a possible Raila's running mate.

Laikipia Governor Nderitu Mureithi lauded the seamless working relations between them and Raila’s party as a step forward in uniting the country.

“As Mt Kenya we are ready to work with Raila. He has demonstrated the one shilling one, one man, one vote in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) even though our enemies who now want our votes, opposed it,” he said.

Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni didn’t mince his words on the collapse of BBI. “Mt Kenya residents would have benefited from increased revenue allocations. We are sure in our support for the former prime minister. We are going to reward Raila for standing with Uhuru to stabilise the economy,” said Kioni.

He added, “As a country struggling with the economy, we cannot trust some people with the running of our affairs. That’s why as Jubilee and Mt Kenya people, we are going to support Raila as the next president.”

 The leaders said PNU has resolved to back Raila’s presidency bid recalling his numerous struggles in the second liberation and his achievements.

They lauded him for the success of the Handshake with President Kenyatta after the disputed 2017 polls. 

Raila, who was in Turkana County, sent his donation of Sh1 million to the event through Homa Bay County MP Gladys Wanga and former Nyeri colleagues Priscilla Nyokabi.

Other politicians present were Uriri MP Mark Nyamita, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna and a host of PNU leaders and aspirants from Mt Kenya.

Nyamita assured the Mountain leadership, especially PNU that they are going to merge ahead of 2022 elections.

"As a party we are going to walk the journey together until we form the next government," said Nyamita.

Wanga said: "When you see a friend come in your aid especially in times of need like now and support us politically, we are going to work together as a team so that we can be in the next government and ensure we achieve our campaign pledges to Kenyans. I can assure you that Baba has your full support on this political journey ahead."

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