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Raila exudes rare confidence as he rallies backyard for big battle

By James Omoro and Harold Odhiambo | Published Tue, July 18th 2017 at 00:00, Updated July 18th 2017 at 11:05 GMT +3
NASA Presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga addresses a political rally at Oyugis in Kasipul Constituency on July 17,2017. The NASA fraternity was cris crossing Homabay county in bid to persuade residents to vote NASA affiliate parties' aspirants in the General Election. (Photo:Denish Ochieng/ Standard)

National Super Alliance (NASA) Presidential candidate Raila Odinga exuded confidence of winning the August polls as he rallied his traditional stronghold of Homa Bay.

It is in Homa Bay where independent candidates have been openly opposed to Raila’s calls for six-piece voting pattern.

The former PM said he had seen the final voter registration figures and was convinced more than ever that he was en route to State House.

He urged Kenyans who had not made up their minds on the presidential vote to “hurry and join the winning side.”

“The figures favour us. They cannot beat us whatsoever. What I want now is a 100 per cent voter turn-out from you,” Raila told enthusiastic crowds that turned up in Kendu Bay, Kadongo, Rangwe and Homa Bay to receive him on Monday.

His co-principals Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress (ANC) and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula (Ford-Kenya) who campaigned in Mbita and Ndhiwa, later joined him at the Homa Bay Stadium where crowds chanting “NASA!” pledged their support.

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Raila also used the trip to cool rising political temperatures between the independent candidates and their Orange party opponents in Homa Bay.

Former Homa Bay ODM branch Secretary and Kasipul MP, Oyugi Magwanga is campaigning to oust Governor Cyprian Awiti on an independent ticket while another independent candidate and businessman Fred Rabongo is campaigning against Senator Moses Kajwang’ of ODM.

In Homa Bay, Raila appeared to endorse Mr Awiti when he launched the governor’s re-election manifesto and called for an end to what he termed “petty” fights for the seat.

“I do not want yo see petty fights for governor, MP or MCA seat in Nyanza. Let us focus on the main objective and that is to take the leadership of the country. Give me six-piece come August,” said Raila.

According to the Opposition leader, it is now the responsibility of NASA presidential campaign team to ensure all their supporters turn out in large numbers to vote on August 8.

Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula told the Luo community to unite behind Raila.

“If leaders from other communities like ourselves have sacrificed their ambitions to support Raila, why not you. You are the first weapon in defeating Jubilee. Don’t let us down because of petty county politics,” said Wetangula.

Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, Nominated MP Oburu Oginga and Mr Awiti, who accompanied Raila, accused Jubilee leaders of lying to Kenyans that Mr Odinga was scheming to share power with them.

Wanga caused laughter when she said the only power Raila can share with President Kenyatta was “Kenya Power”.

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