Gema leaders now claim Raila Odinga met cons

Moses Kariuki (Left) legal advisor National GEMA youth council, Said Kuria (2nd Left) youth representative, Raila Odinga (Centre) NASA Principal and other leaders during the meeting last week. [File, Standard]
Gikuyu, Embu, Meru Association (Gema) has come out to denounce a meeting between opposition leader Raila Odinga and another rival group last week at a hotel in Nairobi.

Last week on Friday, Raila held a meeting with a group claiming to be leaders of Gema business community in Nairobi where they agreed to work together to spread a message of reconciliation across the county and country at large.

The two-hour closed door meeting was punctuated with cheers and claps but the former prime Minister did not address the media after the convention but rather directed the “Gema” officials and Member of Parliament Tom Kajwang and his Nyando counterpart Jared Okello to speak.

Gema business community chairperson expressed optimism that their meeting with Raila had sealed their past differences and hinted on a possibility to support referendum “if that is what will heal the country.”

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“Raila has committed himself to building bridges. Time will come when 2022 politics will be discussed,” said Kamau.

“We have been divided for long. We want to put this to an end,” he added.

But the Gema officials from 17 constituencies in Nairobi met in a hotel yesterday where they dismissed a meeting between the rival association and the opposition leader saying Raila was misled by imposters.

The officials denied any association with the group that met Raila on Friday and rubbished it off as “quacks” out to mislead the opposition leader into non-binding deal.

“Gema is a welfare association and is not a business entity,” said the officials adding, “The people that went to see Raila Odinga are not Gema representatives in Nairobi. They are cons. There is nothing like Gema Business Community,”

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Led by Kimani Rugendo, the chair of Gema in Nairobi County and 17 other officials from the constituencies in Nairobi said the deal did not reflect the position of the association.

Rugendo asked the former premier to verify details of individuals claiming to be leaders of welfare groups saying he risks associating himself with persons with bad reputation.

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