Women leaders launch lobby to back Raila's bid

ODM leader Raila Odinga's wife Ida Odinga with a section of women leaders during the Azimio women meeting in Siaya on March 18th 2022. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Women leaders have launched a new lobby group to drum up grassroots support for ODM leader Raila Odinga.

The group is led by Raila’s wife Ida Odinga alongside several women MPs who are also using the opportunity to empower women eyeing leadership positions

Dubbed “Azimio la Akina Mama Convention”, the women leaders are using the initiative to rally voters to back the Azimio la Umoja coalition and its flagbearer. The outfit is akin to the Embrace outfit that drummed up support for reconciliation and peace after the 2018 Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila. It is part of a multi-faceted approach Raila’s team has adopted to strengthen his support across the country.

Yesterday, the team pitched tent in Siaya with a message of peace, reconciliation and the need to back Raila’s presidential bid. They claimed that Raila is on a path to transform the country and rooted for his economic agenda which they described as progressive. The leaders included several elected leaders, the wives of governors from Western Kenya counties as well as a host of wmen aspirants eyeing various seats. They challenged Kenyans to back Raila’s bid and claimed that he is the best bet to transform the country.  According to Ida, she will also lead the group to meet women leaders in forums in other counties including Kakamega and Nyamira.

“Raila has already launched his 10-point agenda and it will be key in transforming the country,” she said.

She urged Kenyans to enlist as voters and ensure that they cast their votes in favour of Raila whom she claimed has made an immense contribution to the country’s liberation.  The educationist enthusiast described Raila’s promise for free education for all Kenyans as a major turning point in the quest to transform the country. Ida used the opportunity to challenge women eyeing elective seats to be brave and contest the seats. And as part of the plans to ensure that more women clinch various seats, Ida said that she will organise a session to encourage the aspirants.

The new outfit is set to be a major boost for the quest by the broader Azimio la Umoja movement team to ring-fence various vote bases, especially the women base. Sources privy with the task required of the team told The Sunday Standard that the new outfit has a clear agenda and task to ring-fence the women and youth vote.

Several leaders who spoke during yesterday’s event threw their weight behind the initiative and said that they will ensure that they rally votes for Raila. Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga said Raila had done a lot to ensure that the country progresses.

“Raila is the best bet for the presidency. He championed for the new constitution and has provided sound leadership,” she said.

Wanga fired salvos at DP Ruto whom she claimed has nothing to offer to Kenyans and has opposed all progressive ideas that has been proposed in the country including the 2010 constitution. Her comments were supported by Migori Woman Rep Pamela Odhiambo who said they will traverse the country to ensure that Raila clinches the presidential seat.