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Raila Odinga’s race to State House on?

POLITICS
By Harold Odhiambo and James Omoro | August 13th 2021

ODM leader Raila Odinga at the burial of Mzee David Ajwang' at waondo village, Homabay County. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) chief Raila Odinga's fifth stab at the presidency is on track as he claimed he already unlocked the secret card in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

As part of the plans to boost his chances in a race whose matrix keeps changing as alliances develop, Raila is optimistic of cracking the Mount Kenya vote.

Strengthening his ODM party, consolidating his support bases forms as well as luring other politicians into his camp are an integral part of Raila's political war chest as 2022 General Elections draw closer. 

Speaking on Friday during the burial of the Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang's father-David Ajwang’, Raila said that he has already seen the political path he will follow.

This came as several allies of the career politician including key allies in Mount Kenya region threw their weight behind his candidature and said they would rally support for him in their backyard.

Although he has not officially declared his candidature, his comments as well as those of his closest allies lifted the lid on Raila's campaign momentum that has been ballooning in recent weeks.

Several key meetings including one in Nyeri set for August 28 and another planned to take place in Sikri in Homa Bay next week, will set ground for Raila's fifth stab at the presidency.

The ODM chief today said that he is ready to crack the Mount Kenya vote and appealed to his supporters to enlist as voters in their numbers.

"I have already envisioned what awaits us and I know where we are going to pass," he said.

After weeks of making efforts to infiltrate the vote-rich Mount Kenya region which is slowly developing as a key voting bloc in the succession race, Raila said that he would be successful in his quest to permeate the region.

"Some people are saying we cannot crack Mount Kenya region but I have clearly seen where we will penetrate," said Raila.

Leaders from Mount Kenya who accompanied the ODM chief to the burial including former Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni said that they are ready for a Raila presidency. 

With Deputy President William Ruto also hoping to win over the Mount Kenya region, Kioni and other allies of the ODM chief from the region said that they will undo any gains the DP has made in the region.

"The country has always been better every time leaders agree to work together. We are behind Raila," said Kioni.

He stressed the need for leaders to unite and to focus only on leaders whom he described as selfless and keen to ensure that the country moves forward.

Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi also shared his sentiments and stressed on the need for the country to develop positive ideas.

While making indirect references to Raila's interest to the presidency, Muriithi said that it was time the country paid the political "debt" it owes him for fighting for democracy. "We should cement our democracy of politics of ideas," said Muriithi.

Raila's allies who also criticized Ruto's bottoms-up political ideology said that they have already consolidated his support bases.

Governors James Ongwae (Kisii) and his Kakamega counterpart and ODM's Deputy chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya said that Gusii and Western Kenya are fully behind Raila.

In Maasai land, Senator Ole Kina also stressed that they will ensure that Raila wins the vote of the region adding that the region has always been steadfast behind the ODM chief in past elections.

"We have always ensured that Raila wins Western Kenya. We will ensure that he wins again. Western Kenya is behind him. Raila is capable of taking the country forward and we will stand with him," said Oparanya.

His other foot soldiers James Orengo and Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga said that the country is ready for a Raila presidency.

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