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Jimi Wanjigi explains why he fell out with ODM leader Raila Odinga

Jimi Wanjigi has explained his fall out with ODM leader Raila Odinga. [File, Standard]

Businessman-cum-politician Jimi Wanjigi has revealed that the reason behind his fallout with ODM leader Raila Odinga was betrayal after the Uhuru Park mock swearing-in.

The two were once close friends and political allies, a trait that saw Wanjigi actively take part in Odinga's 2017 campaigns.
In an exclusive interview with KTN News' Ken Mijungu on Wednesday night, Wanjigi alleged that Odinga went into the March 9, 2018 handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta without the knowledge of his closest allies.

“He did not inform his generals,” Wanjigi remarked.

Wanjigi dates back his fallout with the former Prime Minister to a day before the handshake, March 8.

"A day before the handshake we held a meeting of three people (Odinga, Orengo and I). Raila asked us what his next step after the swearing-in should be. We agreed that we were to march to State House on 27th of March," Wanjigi said.

Then went on " he was to go and take his place as the people's President in statehouse. I didn't know of the handshake. I watched it on TV like everybody else,".

Wanjigi also explained how after the handshake happened, sometime in 2018, Raila asked him to join active politics, saying he had done so much behind the scenes.

"We took a long-drive to Maasai land. There he told me Jimi 'don't be mad at me for the decision I made. My agreement with Uhuru is that I retire from politics. We agreed that 2017 was my last election’ he told me that himself," Wanjigi told KTN News.

Furthermore, Wanjigi explains, that as a result of the betrayal none of the changes they were fighting for during the 2017 General Election was ever effected.

“We stood by him until he took his oath. For instance, we can count upto 82 Kenyans who were shot and nobody has talked about it. To date, no electoral reforms have been implemented and the IEBC returning officer and system are still the same as well,” he said.

The fall out with Odinga has spilled over to the ODM party, which Wanjigi is also a member.

On Tuesday, Wanjigi (together with like-minded members of ODM) threatened to sue the party for failing to adhere to some of its Elections and Nomination Rules.

In a statement addressed to ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna, Wanjigi demanded cancellation of the delegates meeting and compliance with the party’s constitution, failure to which he said he ‘will not hesitate to approach the courts of law to seek justice.

“Members of this party are ready and willing to walk the talk in upholding the democratic tenets that this party is known for and will not hesitate to approach the courts of law to seek justice and correct the wrongs that this party has been perpetuating for the last one (1) year culminating into this bizarre and open defiance of the constitution which might ultimately tear the Party to pieces,” Wanjigi’s statement read in part.

His statement came almost a week since Sifuna published a notice on two leading daily publications calling for a delegates meeting.

The delegates meeting is scheduled for February 25 and 26 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

In September 2021, Wanjigi announced that he will be running for presidency in the 2022 General Election, on an ODM ticket.