Kanu Chairman and Senator Gideon Moi has relived moments from the 2005 constitutional referendum campaigns and shared why politics of unity are paramount ahead of the August 9 polls.
Speaking during the ODM National Delegates Convention (NDC) at the Kasarani Indoor Arena, Gideon recalled how a demonstration during the quest for a new constitution turned chaotic after it was broken up by police along Uhuru Highway.
Gideon – then a member of the “no” camp led by ODM leader Raila Odinga that was opposed to proposals by Mwai Kibaki’s “yes” side - said the demonstration was his first exposure to teargas. The “yes” camp later suffered a humiliating defeat after garnering 2.5 million against the “no” camp's 3.5 million.
The Baringo Senator explained that before the demonstration, the late Assistant Minister for Internal Security, Orwa Ojode, offered him protection on realising that he had never engaged in picketing.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta abandoned me when police lobbed teargas,” said Senator Gideon. “The last time I saw William Ruto he was at the golf course. But Ojode’s men shielded and ferried me to the Grand Regency Hotel where I stayed for two days.”
Opening up about ODM and Kanu’s shared history, he observed that victory is assured for like-minded parties in the Azimio la Umoja coalition and congratulated Odinga on being endorsed for the presidency.
“What is important is that we have agreed that those we can do business with are here – we shall be one. We are true to our word and committed to what we say. The enemy is known and is not in this room. What is the problem? Let us get on the programme at hand; transforming the lives of our people.
In a message to candidates, the Kanu chairman warned against divisive politics and the polarization of the election.
“Our aim is one, victory. But be mindful of your utterances. There is many a slip between the cup and the lip,” said Gideon.
Kanu -a member of OKA and Kenya's oldest existing political party- endorsed its chairman Gideon Moi, as its presidential candidate in September 2021.