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Uhuru: Raila to become Kenya’s fifth President

ODM leader Raila Odinga with President Uhuru Kenyatta at KICC during Azimio La Umoja NDC on March 12, 2022. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta this afternoon formally endorsed ODM leader Raila Odinga to succeed him as Kenya’s fifth Head of State.

Uhuru made the announcement in front of over 300 Azimio la Umoja delegates at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) from over 20 parties.

The President said Raila was the only one capable of uniting Kenya and moving the country forward towards prosperity and economic development.

“May God bless Raila, the fifth President of Kenya, to lead the country. I am confident Raila will move the country forward and ensure Kenya is respected globally,” Uhuru said.

Uhuru said Raila will be able to tackle the corruption menace and form an all-inclusive government once he becomes president where no one will be left behind.

“I am sure he will not leave his brothers and sisters behind. We now have a team leader and when the next government is formed I know Raila will listen to Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, KANU leader Gideon Moi, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu among many others,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with ODM leader Raila Odinga at the KICC during the Jubilee Party's National Delegates Conference on February 26, 2022. [The Standard]

The President showered Kalonzo with praise and thanked him for being a selfless leader by shelving his own presidential ambitions and supporting Raila.

“There are others who are more capable than others to lead Kenyans like Kalonzo and we thank him for his bravery,” Uhuru said.

The leaders later converged at the Jacaranda Grounds after the KICC event where they officially launched the start of their joint Azimio rallies in the run-up to the August polls.

On Saturday, the secretary-generals of the parties signed the coalition agreement to bring all the outfits together under Azimio.

They also signed another pact to commit under the coalition to support Raila for the Presidency in the August polls. 

At the NDC, West Pokot Goverovernor John Lonyangapuo nominated Raila's candidature for the presidency and was seconded by Likoni MP Mishi Mboko. 

Uhuru's formal announcement on Saturday marks the final fall out with his deputy William Ruto who had been touted as his natural successor during the Jubilee's first term in office.

However, the two fell out after the handshake in March 2018 that brought Uhuru and Raila together marking the start of the frosty relationship between the country's Head of State and his second-in-command.

During Uhuru's second term in office, Uhuru's relationship with Raila blossomed while his bond with Ruto deteriorated.

This led the DP to form his own outfit the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) after it became clear that Uhuru would not let him use Jubilee to contest the 2022 presidential contest.

 Last month, the President led a Jubilee NDC where Ruto and his troops were officially kicked out as the party restructured and elected new officials each on a five-year term.