BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,3RD MAY,2022- Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya Coalition Party presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga concluded his two-day tour of the Mt Kenya region by meeting the coalition aspirants in Kiambu on Sunday.
Raila told the aspirants drawn from constituent parties that he had asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to take a back seat and allow him to personally interact with the voters in the region which is perceived to be largely supporting Deputy President William Ruto’s bid.
“Mimi nimesema nitaingia (Mt Kenya) pekee yangu, nitafanya campaign pekee yangu. Sitaki kupachikwa ati Project Ya Uhuru. Mkiniona, mmeona (Rais) Uhuru, lakini mimi ninakuja pale, nakuja kama Baba. Sio karagosi ya Uhuru (I said I am coming to Mt Kenya on my own, I will campaign alone because I don’t want to be called Uhuru Kenyatta’s project),” he said.
Deputy President William Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza have been branding Raila a “state project” who will defend the interests of a few billionaires if elected in the August election in which both hope to succeed President Kenyatta whose second and final term ends in August.
President Kenyatta has been pushing for a possible Odinga presidency as a national unifying leader since his handshake with him in March 2018 in what led to a bitter fall-out with his deputy.
The president said he is also wary of leaving the country in the hands of people he has said could raid the national coffers for their own benefit.
Odinga said Azimio has put in place good campaign strategies to beat Ruto in the August 9 General Election.
“Those of you who were in Jubilee Party must remain vigilant as an emerging party, which you all know very well is threatening to come into the region and replace you,” Odinga said.
Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya Executive Director Raphael Tuju equally hailed Odinga, saying Ruto is unsuitable.
“How can you say that someone is a reformist, yet when we were pushing for multi-partism and the 2010 Constitution, he was on the side that opposed it. How can you accept someone who when we are saying one shilling-one man-one vote, he rejected it so that Central now loses out on Sh54 billion in one year,” Tuju stated?
In a meeting convened by Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, the delegates committed to conducting door-to-door campaigns for Raila who they described as development-oriented.
Odinga urged Kenyans to desist from divisive politics ahead of the upcoming August polls as he reiterated his commitment to fighting corruption once elected to power later this year.
Speaking at Laikipia and Kirinyaga counties, the former Prime Minister said that his 10-point agenda is set to lift Kenyans out of the ravages of a dwindling economy, empower the vulnerable in the community, create employment, improve the health sector among others.