Raila Odinga has started laying the groundwork to contest the presidency in 2022 where he is expected to have the backing of Uhuru Kenyatta. A source close to the Orange party leader intimated that Raila will launch his campaigns
for the presidency next year after the passage of the Building Bridges Initiative report.
The source added that Raila is confident the BBI report will carry the day in the referendum. After the referendum, Raila will unveil his team that will include regional heavyweights from the former eight provinces and county leaders. As preparations for the referendum, Raila last week upped his meetings with the grassroots leaders when he visited Taita Taveta and Kwale days after hosting leaders from various counties at his Capitol Hill offices in Nairobi. Raila was in Kwale to meet grassroots leaders to explore ways to market the report to the voters once it is released. He was at the county he described as resource-laden that coupled with tourism has great potential that must be fully utilized for the benefit of its people.
He was joined by Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho where they stated they prefer that all relevant players put their efforts in resolving the stalemate on revenue allocation at the senate. Earlier, Raila was in Taita Taveta where he urged ward representatives to iron out their differences which threaten the strength of the party in the region. He was hosted by Governor Granton Samboja. The ODM leader held a meeting with all MCAs and other county leaders at Taita Hills Hotel to broker a truce to end the stalemate at the county. He was accompanied by Samboja, Joho and ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna. Other leaders included Taita Taveta senator Jones Mwaruma and MPs Johnes Mlolwa (Voi) and Danson Mwashako (Wundanyi) In June, MCAs voted out majority leader Jason Tuja and his position was taken over by Rong’e MCA Harris Keke.
Raila asked the MCAs to drop any further plans to change the assembly’s leadership. The tour came barely a week after William Ruto held a meeting with religious leaders at Taveta. The ODM leader has also intensified his international engagements. He met UK High Commissioner Jane Marriott and the EU ambassador Simon Mordue for discussions on matters of mutual interest to “our countries and region” as he eyes succeeding Uhuru. He also met Maasai leaders to appeal to them to support the BBi once it is released. At the meeting, he appealed to Kenyans to stand for one united country and stand against those preaching war and issuing threats against fellow Kenyans.
Days earlier he had hosted a delegation from Migori county before holding discussions with Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala. But a day later Malala decamped to Amani National Congress of MusaliaMudavadi. Raila also met Cherang’any MP Joshua Kutuny and Zedekiah Kiprop Buzeki at Capitol Hill besides hosting principal secretaries Julius Jwan of Vocational and Technical training and Francis Owino of Industrialisation. Signals that Raila is going for the presidency were seen when Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya hinted at backing his bid for the presidency. Oparanya is already campaigning for Raila and recently met 63 Kakamega MCAs telling them to market Raila.