ODM chief Raila Odinga to attend key Kanu meeting

Raila and Moi

Kanu chairman Gideon Moi (left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga will be the chief guest during the Kanu national delegates’ conference in Nairobi this morning.

Kanu chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi is expected to declare his presidential bid at the conference.

Political analysts say the decision by Mr Moi will jolt the One Kenya Alliance (OKA).

Amani National Congress (ANC) chief Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper Party’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Mr Moses Wetang’ula of Ford Kenya, who are also part of OKA, have been invited to the summit.

Tongues wagging

But it is Mr Odinga’s presence and elevation as chief guest that will set tongues wagging on whether Kanu is committed to OKA, which has not named its presidential flag bearer.

“Mr Odinga will be at the meeting,” ODM Secretary-General, Edwin Sifuna, told the Daily Nation Wednesday.

Addressing journalists at the Bomas of Kenya venue of the event, Kanu Secretary-General Nick Salat said the meeting “will not just be about the delegates. It will yield may other things”.

Mr Salat said the National Delegates Conference is a requirement for the party, only that it has come at a time every political outfit is preparing for next year’s General Election.

“Kenyans have been telling us to rise up to the occasion as the independent party. We need to offer leadership to this country,” Mr Salat said.

Asked if the Baringo senator would seize the opportunity to announce his presidential bid, Mr Salat said it would be up to the delegates to endorse a Kanu member.

“If party members feel one of them is ready for a big position, it’s their work to propose and endorse that person. The Kanu you’ve always known will be a different one tomorrow,” he said.

“For 20 years, we’ve never gone out there and presented a presidential candidate, but we won’t make that mistake again.  We will go to every corner of the country and speak to Kenyans, asking for their support.”

OKA was formed after strangling the Odinga-led National Super Alliance, which faced Jubilee — and lost — in the 2017 presidential poll. 

Mr Mudavadi, Mr Musyoka and Mr Wetang’ula have maintained that they won’t support Mr Odinga’s 2022 presidential bid.

During a recent retreat in Naivasha, Nakuru County, the OKA principals stated that they would field a presidential candidate in next year’s elections.

Sever links

They rejected any attempts to coerce or persuade them to throw their weight behind the ODM leader.

The three parties had earlier told Kanu to sever links with the ruling Jubilee in order to formally get into OKA, a proposal the party rejected. Kanu can only join OKA if it formally ends its coalition deal with Jubilee.

The law stipulated that no party can belong to two or more coalitions at the same time.


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