Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga continued to receive a cold reception on the second day of his coastal tour as key party leaders absconded his functions.
In Kilifi, a region currently perceived as a Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) stronghold, Mr Odinga skipped one of his major functions at Mnarani, where he was expected to open an ODM office because of unspecified reasons.
All Coast governors kept off Mr Odinga’s tour, with Kilifi chairperson Teddy Mwambire, who replaced Governor Amason Kingi as county chair, hosting the party leader.
Apart from Mr Mwambire, Mr Odinga was accompanied by Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and the ODM Kilifi gubernatorial aspirant Gideon Mung’aro, who is the Devolution chief administration secretary. Other elected leaders in the entourage are Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, his Machakos counterpart, Dr Alfred Mutua, Siaya Senator James Orengo (Siaya) and MPs Junet Mohamed (Suna East) and Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragua).
In Lamu on Sunday, the ODM leader was hosted by Governor Fahim Twaha and Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama. Yesterday Mr Odinga made a number of stopovers in Malindi, Mnarani, Mavueni and Mtwapa on the Mombasa-Malindi road, where he continued with his campaign to popularise the Azimio la Umoja strategic plan.
In Mtwapa, Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, Likoni MP Mishi Mboko, Kilifi Woman Representative Gertrude Mbeyu and Mombasa gubernatorial aspirant Suleiman Shahbal joined the entourage. In Lamu, Mr Odinga promised to ensure the new Lamu Port fully benefits locals.
He was addressing a rally at the Mkunguni Square in Lamu town on Sunday. Yesterday, the ODM party leader assured aspirants of free and fair nominations and urged them to maintain peace.
Speaking in Malindi town, the party leader said it was democratic for the party to have many aspirants.
“The nomination is not an election, but it will help the party to identify the best candidate to represent us in the General Election,” he said and assured losers of other opportunities.
Mr Mung’aro, who defected from Jubilee to ODM, will be among contestants in the 2022 gubernatorial race to succeed Mr Kingi. He will also face Mr Saburi in the nominations.
On Sunday night, Mr Odinga held a dinner meeting with 70 ODM aspirants for different seats at a Malindi hotel. In attendance were representatives of teachers’ unions, religious leaders and the business community.
The ODM party leader pledged to create a conducive environment to spur economic growth in every sector.
Mr Odinga cited land grabbing as the reason for historical land injustices that have led to Coast residents being squatters, and warned land grabbers that they will be arrested and jailed.
He blamed the courts for colluding with tycoons to grab the land.
Reported by Maureen Ongala, Brian Wachira and Kalume Kazungu