Raila: I won’t quit local politics... Never!

Raila Odinga

Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

Photo credit: File | Nairobi Media Group

Azimio leader Raila Odinga says he has no intention to quit local politics should he be elected the chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC).

Mr Odinga said the AU job will not affect his engagement with Kenyans, and more so his supporters.

Mr Odinga assured Kenyans that he will not forsake the country’s interests in favour of AU duties. “I am not going anywhere. I am around,” he said.

The ODM leader is confident that he will take over from Mr Moussa Faki of Chad.

He disclosed that he has been to several countries to drum up support for his bid and presidents in the countries he visited promised to back him.

Mr Odinga said he specifically went to Uganda to ask President Yoweri Museveni to support him. “I have been to different countries to seek support. The same mission took me to Uganda where I met President William Ruto who was there to discuss oil issues,” he said.

The former Prime Minister spoke in Homa Bay when he attended the second International Investment Conference.

Mr Odinga said his role at AU will not consume most of his time. There have been fears that some ODM politicians will be orphaned in Mr Odinga’s absence in the local political scene. He said he can always travel back to the country to attend to local issues.

There have been claims that the transition of Mr Odinga to the continental job will leave a vacuum in opposition politics.

But the former PM said the opposition will not be shaken.

“We are unbwogable, unpangwarable and unshakable (we can't be intimidated). Have no fear at all,” he told his supporters. Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka accompanied Mr Odinga to the investment conference.

He said he supports his coalition leader in his quest to be the AUC boss.

According to the Wiper leader, this will be the closest the region will get a continental job.

He said the ODM leader has all the necessary qualifications for the job, including having been an AU High Representative for Infrastructure, and that his name is known throughout the continent.

“He fought for devolution and he is a pan-Africanist. We have up to April to submit the application,” Mr Musyoka said.

The Wiper leader said there will be no vacuum in the opposition even if the former prime minister takes up the AU job.

Mr Musyoka said most African leaders, including President Ruto, support the ODM leader. “The position is not political so let no one say it is either for Kenya Kwanza or Azimio,” he said. Mr Kalonzo also accused some politicians of spreading wrong information about the AU post.

He accused the group of trying to cause confusion.

“Raila needs everyone to succeed. The transition should be seamless,” Mr Musyoka said.