Raila Odinga courts Nyanza governors ahead of major regional meeting

Raila Odinga

ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has been meeting with lake region governors ahead of a planned regional leaders’ meeting, amid an elaborate plan to consolidate Nyanza ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo, who is allied to the Amani National Congress (ANC) party, is the latest to meet the former prime minister ahead of the gathering once Covid-19 containment measures are eased.

Nyamira County has been proposed to host the convention that will bring together governors, senators, woman reps, MPs, ward reps and other leaders from the region.

Several such meetings have been held in the last two years, with Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i playing a key role.

In the Friday meeting with Mr Nyaribo, which was also attended by Nyamira County Transport executive Jones Omwenga, the leaders discussed the need for Nyanza unity, with the opposition leader said to be keen on bringing together all leaders from the region.

“Mr Odinga hosted Mr Nyaribo at his Nairobi residence for an evening chat,” said a statement from the Nyamira County communication team that was posted on the county’s website.

The meeting followed a luncheon hosted Dr Matiang’i and Kisii Governor James Ongwae at Serena Hotel a fortnight ago.

The Serena luncheon was also attended by Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri, Woman Rep Janet Ongera, Transport Chief Administrative Secretary Chris Obure, ODM National Treasurer Timothy Bosire and Kitutu Chache North MP Jimmy Angwenyi.

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed also attended.

The meetings are widely seen as an effort by Mr Odinga to counter Deputy President William Ruto’s moves to penetrate the region by courting leaders and voters on the ground.

In readiness to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is serving his last term, Dr Ruto has in the last two years made attempts to seek allies in Nyanza.

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