Raila Odinga has no worthy 2022 opponent, says Orengo

Siaya Senator James Orengo

Siaya Senator James Orengo speaks at a funeral in Nyatike Sub-county, Migori County, on April 30, 2021.

Photo credit: Ian Byron | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mr Orengo further said President Uhuru Kenyatta must work closely with Mr Odinga as succession plans are made.

There is no political heavyweight in Kenya who can match Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga,  Siaya Senator James Orengo has said, noting he is “healthy, alive and ready” to take over the country's leadership.

Speaking in Nyatike Sub-county, Migori County, on Friday, Mr Orengo added that those forming minor parties to divide the Luo nation have no meaningful agenda for the people.

He stated categorically, and “without fear or favour, that we are all under Raila Odinga”.

“When we were battling the disputed 2017 presidential election result, some cowards left us alone,” he said at Kachola village in the sub-county, during the burial of Mzee Tobias Oloo.

“Those who are fighting Raila's ascension to the presidency by forming other coalitions should tell Kenyans where they were when Raila was being sworn-in as the people's president at Uhuru Park.”

Handshake deal

Mr Orengo further said President Uhuru Kenyatta must work closely with Mr Odinga as succession plans are made.

The two entered a deal in March 2018, popularly referred to as the ‘handshake’, whose aim was national healing and reconciliation as well as development. The handshake later birthed the Building Bridges Intitiative (BBI).

“We are focused on ensuring the (BBI) bill safeguards the agenda of the common mwananchi,” he said.

“I stated categorically that Migori, Kisii, Busia and Homa Bay should have additional constituencies,” he added, regarding the BBI proposal for the creation of 70 additional constituencies. "We have to ensure that the BBI document reflects what was captured in the original document."

Luo unity

Mr Orengo also noted that Luo elders have been integral in shaping the politics of the community.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo echoed this in his address, recognising Luo elders from the four counties in the region.

“There are minor differences in the Luo community leadership but we have to remain united as a community,” he said.

Nyakach MP Aduma Owuor also said the Luo community has to remain strong and support Mr Odinga’s bid for the presidency.

“We have seen a storm brewing in Migori County and other parties mushrooming but we must remain united,” he said.