A planned meeting reportedly meant to popularise Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga in Mount Kenya region failed to take place on Friday, July 30, 2021.
Report indicates that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s allies had planned to hold a meeting at a hotel in Central Kenya to strategies on how they would market Raila in the region ahead of 2022 presidential election.
The alleged planned meeting was also meant to counter Deputy President William Ruto’s growing influence in the region.
On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, at an artist’s workshop in Gatanga, Murang’a County, Kieni Member of Parliament Kanini Kega told Raila to feel free to tour the region.
“We welcome you to the region. Tour every corner without fear,” Kega said.
Former Presidential aspirant Peter Kenneth also advised the ODM party leader to feel free to interact with the residents in the region.
“Sleep in Gatanga, attend church services and meet our people. Let them know you,” Kenneth said.
Insiders privy to the planned one-day conference disclosed that Uhuru’s allies were poised to map out Mt Kenya into three categories.
These include;the areas that have pledged their support for DP Ruto in the recent past, those which are still aligned to President Uhuru Kenyatta to safeguard their votes and grey regions which have not yet decided between the camps as to which they would align themselves.
Kanini Kega, however, refuted reports of the planned meeting.
“There was no such meeting. That is just propaganda, rumours and fake news,” Kega stated.
“Ask the so-called Uhuru allies. I am not a Uhuru ally,” Raila’s personal assistant, Dennis Onyango.
Raila disclosed that he would tour the region with Uhuru in August 2021.
According the the political analyst Mark Bichache, the main idea is make sure that Uhuru takes back Raila and to ensure that he gets more votes from the region.
“If Uhuru backs Ruto, the status quo for the Deputy President remains the same because he’s banking on the Central region and the Rift. It would make it easier for him to score 100 percent in Mt Kenya, but what about the rest of the country?
“The ideal thing is for Uhuru to take back Raila. He also knows that if he stays in the race and his NASA counterparts back him, then he’s assured of the presidency,” Bichache stated.