NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 30 – ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga has ignited the dynasty versus hustlers debate telling off critics branding some leaders as dynasties ahead of the 2022 General Election.
The former Prime Minister who was the Chief Guest at the KANU National Delegates Conference during the unveiling of Gideon Moi’s presidential bid on Thursday at Bomas of Kenya downplayed the dynasty narrative saying everybody regardless of their background have the right to pursue their political ambitions.
The raging debate on dynasties, a group of politicians whose fathers occupied top offices at independence and in subsequent regimes, has been a thorny matter in Kenyan politics with concerns that it could pit the rich against the poor if not moderated.
He in particular asked Moi who is seeking to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta not to be daunted by his critics who refer to him as a dynasty.
“Stand firm and let no one tell you that you are a dynasty. You are running your own race. Your father Mzee Moi fought for his space and form poverty and with his hard work he managed to ascend to presidency,” he said.
Deputy President William Ruto who is also in the race to State House fueled the dynasty narrative in his tours of the country as he asked the electorate to vote in a leader who will defend the interests of middle and low-income earners he has named as hustlers.
While the dynasty versus hustler narrative had demonstrated to be a dangerous discussion, it slowed faded away with Ruto fashioning his campaign around his hustler nation that targets to empower the lowly placed in the society.
Odinga also hinted that he will be on the ballot alongside other presidential hopefuls including Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka who are members of the One Kenya Alliance.
“You have started the journey and but rest assured you will meet with others at the ballot and all this is because of the democracy that we enjoy. So be ready,” he said.
Moi who is currently the Baringo Senator has already been endorsed by the KANU Party National Delegates Conference to be the party’s presidential flagbearer in 2022 and has in recent months been criss-crossing the country to familiarize himself with the electorate as he seeks to become the country’s fifth President.
The independence party that once dominated Kenya’s politics for over 40 years has however, over the years been outshined by other parties in the political cycle despite its longevity.
Moi’s popularity in the larger Rift Valley region has also been overshadowed by that of Deputy President William Ruto who is also eyeing the presidency with the antagonism between the two escalating during the final days of late President Daniel Arap Moi.
Ruto’s attempts to go visit his mentor, President Moi, at his Kabarak home were on numerous occasions met with resistance with his son Gideon understood to have blocked him from seeing his father.
Whereas Moi is not outspoken as his late father, he has fashioned his campaign on empowering the Kenyan people through advocating for equitable distribution of resources, strengthening institutions, and promoting the culture of democratic governance.
KANU has 10 Members of the National Assembly and only three members in the Senate.
Moi took over the party leadership from President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2012.
KANU last fielded a presidential candidate in 2002 where its candidate President Kenyatta lost to former President Mwai Kibaki who was sponsored by the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).