President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM chief Raila Odinga were due to hold talks on Wednesday evening shortly after the former prime minister was briefed on their proposed coalition by the head of state’s allies.
Mr. Odinga met Anniversary Secretary General Raphael Tuju and Vice Chairman David Murathe to discuss the proposed coalition ahead of the elections between his Orange Democratic Movement [ODM] and the president’s party. Then he flew to Mombasa to meet the President.
Mr. Odinga had previously met a youth delegation from Murang’a County at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nairobi when the Uhuru-Odinga camp was fighting to slow Deputy President William Ruto’s forays into the Mt. Kenya area. Mr. Murathe, who flanked Mr. Odinga at the youth meeting, stated that the ODM leader was President Kenyatta’s preferred successor.
“Jakom [Mr Odinga] is on the way to Mombasa to meet [President Kenyatta] . I had [said before] prepare for Jakom to become the fifth president, “said Murathe.
He claimed that it was now decided that Mr. Odinga would succeed President Kenyatta.
Mr. Kamau Mweha, an ally of Mr. Odinga, said they had planned a series of meetings in the Mt. Kenya area to promote Mr. Odinga’s presidential candidacy.
Mr. Odinga stated that nothing would stop the unity of the Luo and Kikuyu communities as they have worked together since independence.
He said that in 2002 the Luo community voted overwhelmingly for Mwai Kibaki, despite Siaya Senator James Orengo running for president in that election.
Mr Murathe said the determination to support Mr Odinga’s bid is based on his plans for the country and that he played an important role in unifying the country after the divisive 2017 elections.
“Raila has a better plan, not like the wheelbarrows that Ruto advocates. We don’t want a charity culture. We need to make sure the youth are empowered and employed,” he added.
He revealed that while awaiting the Court of Appeal ruling on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), under the current constitution, with Mr. Odinga as their captain, they were ready for the election.
Yesterday, Mr. Odinga also beat Dr. Ruto, who will be touted as his main challenger in next year’s polls. He accused the DP of maintaining the alms culture instead of creating jobs for the youth.
“We need to develop clear guidelines on how to transform this economy from a third world economy to middle-income status, as we did with Kibaki through Vision 2030,” Odinga said.
Mr Murathe asked the DP to first give an account of his nine years as Vice President. Mr. Tuju said Jubilee and ODM worked together thanks to the handshake and their meeting with Mr. Odinga should not raise eyebrows.
“We worked together and when we meet, that’s exactly what we discuss,” said Tuju.
Mr Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango confirmed that the ODM guide flew to Mombasa last night but did not disclose his itinerary.
“He was out and about and retired to Mombasa to rest away from the cold weather in Nairobi,” Onyango told the nation.