When President Kenyatta toured Kibra with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday evening, he gave the clearest indication of his former foe being his preferred successor.
And yesterday, Mr Odinga met Mt Kenya MPs for talks during which it emerged that the President instructed the region’s Jubilee lawmakers to work with the ODM chief in the run-up to the 2022 General Election.
National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya said: “Four weeks ago, we received instructions from President Kenyatta to work with Raila Odinga in his efforts to unite the country,” Mr Kimunya said.
The Jubilee MPs resolved to have a joint presidential campaign secretariat and parliamentary working group with their ODM colleagues.
Mr Kimunya said the meeting provided an opportunity for Mt Kenya leaders to know what the ODM chief has in store for the region.
“Raila has assured us that he has the interests of our region at heart. We will continue engaging with him,” the Kipipiri legislator said.
After the meeting, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu posted on his Facebook page that the Mt Kenya Jubilee lawmakers have begun executing what the party leader asked them to.
“The joint operations will start soon. The team you saw will campaign for Mr Odinga. He told us that he is not looking for followers but partners,” National Assembly Deputy Whip, Maoka Maore, said.
Mr Odinga met four governors from the region in Nanyuki on Monday. He later left for Nairobi by road, stopping to address locals eight times.
The ODM leader on Tuesday held a meeting of Mt Kenya tycoons who were involved in Presidents Kenyatta and Mwai Kibaki’s campaigns.
On Wednesday evening, Mr Kenyatta criticised those against his March 9, 2018 handshake with Mr Odinga, saying it brought development and peace to the country.
“Those against the handshake can now see the results of peace and unity,” he said.
“It’s up to you to decide. I hope you will make a good decision.”
The lawmakers at yesterday’s meeting said they would plan Mr Odinga’s rallies in Mt Kenya.
The MPs, mostly drawn from the National Assembly, said they would launch an elaborate plan on Mr Odinga winning the trust of Mt Kenya residents.
The ODM boss is expected to host the group at his Karen residence in two weeks for a follow up on yesterday’s proposals.
The meeting comes two days after Mt Kenya Foundation said it has endorsed Mr Odinga’s presidential bid.
Suna East MP, Junet Mohamed, told the Nation that the joint campaign secretariat would be in place soon.
Addressing reporters after yesterday’s meeting, Mr Odinga described the engagement with the MPs as fruitful. He added that the lawmakers showed him different ways of winning Mt Kenya residents’ hearts.
“I came to get vital clues on how to reach the summit of the mountain. I’ve been offered many,” the ODM leader said.
“With these leaders, we shall climb the mountain together and liberate our people.”
We’ve begun a journey
Mr Odinga said it’s through partnerships that the country won independence from the British almost six decades ago.
“We want Kenya to be prosperous,” he said.
Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege said more MPs would join Mr Odinga’s camp.
“We’re happy with Raila’s approach. He’s not like others who ask for votes by chest-thumping. We’ve begun a journey that will bring us together,” Ms Chege said.
By Nation Africa