Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia says the people of Mt Kenya will rally behind Raila Odinga in the polls next year, August. Speaking to a local publication on Sunday, the former secretary to the cabinet in Kibaki’s administration described the ODM boss as a statesman and a maverick politician who deserves to lead the nation when President Uhuru retires.
”Raila stands every chance in Central. The locals have no fundamental issues with the former prime minister. If you recall, the ascendance to power by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was partly because Mzee Jaramogi, the first vice-president, insisted that we cannot have independence in Kenya without the release of Mzee Kenyatta. Second, we have the “Kibaki Tosha” declaration by Raila at Kasarani at a time when Kenyans did not like what had been done by the second president,” Dr. Kimemia says.
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The second-term county chief, who is among Mt Kenya governors supporting the former prime minister’s bid says the region still remembers how instrumental the Oginga family has been in making a Kikuyu president, and it is time the good deeds get rewarded.
”Raila went to Kasarani and declared that, and we saw the leadership come to the Mountain again. When we managed the transition in 2013 and some people told him to go to court, ultimately, he agreed that Uhuru had won the election and we moved on. That is the mark of a statesman. Somebody who has gone through a lot of tribulation under the State, including detention. Somebody who participated in the first and second liberation of this country,” the Nyandaua governor says.
”There was a lot of demonisation and character assassination, but that is the nature of politics. You have to bear in mind that it is when these two communities came together that this country has enjoyed the highest economic levels and stability. When he brought Kibaki to Othaya after he had won, at every place they stopped, people would call him “Mutongoria, Njamba” or a very courageous fellow. He campaigned for Mzee Kibaki when he got the accident and they won. Mt Kenya people may appear as if they have amnesia, but I can assure that they will ultimately remember that,” Dr. Kimemia notes.
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On whether he has had discussions with the ODM leader over a possibility of becoming his running mate, Governor Kimemia says loyalty is key in whoever Raila chooses as his DP and that he knows whom he can work with best from the Mt Kenya region.
”We have not had any discussions and we believe he is a man who is able to weigh the options and get the best number two that can best serve him with loyalty. It has become very evident in this country that when picking the number two, loyalty should be a major consideration so that you are able to complete your term with respect and dignity.”