The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party plans to prevail upon its leader, Raila Odinga to pick a running mate from Mt Kenya when he will be taking a shot at the presidency next year.
Speaking to a local publication yesterday, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said the move is meant to reciprocate the populous region’s vote block if they back Mr. Odinga’s presidential bid.
”We will prevail upon the prime minister soon to have him pick a running mate from Mt Kenya, going by the population dynamics. We shall then accommodate other regions in top government positions,” the deputy ODM leader said.
With a strong running mate from Mt Kenya, and his traditional strongholds kept intact, pundits believe Raila Odinga will easily clinch the presidency with 50 plus one, first-round victory.
Different sources have flouted different names from Mt Kenya for Raila’s consideration. They include SpeakerJB Muturi, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, former CS Mwangi Kiunjuri, and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.
Confirming the reports, Maina Kamanda, a nominated MP giving Mt Kenya the DP slot was not a favor from Raila, but they deserve the position by virtue of their strength and numbers.
“It will not be a favour at all but a fair way of appreciating the region for its decision to back his presidential bid,” Kamanda said.
The populous region has produced four of the country’s five presidents, including the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, retired president Mwai Kibaki, and current President Uhuru Kenyatta.
With more than five million voters spread across Kiambu, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nyandarua, Meru, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, and Laikipia counties as well as Nakuru County, the region is a huge catch for any serious presidential contender.