Today, Saturday 12th, the Azimio Coalition will tell Kenyans who their presidential candidate is at their launch rally as they go face to face with William Ruto.
Raila Odinga has taken a two-week journey crisscrossing the country starting from Nakuru County, through Kisii, Bungoma, Machakos, Wajir, Meru, and now in Kisumu before heading back to Nairobi for the big event on Saturday, March 12, 2022.
In that journey, Raila has been met with tremendous enthusiasm with the kind of crowds we have not seen before in this campaign. That is always a good thing for politicians.
Raila has promised Kenyans wherever he met them in his 9 rallies that he will work with Kenyans to build a united, peaceful, and prosperous country. In every group he has talked he explains how that will make things better for every Kenyan to improve their lives.
Before Raila hit Kisumu he was in Meru where the numbers and the crowds spoke for themselves. Raila has some serious support there and the issue is how he defines a platform for the country that the people of Meru and indeed the whole country can identify with and see themselves making strides in their lives.
Before that was the Bungoma rollercoaster. As we all know, one of the big names in Bungoma politics, Moses Wetangula is now working very closely with Ruto and UDA.
Bungoma is also the home of the rising Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) with its leader Wafula Wamunyinyi getting attention across the country and emerging as a strong candidate for governor’s job in Bungoma.
The turnout was stunning and the interaction between Raila and the voters and the leaders in the region must have made the Azimio team very happy.
Raila took the rallies to bring to the fore some of Kenya’s young Turks coming into our political landscape with new energy and new perspectives on how we can move our country forward.
This new crop of Kenyan leaders are taking the mantle from the Railas and Uhurus and it is a good thing Raila has brought up a bunch of those new leaders with some clear vision for the country.
Take the case of Tim Wanyonyi two time M.P for Westlands in Nairobi County where he has earned tremendous respect for being one of the most dedicated M.Ps in the whole country when it comes to delivering services and facilities that voters elect them to do.
From Bungoma, the Azimio team was headed to Machakos and the rest of the Kamba nation. At a time when things are being worked out for the veteran Kenyan politician from the region, Kalonzo Musyoka to join Azimio, all eyes were on Machakos and the region to see how tight their connections to Azimio Coalition really was. Could things look a bit off the rail here in need of urgent fixing?
Machakos spoke loudly and all parts of the Ukambani nation made it clear they are with Azimio Coalition for the long haul and for the big battle on August 9, 2022.
Raila Odinga chose to officially launch his bid to be the 5th President of Kenya by talking to Kenyans through nine rallies and numerous community meetings and consultations.
Raila’s strategy of always holding community meetings to learn what the needs and issues are for the people in the communities he goes to has turned out to be a brilliant idea.
The big rallies are good because that is when the voters connect with the candidates and people build alliances and grassroots action groups that mobilize people for the ballot day. But the community meetings are crucial to hearing from the ground what their issues are.
Kenyans will watch very closely as the race to the ballot box begins in earnest and Kenyans demand answers to the issues that bother them daily like corruption of politicians and their appointees swallowing all the money meant to help ordinary people improve their living conditions.
The issue of who between Raila Odinga and William Ruto will be our president come August 9, 2022 may very well be determined by how Kenyans consider them to be ready to fight and wrestle corruption to the ground.
Corruption is killing our country and the M.Ps and politicians are doing in your face robbery of Kenyan’s money and they basically don’t care. There are even people who want to lead this country who think fighting corruption is a waste of time.
It was stunning seeing William Ruto who has been running for the presidency for years go blank and completely unable to answer a question on how he will fight corruption. The man went comatose and his answer was that he will not point any fingers at anybody. Really.
This is what happened in an interview with Voice of America (VOA) during Ruto’s just-concluded trip to the United States.
”For a long time Mr. Deputy President, Corruption has been endemic in Kenya and you know that. We’ve seen millions of shillings taken. I was going to take on one of your allies Governor Anne Waiguru but she did not make it to this interview,” Esther Gitui-Ewart the VOA host said.
”When she was the Devolution Secretary we saw 700 to 800 million disappear it was a big scandal and part of that was used to buy condoms. Even though she went to vie for county governorship position that money did not get recovered. How are people going to get accountable for this? Where do we get back that money?” she posed.
Dumbstruck, the deputy president who is notorious for interrupting Kenyan journalists went blank on live tv and remained mum for a moment, thinking about the best response to give.
Voice of America (VOA) had invited Ruto as its guest on a political show hosted by a Kenyan journalist to explain the rampant corruption and what he will do if he’s elected Kenya’s fifth president.
”Esther….corruption is all over our nation. Our proposal on dealing with corruption is not to point fingers. Should not be personalized. It is not me versus you. It is ensuring we institutionalize the fight against corruption,” a cornered DP responded while accusing state institutions mandated to fight corruption of failing in their job.
I hope Raila will have better answers in terms of how he will fight corruption and free the money being stolen from the eternal grip of those who run our country so that the money can be used to grow our economy help improve the lives of all Kenyans.
I raise only the issue of corruption here because until and und unless our next government fights and wins against corruption it is a waste of time talking about this or that development plan.
Any government will need money to develop the country. If the politicians keep stuffing that money in their pockets they might as well just shut up about development. It won’t happen.
Should Raila Odinga make his way to be Kenya’s 5th President, this journey will go down in history the same way we read about independent struggles in the 1950s and 1960s that led to our national independence. Our country is trying to be free again with new dimensions. We are all on this historic journey as Kenyans.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada