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Kenyan Opposition Leader Odinga, Allies Gearing Up For 2022 Presidency

Allies of opposition chief Raila Odinga say they are rebranding their party and leader ahead of the next elections, in the latest indication yet that he will run for the presidency.

Siaya Senator James Orengo, Governor Cornel Rasanga and other party lieutenants said the Orange Democratic Movement will continue to push for change and accountable leadership under Mr Odinga.

Mr. Orengo, who is also the Leader of Minority in the Senate, told a gathering in Kakamega County that the former Prime Minister commands a massive following across the country and would win the election to become the country’s fifth president.

“We are rebranding our party leader to contest on an ODM ticket in 2022,” said Mr. Orengo at the burial of the mother-in-law of former Gem MP Joe Donde in Ikolomani.

Speakers praised the March 9 handshake deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga but they suggested that Kenya needs a leader who can continue the unity campaign when President Kenyatta’s time is up.

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“Let us have a country that doesn’t care who is Kikuyu, Luo, Kamba, Luhya or Kalenjin,” said Mr. Orengo, adding that nothing bars Mr. Odinga from contesting the presidency in the next General Election.

The senator said the party and its leader were focused on fixing the agenda Mr Odinga has set with the President —- fighting corruption, reforming the electoral systems and uniting the country under the Building Bridges Initiative.

He said ODM’s main focus is to unite Kenyans and bring about reforms to streamline the country’s electoral system.

The development is certain to create conflict within ODM because Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho who are Mr. Odinga’s deputy party leaders have also expressed their interests in the 2022 presidency.

Mr. Oparanya said his eyes were fixed on the presidency and nothing will stop him.

ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said every member of the party has a right to contest for any elective seat.

“As a party, we embrace democracy and give equal opportunity to all members,” said Mr. Sifuna.

He said all members who are seeking to run for the presidency will be subjected to a nomination process.

“Whoever will win at the nomination stage will be given the mandate to fly the party flag to the ballot,” said Mr. Sifuna.

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Written by PH

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