As the 2022 presidential race approaches, ODM leader Raila Odinga appears to be banking on regional political kingpins including governors, senators, and community heavyweights to beat Deputy President William Ruto who is considered to be his main rival.
For instance, Raila has attracted the support of Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho who shelved their presidential ambitions in favour of their party leader.
Apart from the two, the presidential hopeful has also attracted the support of Kisii Governor James Ongwae, Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), and Nderitu Muraithi (Laikipia).
Raila also has the support of Governor Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Martin Wambora (Embu), Muthom Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), and James Nyoro (Kiambu).
The former prime minister has received the blessings and support of President Uhuru Kenyatta whose party of Jubilee is working on a pre-election deal that will see Uhuru and Raila’s party field one presidential candidate to face off with William Ruto for the top seat.
Apart from regional political kingpins, the former Prime Minister appears to have got the support of the Cabinet Secretaries including Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, Eugene Wamalwa (Defence) as well as Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.
Furthermore, there seems to be a clear strategy as demonstrated by Mt Kenya Foundation to help President Uhuru’s handshake partner to gain the confidence of the region that has traditionally voted against Raila.
However, while the opposition chief is keen on building an alliance using regional kingpins, Ruto is on the other side traversing the country meeting the voters accompanied by a group of political greenhorns who appears to be first-term Members of parliament as he drums up support for the hustler narrative.
Ruto is on record accusing his boss and the former Premier of assembling tribal chiefs to fight his State House bid.