The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, has revealed the events that led to Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i, shelving his 2022 Presidential ambitions.
Speaking in Nyamira County on Friday, October 22, Raila noted that the initial plan from his camp was to endorse Matiang’i to take on Deputy President William Ruto in the forthcoming elections.
Raila says that this was an agreement before a change over happened with Matiang’i agreeing to pave way for the former Prime Minister.
According to the ODM boss, Matiang’i insisted that he (Raila) should be the one to go for the top seat, especially following the March 2018 handshake between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“We discussed with him how things should be, and at one time I said I was ready to support him (Matiang’i). But when we did a review to look at how the ground was, he told me that I should be the one to go first,” Raila stated.
Matiang’i stated that the plan for his Presidential bid changed when he received direction from his boss, Uhuru to settle on his handshake partner, Raila.
The Interior CS also tore into Ruto’s campaigns, accusing the DP of doublespeak and a dishonest conduct against the President.
“When someone gives you such respect, they give you a job, they put you in office where you are with him and you work with him everyday, then you become a madman and start going around the country. Sometimes in the morning you are in the opposition, during the night you are in government. You are lying to people, blaming the government you work for. Have you seen such kind of lies and madness?” Matiang’i posed.
Raila, in a bid to show unity amongst the Kisii leaders, initiated a handshake between Matiang’i and Kisii Governor, James Ongwae. The two leaders had been waging political war in a bid to prove supremacy as the region’s kingpin.
Their political differences were escalated during the Bonchari Constituency by-election, where the ODM brigade, led by the Kisii governor, blamed Matiang’i for using police to frustrate their campaigns. At the time, Matiang’i was supporting Jubilee Party’s Zebedeo Opore, who eventually lost to ODM’s Pavel Oimeke.
During the Kisii rally, Matiang’i endorsed Raila as his presidential candidate, noting that he had revealed his decision that was also influenced by the people.
As the 2022 General Election draws closer, the political dynamics of the country will seem to take twists and turns as politicians stake their claim in the race.
This will see various alliances emerge while in other cases, politicians will decamp to different factions in a bid to secure their interests.