Kibaki is my hero, declares opposition chief Raila
ODM leader Raila Odinga yesterday used the 58th Mashujaa Day celebrations to popularise his 2022 presidential bid to the vote rich Mt Kenya region.
Speaking at Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County, Raila used the occasion to woo the people of Central Kenya region by reminding them how he campaigned for one of their sons,retired President Mwai Kibaki, during the 2002 General-Election that ousted the 24 year rule of Kanu regime.
“Your predecessor, Mr President, Mwai Kibaki should be celebrated in this country, because he is my hero today,” Raila told congregants.
Raila has heightened political activities in the region ahead of 2022 polls.
Reminiscing the 2002 presidential contest when his critics prophesied that his political career had come to an end after he endorsed Kibaki, the former premier said he had the best interest of the region as he has always been with them.
“When I said Kibaki Tosha, my critics said that I have been finished politically, and that no Luo will vote for a Kikuyu because of what happened to my father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Tom Mboya,” he said.
“But I told my people that there has never been a war between Luos and Kikuyus, there has only been partners in the struggle to liberate the country.
Mr President, if you recall the Luos in 2002 voted for Kibaki almost 98.2 percent, showing that the tribal differences is only a thin line,” he added.
Making his case as a friend of the Mt Kenya region, Raila stated that it was his father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga who took Kibaki to Makerere University, brought him to Kenya and made him the Chief Executive of Kanu, further reinforcing his point that the two communities have always been united in a way.
“Before the 2002 elections, Kibaki was involved in an accident and he could not campaign, I took charge of the campaigns and delivered victory. He was sworn in office in a wheelchair in December 2002,” he said.
Raila recognised leaders he termed as heroes from the region among them Bishop David Gitari, authors Prof Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Prof Micere Mugo, Nobel Peace Prize winner Prof Wangari Maathai and second liberation heroes Ken Matiba and Charles Rubia.
He also mentioned human rights activist Rev Timothy Njoya, first woman Chief Justice Martha Koome, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi called for peace and tolerance during the electioneering period.
“So that we work together as a people respecting the boundaries as the constitution provides as well as our people because that is cohesion,” he said.