Raila disowns 2022 presidency claims as DP says ready for him
Baraka Karama and Mercy Mwai
Former Premier Raila Odinga has denied claims he is keen on making a fifth stab at the presidency in 2022.
Raila instead maintained his focus is to strengthen the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ahead of the elections.
The Opposition chief was reacting to a story appearing in local media yesterday, claiming he had declared interest in succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Odinga has entered no race and he knows no race as reported in a section of the media and it’s way too early to do that,” the former PM said in a statement to newsrooms.
The statement further said the media should instead focus on real, urgent, economic, political and social issues that would be beneficial to the nation.
“Odinga does not believe that three years into an election expected in 2022, who is running, who is ahead, who is behind, who is going to win, what are the odds and who will lose is the priority the press should force Kenyans to occupy themselves with,” the former PM said in a media statement.
However, yesterday Deputy President William Ruto said he has no problem facing Raila in an election but wants the former Premier to assure Kenyans he will accept defeat if he loses.
Speaking in Meru, the DP said he is currently busy with other matters including implementation of the Big Four agenda.
“I have no problem competing with him in future but I want him to assure Kenyans that if he is defeated, he will accept defeat,” he said, adding: “For the time being, I am busy, but my homework to him is that he must accept the people’s verdict.”
Off to Indonesia
Meanwhile, Raila left the country last evening for a one-week visit to Indonesia in his capacity as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development.
He will attend the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue in Bali on August 20-21. It is a follow-up to the Indonesia-Africa Forum held in 2018 and aims to strengthen relations between Indonesia and Africa, with particular focus on infrastructure development and other strategic industries.