By Mourice Seretta
Just a day after more that 700 Kikuyu Council of Elders trooped to Bondo, the rural home of ODM leader Raila Odinga and many speakers said he was ripe for the Presidency come 2022, Raila refuted the claims by several observers saying that the elders had only gone there for a visit.
Raila downplayed the highly publicized event that was loaded with heavy political undertones, saying the aim of the visit was to promote unity in all tribes, a key factor in a country’s development.
‘We did not have any talks centered on politics, those who were here came as friends and spoke as friends too,” All the visitors who came to my home only came to promote peace not just between the Luos and Kikuyus but for all tribes for the benefit of building our nation,’ Raila said on Sunday during a fundraising event at ACK St. Michael in Bondo, attended by another Kikuyu business tycoon, Jimi Wanjigi.
Wanjigi who was the chief guest at the fundraising stated that now Jubilee party is crumbling, those who support Raila should join ODM.
‘I am also a life member of the ODM party. There are some people who came from Mt Kenya to visit Raila and if they love Raila the way they said and I saw, they should now leave there crumbling house, (Jubilee Party), and join ODM,’ Wanjigi said.
Also, speakers at Raila’s Bondo home meeting said Kenya was ripe for a Raila Presidency with nominated Member of Parliament Maina Kamanda telling the attendees that he will be disappointed if Raila will not go for the top job come 2022.
‘We are now one, we have no differences. I don’t know whether you will be there then or what you have in mind but I will be very disappointed if your name will not be on the ballot come 2022,’ Kamanda told the crowd.
Another notable figure from Mt Kenya who was at the meeting was former Gatanga MP and 2013 presidential candidate Peter Kenneth who said it was time for the Luo and Kikuyu community to unite and forge ahead as one people.
‘The Central region and the Nyanza region is now one. It began with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga during independence and now their two sons, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga have followed in their footsteps through the handshake. That is the way to go and BBI is also the way to go,’ Kenneth said.
Kenneth hit out at those that are against BBI saying they are the same people who have been curtailing development in the country and need to be whipped to order.
The elders who performed several rituals in the meeting attended by Luo and Kikuyu elected leaders, will be followed by another one in Mt Kenya.
Organisers of the Bondo meeting said Luo elders are also set to visit Mt Kenya for more talks, as the race for the 2022 succession hots up.
The meeting is seen as part of a well-crafted initiative to ensure Luos and Kikuyus end their differences which date back to the years of Odinga’s father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga who openly differed with founding President Jomo Kenyatta.
The meeting was also seen as part of Kenyatta and Odinga’s agreement in the Building Bridges Initiative to bring the two communities together.