Over the last 30 days alone, ODM Leader Raila Odinga has been globe trotting, meeting a number of leaders within the continent and beyond.In the last month alone, Odinga has met a total of six heads of states.Turns out these trips are causing headache to Ruto’s think tank who have always wanted Odinga’s influence to wane as country approaches 2022.
Just yesterday, Raila Odinga held closed door meeting with Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio while in London where he had been invited to give a keynote address at Chatham House on the legacy of Koffi Anaan. He is then expected to travel to St Petersburg in Russia on another yet again summit for African Leaders, with the Russian President Vladimir Putin.This trip to Russia is one of a kind considering African heads of state have been invited and Raila Odinga will stand in for President Uhuru Kenyatta as well as lead the Kenyan delegation.
On May 22, Raila was in Juba, where he met South Sudan President Salva Kiir and held talks that focused on infrastructure development and regional stability.The previous day Raila was in Accra, Ghana, for a meeting with President Nana Akufo-Addo.On May 20, he held talks with President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger on the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Inga Dam as well as the open skies agreement. They also discussed the upcoming AU summit in Niamey.
On May 19, Raila held talks in Kinshasa with President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the construction of the Kinshasa-Brazzaville Bridge that is part of the Tripoli-Cape Town Trans Africa Highway.This was the third time he was meeting Tshisekedi, having met him twice in Nairobi in March.
To an ordinary eye, these trips seem to be just a mere working engagements but for Ruto’s strategists, they are a wider scheme and a new political play Raila has hatched to keep country’s politics under his grip as well as have a wide network which spans across continents.Networks that may come in handy in case he decides to run.
The strategist are said to be working round the clock to ensure Raila’s foreign trips are significantly reduced, something that may be a tall order.For now, Odinga is cementing his position in the continent and making sure he has the much needed support with the AU in case of any attempts to clinch the top seat in 2022.