The Orange Democratic Movement have made it clear that they want party leader Raila Odinga for President in 2022.
With the bellicose relationship between Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto, and the President now said to be looking beyond his Jubilee Party for a possible successor at the end of his term, Raila’s allies see this as his golden opportunity.
While the former Prime Minister has been reluctant to state his stand on the matter, insisting that he is keen on seeing constitutional amendments through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to enhance inclusivity as the country heads towards the next elections, his party officials say he will not exit the political stage anytime soon.
The party’s national treasurer Timothy Bosire said Raila still remained on the political stage and that, in addition to his past contributions to the “democratization and reforms in the country, Kenyans are yet to see the last of him.”
“So it is not over yet. The flower of his legacy is being remodeled again,” said Mr Bosire, adding: “At this critical moment, I see him as a balancing act between the anarchists and those operating on the status quo. His last contribution is ahead of us. It is yet to come. In him we expect major contributions going forward.”
He said the party had never been equivocal on fielding a presidential candidate in 2022 and that remains their focus.
“So he (Raila) is the major balancing act towards 2022 and forward,” he said, adding that ODM will continue to work with the ruling Jubilee for the benefit of Kenyans.
Secretary-general Edwin Sifuna said Raila had demonstrated selflessness by endorsing (Mwai) Kibaki in 2002. “To ask him to endorse someone else again is to ask too much.”
He added: “As the holder of the vision for a new Kenya, the country will do well to give him an opportunity to implement this vision.”
However, ODM national chairman John Mbadi said the party supremo is more interested in his legacy.
“Where Raila has reached, it is not just the question of being President but the question of what he is leaving behind,” Mr Mbadi said.
“He has played a bigger role in the politics of this country so his legacy will be his great concern,” he said, adding that he does not foresee a scenario where Mr Odinga and President Kenyatta will go their separate ways in the 2022 polls.
“Uhuru has been President for seven years and his concern is also about his legacy. That joins them together and is what other people have underrated. This can make them do anything so long as they see it to be for the benefit of this country, including even sacrificing their ambitions,” the ODM chairman added.
He went on: “I don’t think 2022 is already decided because it is a bit far. But what I foresee is that the two will be on the same page going to 2022 or in the same kind of alliance.”