(ODM) leader Raila Odinga is today expected to officially announce his Presidential bid, ending speculation on whether he will be on the ballot for the fifth time next year.
The 60,000 capacity Kasarani Stadium opened its doors at dawn (3 am) to hundreds of delegates and supporters from far-flung counties who began their journey Thursday evening to witness their leaders’ big day as he unveils his candidature and agenda if he wins the 2022 presidential polls.
More than 30 governors from across the political divide and 40 senators will be in attendance, including more than 200 MPs and over 1,500 MCAs.
Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohamed had earlier said they expected the stadium to be filled to capacity and that television screens will be mounted outside the stadium to cater to those who will not be able to gain entry.Security agencies also affirmed utmost security to ensure the event is secure.
Those attending have been urged to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols and to wear masks.
Raila said the event would be a culmination of the peace pact he sealed with President Uhuru Kenyatta in March 2018 and which formed the foundation for his party’s political marriage with the ruling Jubilee party.
Among other guests expected at the event include the Mount Kenya Foundation (MKF) leaders who Wednesday endorsed Raila as their candidate of choice.
The Foundation leaders say Odinga has proven that he has what it takes to unite Kenyans and steer the country towards the right economic trajectory.
The announcement by the foundation is seen as a cherry on top of Odinga’s long-standing Presidential ambitions.
Today is the Day we all have been waiting for. We thank the Almighty God for making it for us. To everyone attending today’s event at Kasarani, KARIBU. To those who won’t make it & have silently or publicly wished our PL well, we thank them and wish them well too #RailaDeclares pic.twitter.com/QUgwQzDwlW
— The ODM Party (@TheODMparty) December 10, 2021
The endorsement also comes just a day before the ODM leader makes known his next political move in a grand ceremony Friday at the Kasarani Stadium.
The elite group made up of influential tycoons from the region promised to attend the Azimio la Umoja event in which Raila is expected to unveil his Presidential bid.
MKF are among the 2,000 special guests expected to attend the Azimio la Umoja convention.
Amani National Congress (ANC) Musalia Mudavadi however turned down an invite to attend the convention at the Stadium owing to personal commitments.
Through a statement on his Twitter account, the ANC leader who has declared his presidential bid said that he had been officially invited in a personal capacity and not an OKA Principal.
“I have just received an official invitation to Azimio la Umoja Convention. As noted herein, the invitation was addressed in my personal capacity as ANC Party Leader and not OKA Principal. Regrettably, I will not be able to attend because of personal engagements,” said Mudavadi.
In other news – Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i declares Monday a public holiday
The government has declared Monday, December 13, a public holiday.
In a statement, Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i, stated that since Jamhuri Day will fall on Sunday, December 12, the government will hold the celebrations on the said day but the country will have a holiday on Monday in line with the Constitution. Learn more