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Raila’s big announcement in December – The Standard

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ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) receives a sheep as a gift from Legio Maria officials in Makongeni when he attended a service on November 7, 2021. [David Njaaga, Standard]
ODM leader Raila Odinga has announced plans for a major political rally in Nairobi next month to declare his candidature in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The rally scheduled for December 9, will be the culmination of Raila’s nationwide “Azimio la Umoja” campaigns. The ODM leader yesterday said that he has been “seeking views and preparing his soldiers” for the 2022 political battle against his opponents, whom he said have been campaigning for the longest time.

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All signs, however, indicate that Raila has already made up his mind to go for the top seat in what will be his fifth stab at the presidency. President Kenyatta has also been pulling strings in behind-the-scene maneuvers to have the ODM leader succeed him in a larger scheme to block his estranged deputy William Ruto from ascending to power.

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Raila has so far taken his “Azimio la Umoja” campaigns to Mombasa, Nakuru, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Garisaa, Turkana, Eldoret, Isiolo, Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi counties. He announced plans to conclude tours of Mt Kenya and Ukambani before the planned major rally in Nairobi. “We have to go to all the remaining places before December 9. It is on December 9 that I will announce whether I will be running or not. I will formally make the big announcement,” said Raila.
In a statement targeted at Ruto, the ODM leader said that his opponents have been provoking him to declare his plans for the polls.
“We are going for a contest with people who started preparing long time ago to the extent that they started bragging. But we said we will only declare our plans when ready; we have been preparing,” said Raila.

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He hinted at plans to have Jubilee and ODM field joint candidates in Nairobi in a scheme to win majority of the 85 MCA seats, 17 constituencies, Senate and governor seats. Speaking after attending service at Legio Maria Church in Makongeni, Nairobi, yesterday, Raila said that Jubilee and ODM coalition will make it a formidable force that will be unbeatable in the city.
“In this Nairobi, we have ODM and Jubilee. We are joining ODM and Jubilee. Is there anyone who can defeat us? We want all MCA, MP, Senate and Governor seats won by the team,” he said.
The plan has triggered fears that many individuals may be locked out of participating in the polls. Raila also defended his ambitious pledge of Sh6,000 stipend to the poor if he forms the next government. His critics have labelled the pledge as populist promise for political expediency.
But Raila said that billions of shillings lost through corruption were enough to finance the social welfare project. He noted that the same individuals claiming that it was impossible to implement the project are the same people who dismissed Narc free primary education pledge in the run-up to the 2002 polls.
“We shall bring the biggest social protection fund, some naysers are saying that I am playing politics but this is a promise that I will deliver to Kenyans,” said Raila.

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“I have been the Prime Minister of this country, and I know where to get money to implement these projects. I will first seal all the loopholes being used to misappropriate taxpayers’ money,” he explained.
He maintained that his agenda would be to ensure every Kenyan has something to eat, stating that households with no source of income will benefit from the Sh6,000 cash transfer. Raila rode with former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth – who is being fronted as a potential running mate – in his vehicle through Makongeni, Eastleigh and Mathare estates.
The ODM leader’s campaigns in Mt Kenya have triggered intense jostling by key politicians perceived to be angling for the running mate slot.

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