Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance presidential contender Mr. Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua has set out an extensive tour of the Mount Kenya region to drum support for his presidential bid.
Odinga is expected to tour Nyeri, Kirinyaga, and Kiambu County on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday respectively.
The tour is expected to quell the zoning politics that seem to have divided the Azimio team in the Mount Kenya region.
None of the Mount Kenya politicians in Azimio has agreed to step down for their opponents as has been witnessed in Nairobi County.
Among those expected in his rallies include Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri), Priscilla Nyokabi, Sabina Chege, CS Peter Munya, Mwea MP Kabinga Wachira, Kirinyaga central MP Munene Wambugu, Kieni MP Kanini and Jubilee party aspirants.
In Kiambu County he will be accompanied by Kiambu governor James Nyoro, Gladys Chania (Women rep aspirant), Kago wa Lydia (MP Githunguri), George Mara, senate aspirant)Jude Njomo (Kiambu MP) among others.
Mount Kenya MCA’s caucus chairman Charles Mwangi Ng’ang’a has said that Mr. Odinga is determined to ensure that he gets at least 30 percent of the region’s votes in the general election.
Mr. Mwangi noted that Mr. Odinga and his running mate’s numerous inroads in the region had gained results as the ground seems to have changed.
He said that Ms. Karua’s nomination has brought into sharp focus the gender card and the quest for a big slice of half of the country’s voters – women.
He said that before the nomination of Martha Karua as Odinga’s running mate, no one thought that Odinga would get support from the region.
“Karua effect is heard and people seem to love Odinga in Mount Kenya because of their daughter Karua and within the few days remaining, they are determined to lock what they have gained and thus why they are making the numerous trips, “he said.
He further said that Odinga’s visit to the region will also help aspirants within the coalition to have a strategy meeting and drop candidates who aren’t popular to boost their winnings.
Former Kiambu governor William Kabogo has said that anyone is allowed to traverse any part of the country to meet his or her supporters.
He said that it was a democratic right for Odinga to visit Mount Kenya and should be accorded the respect he deserves.
“Anyone is allowed in the Mount Kenya region and all that we need is peace after the august election,” Kabogo said.
Kikuyu council of elders national chairman Wachira Kiago echoes Kabogo sentiments that Kenyans needs peace ahead of general election.
Wachira termed Raila as the savior of Mount Kenya and rallied Kenyans to support his bid.
“We are fully behind Raila Odinga and Martha Karua and nothing will stop them from succeeding Uhuru Kenyatta,”Wachira said.
He further denounced the group of elders led by Captain Kungu Muigai who endorsed Ruto’s bid last week.
Political analyst cum columnist with Star Albert Kasembeli has said that Mr. Odinga is now focused on traversing all the Counties that Ruto’s running mate Rigathi Gachagua had a campaign rally two weeks ago.
Mr. Kasembeli has said that the sole aim is to neutralize the gains made by Gachagua during his rallies.
During a rally in Githunguri, Kiambu County, Gachagua was heckled after he attacked Raila Odinga.
“Raila Odinga is becoming smart every day, he has let Karua concentrate her effort in Mount Kenya and they are neutralizing the gains made by Gachagua and Ruto, “Kasembeli said.
A section of the electorates who had attended the rally accused him of disrespecting President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
“Kama mumetumwa na Raila na Martha endeni kwa mkutano wao, hii ni ya UDA (If you have been sent by Raila and Martha go and organize your meeting there, this is a UDA rally), “Gachagua said.
The seemingly irritated Gachagua was forced to exit the ground and preceded to Ruiru where he addressed another rally.
On Monday, Martha Karua traversed Nakuru County and was hosted by incumbent governor Lee Kinyanjui.
She traversed Tips, Mwisho wa Lami, Likia, Mauche, Mau Narok, Stoo Mbili, and Naishi among other towns.
Rigathi Gachagua was in Nakuru town last week and drummed support for deputy president William Ruto.