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Luo Politicians who will lose seats if Raila quits politics – Weekly Citizen

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Veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga assured supporters that he is not politically tired, thus triggering a new level of debate whether the 78-year-old politician should give another stab at the presidency for the sixth time that has been elusive to him a record five times.

Raila

His elder brother Oburu Oginga who is the Siaya senator is likely to retire from politics at the age of 85 when he finishes his first term in office as senator.

H o w e v e r , the prospect of Raila making a comeback a s presidential candidate i n the next general election has caused jitters at his Nyanza backyard after he declared that he would soon announce a political bombshell.

Pundits have pointed out that a number of ODM politicians are not genuine with their push to have Raila on the ballot in 2027, but only act out of their selfish interests.

Observers are quick to point out that a majority of those persuading the ODM leader to remain vibrant on the political stage have difficulty in forging their own political paths and are likely beneficiaries of the notorious ODM shambolic nominations.

According to them, they are politically dead without the influence of Raila, and would therefore, use every trick in the book to ensure that their party leader remains a presidential candidate despite clear indications that he would suffer minimal impact in the next general election.

This group is led by none other Raila’s sister Ruth Odinga, the Kisumu woman representative with ambitions of vying for the Kisumu gubernatorial seat in 2027.

Ruth Odinga

Ruth recently left attendees at a local gathering bemused when she insinuated that there is a magic that would make Raila the president of Kenya and went to an extent of declaring her claims with a finality.

In what appears to be a well coordinated scheme to give Raila and his dejected supporters fresh hope, a number of Luo politicians known of depending on Raila for their own survival, have perfected the art of managing supporters as far as Raila’s next political move is concerned.

Homa Bay county siting senator Moses Kajwang describes Raila as the hope of ordinary Kenyans who are facing economic hardship.

“You are our strength. We are waiting for direction from you,’’ the politician recently told Raila.

Senator Kajwang’

But a section of politicians from the region eager for a replacement of Raila as the Luo kingpin have sharply opposed the idea of tired Raila hanging on ahead of 2027 with some saying Raila will not be strong enough then to even stand on his legs let alone stand for presidency.

These are the perennial victims of ODM’s shambolic nominations that have shattered many political dreams from the region.

They now fiercely demand for Raila’s retirement from politics as well as receiving support from the state to topple him as the Luo political leader.

A vibrant member of the cluster former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero asked the ODM leader not to contest for the presidency in 2027, arguing there are other people who should be given a chance to lead the country.

Kidero

It is also important to note that former Karachuonyo MP James Rege has joined the list of those persuading Raila to retire from active politics.

“We care for his health and I believe so is his family,” Rege noted.

The former MP reiterated that Raila has done a lot for the country, and there is need for him to retire now when he is still loved.

Rege welcomed the appointments of a number of Luos in the current administration saying president William Ruto has indicated that he is ready to work with all communities across the country.

It is imperative to note that his name is among those constantly mentioned in the Luo succession politics.

Rege ditched Raila’s ODM party ahead of 2017 general elections and joined Jubilee.

Rege

He successfully used his influence in the then ruling Jubilee administration to increase the presence of Luos in Uhuru regime.

But it is emerging that attempts to advise Raila out of politics has been met with sharp resistance from those who depend on him for political survival, a notable group led by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi and his Suna East counterpart Junet Mohamed.

A larger number of members in this group benefited from ODM’s chaotic nominations and has its members majorly spread across Nyanza while others can be traced in Nairobi and Mombasa.

In Siaya county the notable faces exploiting Raila’s name for their own selfish political survival are area governor James Orengo, woman representative Christine Ombaka, Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi and his Gem counterpart Elisha Odhiambo.

Orengo

In Kisumu, those who can hardly survive politically without Raila are Kisumu West MP Rozah Buyu, Joshua Oron (Kisumu Central), James Nyikal (Seme), Jared Okello (Nyando) and Aduma Owuor (Nyakach).

Joshua Oron

The trend is the same in Homa Bay with Charles Ongondo leading the pack.

Others are Eve Obara (Kabondo Kasipul), Adipo Okuome (Karachuonyo), Lilian Gigo (Rangwe) and Opondo Kaluma (Homa Bay Town).

In the neighbouring Migori county, politicians who cannot survive without Raila are Paul Abuor (Rongo), Walter Owino (Awendo), Francis Masara (Suna West), Mark Nyamita (Uriri) and Tom Odege (Nyatike).

Paul Abuor

They are the most demoralised over plans by president Ruto to change the constitution and bar Raila from contesting for the presidency in the 2027 polls based age.

As a matter of testing waters, little known Fafi MP Salah Yakub, a first timer in parliament was used by Ruto’s UDA party to stir waters regarding a proposal to remove the presidential term limit from the Kenyan constitution.

The argument is that in a bid to lock out Raila, the cap should be based on age and not the period of service.

Raila is currently aged 78 years, and the proposed law, if implemented, sets the age for one to contest for the presidency at 75.

If the proposed bill sails in parliament and is passed into law, Kenya will follow in Uganda’s footsteps in a move that enabled president Yoweri Museveni to rule for close to four decades.

Museveni

Having shot his way into State House in 1978 courtesy of a guerrilla war, Museveni, 78, has twice benefited from constitutional change allowing him to continue reigning.

Notably, Wandayi and Junet are leading Azimio La Umoja allies to reject the bill should it be tabled in parliament.

However, many are not aware that they are doing so for their own future political survival that looks bleak without Raila being fronted by them as a presidential candidate.



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