Posted October 11, 2020 9:28 pm by

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – ODM Leader Raila Odinga has denied reports that the visit by Kikuyu Elders to his rural home in Bondo was not an endorsement of his 2022 presidential bid, but a peace initiative.

Odinga downplayed the highly publicized event that was loaded with heavy political undertones, saying the aim of the visit was to promote unity in all tribes, a key factor in a country’s development.

“All the visitors who came to my home only came to promote peace not just between the Luos and Kikuyus but for all tribes for the benefit of building our nation,” said Odinga Sunday during a fundraising event at ACK St. Michael in Bondo.

But even as he denied that the leaders had gone to endorse his bid to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta when his second and final term ends in 2022, organisers of the visit said the leaders had gone to assure him of Mt. Kenya’s support for the top job due to his close association with Kenyatta.

Odinga shook hands with Kenyatta in March 2018, soon after a repeat election in which he lost having mobilised his supporters to skip it.

The handshake led to the formation of a team to craft a document under the the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which is geared at changing the Constitution.

Odinga and Kenyatta have denied reports that the BBI report is aimed at creating positions by expanding the Executive, instead clarifying that it is only aimed at uniting the country. Government sources say the report will be unveiled on October 20 in Kisii.

Saturday’s visit by elders to his Bondo home has sent mixed signals, with others saying they went to endorse him and assure him of Mt Kenya support should he view for the presidency.

“We did not have any talks centered on politics, those who were here came as friends and spoke as friends too,” he said at the church fundraising presided over by businessman Jimmy Wanjigi who urged Mt Kenya to join ODM.

Deputy President William Ruto and leaders loyal to him have publicly vowed to opposed the planned Constitutional changes, accusing Kenyatta and Odinga of plotting to isolate him from the 2022 race.

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