The past year has seen former Prime Minister Raila Odinga try to make inroads into a region that has been hostile to him in the past three election cycles. Since 2007, Raila Odinga has proved unpalatable to the Mt Kenya and with populous region having over four million votes, it is little wonder that he has lost all those elections.
In Central Kenya, Raila would be hailed as 'Njamba' the Gikuyu word for hero. But this changed only a few years later as Raila and Kibaki clashed even before the next election cycle. He has not managed to get into the good books of the people from the region again.
Raila Odinga with Ann Waiguru/Photo Courtesy
In the past year, Raila has met elders from the region numerous times. He has even gone to the extent of hosting elders from the region at his Siaya home. All this points to a politician keen on inheriting the Mt Kenya election base from President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Despite all this overtures, Mt Kenya region seems to favour Deputy President William Ruto. Young, influential leaders from the region seem firmly rooted in his camp led by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wah.
Raila Odinga thus needs a leader from Mount Kenya region other than President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is still battling a mini insurrection, to declare 'Raila Tosha'.
Martha Karua/Photo Courtesy
One of Mt Kenya's resilient women leaders is Martha Karua. The former Minister of Justice failed in her quest of becoming Kirinyaga Governor due to massive voter irregularities according to an election petition she filed. The petition was rejected on a technicality.
Karua has retained a national stature in Kenyan politics and is one of the leaders of the Linda Katiba initiative which opposes the BBI process. While they now stand on opposite sides of the proposed referendum, one day is a long time in politics and it would not be far fetched to envision the two working together.
Martha Karua would also sway a significant population of the female vote which if successfully mobilized could make Raila Odinga the fifth President of Kenya.
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