For more than four hours on Tuesday, ODM leader Raila Oduinga met an elite team of Mount Kenya billionaires at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi dubbed Mt Kenya Foundation. Raila Odinga is currently seeking to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta after his terms ends in less than a year. The team tabled the region's interests to the opposition leader.
The Mt Kenya Foundation (MKF) is an influential group of business leaders, tycoons and politicians from Central Kenya who put their billions to work for Presidential candidates as a matter of routine, funding campaigns and voter mobilization initiatives.Their combined net worth is alleged tomatch the approximate Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of small countries.
Their contributors, members and officials are drawn from across the populous region and use the groups as a platform to advocate for their interests. The group is chaired by Peter Munga who is the founder and longtime chairman of Equity Bank which is Kenya's second-largest bank.He also has interests in education and insurance. Former PS and current Lapsset boss Titus Ibui is the groups vice-Chair of MKF while former Dagoretti South Member of Parliament, Dennis Waweru is a member of the MKF board. He acts as the link between elected leaders and the group.
The foundation which brings together the wealthy businessmen, have in the past influenced elections in successive regimes. It plays a key role in every electioneering period as they help to mobilize funds to support presidential candidates from the region. The group had been integral in campaigning against Raila's presidential bid in 2007, 2013 and 2017 respectively.
The influential figures were instrumental in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s aggressive campaigns when he faced off with Raila in 2013 and 2017. It also invested heavily in President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election in 2007.
The Foundation right now has been tasked by the President Kenyatta to identify a possible and ideal candidate to take over from the him when he retires next year. He met the wealthy club members in Sagana, Nyeri county last year.Tomorrow Friday 1st October the foundation will be having a consultative meeting with the One Kenya Alliance(OKA) as part of the broader scheme to identify Uhuru's successor.
They will be looking for someone with the capacity to build on the legacy started by Jubilee's administration and who will not disturb the region's business interests.
After meeting all potential preidential candidates and tabling their concerns, the group will retreat to State House for a meeting with the President to unveil their preferred candidate in the 2022 General Election.
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