Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Thursday, 01 Sep 2016 18:09 EAT
CORD leader Raila Odinga will be visiting Western Kenya for the second time in as many months from this weekend as part of his renewed approach of undercutting the influence of the region's leaders who ditched his party mid this year.
Raila is expected to pitch camp in Kakamega County from Sunday September 4 to Friday September 9, a statement from his communications director Dennis Onyango indicated. During the visit, Raila will hold talks with grassroots and community leaders in nine constituencies in Kakamega before adddressing public rallies.
“Raila will visit nine constituencies of Khwisero, Butere, Shinyalu, Ikolomani, Lurambi, Navakholo, Malava, Lugari and Likuyani,” said Mr Onyango in the statement, outlining the former prime minister's entourage will make stops at Emanyulia, Butere town, Sabatia, Shinyalu, Khayega, Musoli, Shisohe, Lubao, Malava, Pan Paper, Kongoni and Matunda.
In July, Raila led a week-long campaign tour of Vihiga, Busia and some parts of Kakamega. His return to the region comes after the defection of Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba who resigned from the post of Secretary General of Raila's ODM party. ODM is the largest party in the CORD coalition.
His return comes at a time when the ruling Jubilee coalition under President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy Wiliam Ruto are trying to penetrate in the Western region through Water CS Eugene Wamalwa, Mumias MP Ben Washiali and Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka in a move to spoil votes for Odinga.
Following the much publicized and dramatic revolt by Namwamba and Otwoma, ODM launched a five-day tour of Western Kenya starting from Monday.
Raila toured Rift Valley from July 16/17 before turning his attention to the vast, scenic hills of Western Kenya, where he visited Vihiga, Busia and Kakamega counties in an itinerary that saw him hold over 30 meetings.
Raila met ODM delegates at Sosa Hotel in Vihiga County before addressing public rallies in Majengo, Mbale and Mudete, followed by meetings at Port Victoria.
The unrest by ODM leaders from Western Kenya started as a ripple from Otwoma, Namwamba and seven other legislators from Western Kenya but has graduated into a full-blown turbulence in a few weeks, with Sirisia MP John Walukhe also quitting his position as chair of ODM in Bungoma County.
However, the MPs are yet to hand in their resignation letters despite months of incessant campaigning against the party that sponsored them to Parliament.
Oscar is the news editor while Derrick Kiraka is a writer at Kenya Free Press