Nakuru county chief Lee Kinyanjui says Mt Kenya governors supporting Raila Odinga’s 2022 presidential bid are not doing so out of blind sycophancy but from solid reasoning and consideration. In a local publication over the weekend, the first-term governor says Mt Kenya leaders are impressed by the ODM leader’s pragmatism and support he gave President Uhuru Kenyatta at a time the country’s political and economic stability was at stake.
”He supported President Uhuru Kenyatta at a crucial juncture when political instability threatened economic growth. We also appreciate that Raila has always deployed the handshake as a tool for peace-making. He shook hands with President Daniel arap Moi against all expectations and repeated the same feat with President Mwai Kibaki in 2006 to restore peace against the wishes of hardliners in his camp. Then, in March 2018, he shook hands with President Kenyatta, restoring much-needed stability,” Lee Kinyanjui opines.
Kinyanjui, who has expressed his intention to defend his seat outside the Jubilee Party says the common theme in Raila Odinga’s “Handshakes” is the desire to save the country from going over the brink.
”But even long before the era of the “Handshakes”, Raila was still contributing to political reforms. He has played a major role in advancing the course of democracy but, unknown to most people, in Kenya’s economic transformation too,” he continues.
Despite being a fallible human being, Governor Kinyanjui describes the former prime minister as being ahead of the pack and stands out when his contribution to Kenya’s transformation is evaluated objectively.
”Raila ranks with the likes of Kenneth Matiba, Koigi wa Wamwere, George Anyona, Charles Rubia, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Gitobu Imanyara and other heroes of the second liberation to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for fighting for political reforms when some of the current presidential aspirants were propping up the status quo,” he explains.
Listing Charles Rubia, Kenneth Matiba and Ngugi Wa Thiongo and Gitobu Imanayara as the only Kenyans ranking with the former prime minister, Governor Kinyanjui says Kenyans must not forget that Raila paid a great personal cost for fighting for a better Kenya.
”He was detained for nine years. To put it differently, Raila was in prison for the exact same number of years William Ruto has been Deputy President. Unfortunately, most of us have tended to see Raila through the prism of propaganda sold by his political opponents,” the Ubuntu party leader says.