In 2017, ODM Leader Raila Odinga and his allies made it public that he had only one bullet left during his presidential campaigns, but that is not the case anymore.
Raila Odinga has hinted at unleashing another bullet and wrestle it out with Deputy President William Ruto during the 2022 presidential race.
Speaking in Mabole village, Butere constituency, during a funeral, the ODM leader dismissed those urging him to retire from active politics, insisting that he has the responsibility to midwife Kenya’s ‘third liberation’.
He said he was determined to liberate Kenyans from poverty, corruption and marginalisation.
“Do you want me to retire? Do you want me to retire? Okay, I am still strong and ready to lead the third liberation which we have begun,” Raila told mourners during the funeral service of John Luchera, a cousin of Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
The former Prime Minister said his political enemies celebrated when he was in hospital in Dubai, thinking that it was the end of the road for him.
“They expected that I would come back in a wheelchair. They were wrong. Today, I am much stronger and prepared to lead the country’s third liberation,” Raila said.
This is the first time that Raila has come out to clear any doubt that he will contest in the 2022 General Election to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Raila’s declaration comes days after he and President Kenyatta released the Building Bridges Initiative report at Kisii State Lodge on Wednesday.
ODM leaders, including the former premier’s elder brother Oburu Oginga, have in the past hinted that he will be on the ballot. President Kenyatta still has 21 months in office before the end of his final term and this has stirred succession politics.
Jubilee Party Vice Chairman David Murathe has on several occasions asked Kenyans to brace for a Raila presidency in 2022 likening the bid to South Africa’s quest for freedom under the late Nelson Mandela.
Mr Murathe said it was time Kenyans rewarded the former Prime Minister who put everything on the line for the country’s development.
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“We think it’s time Kenyans rewarded the years of struggle of Raila Amollo Odinga. They owe it to him. It’s like Mandela, and 2022 will be a Mandela Moment. And we would also like to tell him (Raila) to be a transitional president who will then nurture the young generation to take over in 2027,” he said.
He predicted that Raila would be a one-term president, paving the way for a new shift in leadership in 2027.
Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi yesterday said that it was clear that Raila would be on the ballot in 2022.
“It was a matter of when he would declare and not if, we knew he would be on the ballot. It’s not new,” said Mudavadi.