THE STAR 09/30/2021
ODM leader Raila Odinga will be the chief guest on Thursday as Kanu delegates endorse Gideon Moi to run for president in next year's election.
The entry of Gideon in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta further complicates the 2022 succession.
The party’s delegates will be converging at the historic Bomas of Kenya today to make the decision after almost 20 years without the party fielding a candidate for the country’s top seat.
Last Sunday, Gideon got the nod of his Baringo backyard after Kanu delegates from his home county declared him as the best bet to fly the party’s flag in the race to succeed Uhuru.
Raila's spokesperson Dennis Onyango told the Star that the ODM leader will be gracing the occasion at Bomas.
"I know Raila will be in Bomas," Onyango said.
Of late, the ODM boss and Gideon have been close, fueling speculation of a possibility of working on a joint 2022 formation.
Kanu secretary general Nick Salat on Tuesday opened the lid on the event, saying the Independence party will not repeat past mistakes of not fielding a presidential candidate.
“Tomorrow is a national delegates conference, which is a party requirement that we must undertake as Kanu and we hope it will yield more than just a NDC because we are ensuring our preparedness towards 2022,” Salat said.
“For the last 15 going to 20 years, we have never gone outside there and presented a presidential candidate but we are not going to make that mistake again.
“I don’t think we will let you down, we will make sure the Kanu of yesteryears will be a different Kanu moving forward as from tomorrow.”
Salat spoke at Bomas of Kenya after leading party officials in inspecting preparations for the event.
He was accompanied by among others Baringo Woman Representative Gladwell Cheruiyot.
Salat said many Kenyans have expressed frustration at the party’s prolonged absence on the national scene.
“Over the last many months we have reached out to people and they have told us that the Kanu that they know should rise to the occasion and should offer leadership for this country,” he said.
“According to the laws of the party, if members feel that we have one who is ready to offer himself for the big seat, it is the members who will endorse.”
Cheruiyot said the meeting is important in the life of the party and is what many members have been waiting for.
“It is one of the most awaited times to have one of us get nominated by the party to be the presidential candidate. For a long time, Kanu has not fielded a presidential candidate, many members are waiting for such a day,” she said.
“Tomorrow is not launching him as a presidential candidate but to nominate him through the party to go for that position then from there we shall launch his candidature.”