Raila explains Joho’s absence at key ODM party meeting in Mombasa
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has denied claims of cracks in the outfit.
Speaking in Mombasa on Sunday, January 8, Raila, who also doubles as the leader of Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition said the "ODM party is very much united".
Raila was responding to claims that he is losing grip of the coast region, speculations fuelled by the absence of ODM Deputy Party leader Ali Hassan Joho from key political events.
He said the outspoken politician is currently out of the country and would be returning home soon to continue with the party's political engagements.
"Hassan Joho is out of the country but he is going to come back. I talk to him all the time. Even this week I have talked to him and when he comes he will make his contribution. ODM is very much united," Raila told journalists outside ACK Cathedral Church in Mombasa.
Joho has been conspicuously missing in Azimio's functions since the former Prime Minister lost to President William Ruto of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance in the August 9, 2022 elections.
Joho skips ODM meeting
He also skipped an ODM party meeting chaired by Raila in Mombasa on Friday.
Some of the leaders who attended the meeting were Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir, Speaker of the Mombasa County Assembly Senator Mohamed Faki, Jomvu MP Bady Twalib, and a host of coast leaders in Raila's inner circle.
"As a Governor elected on the platform of ODM, I am committed to delivering on our promise of a unified county that is prosperous and well-governed as espoused by our party ideals," Abdulswamad said after the meeting.
Raila's meeting came days after President Ruto's tour in the region where he met various leaders including Governor Nassir.
Raila's engagement with the local leaders is seen as an attempt to counter the Head of State's charm offensive in the area.