‘We never lost election, watch this space’ – Raila maintains
Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga insists that he won the August presidential election.
Addressing members of the press in Nairobi on Sunday, November 20, the long-serving opposition leader indicated that the Azimio coalition was not yet done with seeking the truth regarding the poll conducted on August 9, despite the Supreme Court ruling that upheld President William Ruto's victory.
At the same time, Raila dismissed reports of cracks in Azimio, saying the coalition is as strong as ever before.
"It's a storm in a teacup. Azimio is as strong as ever was," Raila said.
Raila was responding to a question on comments by a section of leaders from Mt Kenya, who appear to have cut ties with him following his loss in the presidential poll.
"Azimio was never about Raila Odinga. Azimio is a movement that brought several political parties together. They share certain ideologies and a common vision. It's not about Raila and it was never meant to reward Raila," Raila started.
"For as we know we never lost the election. The jury is still out, watch this space," he added.
The leaders, who campaigned for Raila in the last election, said over the weekend that it was time to move on, alluding to a possible reunion with President Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who vied against Azimio in August.
"We are in a new reality. Yesterday (Thursday, November 17), we continued discussing our role under this new dispensation. We agreed that, fundamentally, we must seek to add value wherever we can," Former Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said.
"We must also do whatever we can to help this government succeed, because its success is ultimately our success, as we are part of the Kenyan community."
The outspoken legislator made the remarks after meeting Azimio leaders from the central region who lost in the August 9 polls.
Former Ndaragwa MP and Jubilee party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni echoed Wambugu's comments, saying the region had 'paid their debt' to Odinga, after helping him garner a million votes in the vote-rich region.
"The debt Raila wanted to be paid has been paid. For the first time, Raila got the highest number of votes in Mt. Kenya which he has never gotten and it's now time to move on," Kioni said.
He added: "When push comes to a shove, communities quickly run and rally together. What seems to prevail is loyalty to the community. the Writing is on the wall. It does not matter whether you are in UDA or whether you are in Kenya Kwanza,"
But in its response, Raila's ODM party called out the MPs saying they had underdelivered on their promise.
"True! Baba got 490k more votes in Mt. Kenya than in 2017. But the promise was 40% or 2.4m votes from the mountain. Jubilee overpromised and underdelivered whilst also extracting serious concessions including a Mt Kenya running mate, Nairobi Governor and over 50% of Govt. Msitubebe," ODM party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said.
Insiders claim the latest squabble arose over the Azimio nominations to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), where some of the leaders accused the ODM party of sidelining them.