Inside Politics

Your rally will interfere with derby, Gor Mahia tells Raila

Saturday, January 28th, 2023 05:10 | By
Raila announces series of rallies to protest against Ruto's administration
Raila Odinga at a past campaign rally. PHOTO/Courtesy

Pressure was yesterday mounting on Opposition leader Raila Odinga to call off his planned rally at the Jacaranda grounds in Embakasi East constituency on Sunday.

Officials of local football giants, Gor Mahia where Raila is patron - wrote to the Opposition chief asking him to call off the rally as it coincides with the Mashemeji Derby pitting the club against arch rivals, AFC Leopards.

In the letter, Gor Mahia Secretary General Samuel Ocholla appealed to the organisers of the Azimio rally to either hold the meeting “early enough” or call it off altogether to allow fans to attend the derby.

Raila is an ardent supporter and de facto patron, of Gor Mahia and hardly misses the derby.

While majority of Gor Mahia’s supporters hail from the Luo community, those of its traditional rivals AFC Leopards, are drawn from the Luhya community, both of which provide the bedrock of Raila’s support.

Mashemeji derby

“To our esteemed patron, the Right Honourable Raila Odinga. Belated Happy New Year and best wishes for all your plans and endeavour. We, the K’ogalo fraternity is aware that you have planned a consultative meeting-cum-demo with wananchi on Sunday January 29, 2023,” the letter stated.

It added: “As our dear Patron, we wish to remind you of our Mashemeji Derby with AFC Leopards at 3.00pm at Nyayo National Stadium, the same day that you will be holding the demo. We hereby formally invite you to grace the occasion.’’

“We also appeal to you to consider either rescheduling the demo or having it in good time to enable supporters of both clubs make their way to the stadium in time for the derby,” it added.

The letter was copied to the club’s chairman Ambrose Rachier and Treasurer Dolfina Odhiambo.

The last time Raila attended the derby was on May 8, last year in the company of then President Uhuru Kenyatta which ended in a one-all draw.

Jubilee MPs

The request for Raila to call off the Sunday rally comes hot on the heels of a resolution by a section of current and former Jubilee party MPs not to participate in the rallies.

The lawmakers, who held a meeting with President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua early this week, said they would not take part in Raila’s “confrontational politics” and would instead work with the government of the day.

   The leaders who supported Raila in the last general election said such rallies were outdated.

They also said that the public engagements which Raila intends to hold across the country, are a threat to national unity five months after the general election.

They included Nominated Senator Sabina Chege, East African Legislative Assembly Speaker Kanini Kega, David Kiaraho (Ol Kalou), Irene Njoki (Bahati), Zachary Kwenya (Kinangop), Shadrack Mwiti (South Imenti), Mark Mwenje (Embakasi West), Amos Mwago (Starehe), Daniel Karitho (Igembe Central), Stanley Muthama (Lamu West), and Joseph Githuku (Lamu).

We could not immediately establish whether Raila would heed to the club’s appeal to call off the Sunday rally.

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