Mwai Kibaki is my hero - Raila declares

They told me that when I said Kibaki Tosha, I was finished politically - Raila

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the 2021 Mashujaa Day celebrations at the Wang'uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday declared publicly that his hero is former President Mwai Kibaki.

While addressing a crowd at the Wang'uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County, Raila stated that President Uhuru Kenyatta's predecessor is the Kenyan icon he chose to honour for Mashujaa Day.

In what appeared to be Raila's message to those who have claimed that he is not popular in the Mt Kenya region, the ODM party leader narrated events of the 2002 presidential election when he supported the former President's bid to ascend to power.

Raila stated that, at the time, some people warned him that he would lose political mileage for choosing to side with a candidate from the Mount.

The ODM party leader went on to assert that he is, and has long been, a friend of the Mt Kenya region.

"Mwai Kibaki must be celebrated as a hero in this country. When I said 'Kibaki Tosha', they said that I was finished politically and no Luo would vote for a Kikuyu because of what happened to Jaramogi and Tom Mboya. I told them that there has never been a fight between Luos and Kikuyus and that they have been partners in the struggle for independence. Kibaki was a son of Jaramogi because it is Jaramogi who brought him to Kenya and made him a chief secretary in KANU.

"98.5 per cent of Luos voted for Kibaki and that just goes to show that this tribalism thing is just skin-deep," Raila narrated.

He went on to outline how Kibaki got into a nasty road accident at the height of the campaign for the presidency in 2002.

The former Prime Minister went on to narrate on how he and others kept campaigning and even supported Kibaki in a major campaign through Nairobi while he was on a wheelchair.

"We came with him from Githurai, through Thika, Kenol, Murang'a, Kirinyaga, Kerugoya Karatina and even Othaya, everywhere the people were saying 'Raila ni mutongoria njamba' (Raila is a great leader). So, Raila Odinga is a friend of the mountain and has been able to climb the mountain," Raila concluded his speech.

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