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What KANU conference has hinted about 2022 election campaigns

From the Pulse Live 2022 elections watch

KANU Chairman and party leader, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi with his wife Zahra arrive for the KANU national delegates conference on September 30, 2021

Kenya's oldest existing political party, the Kenya African National Unity (KANU) party on Thursday held its National Delegates Conference (NDC), hosted by its Chairman and party leader Senator Gideon Moi.

The conference was held at the Bomas of Kenya, a venue well-known for hosting a majority of the country's major historic political events.

In an unexpected turn of events, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga attended the conference and was given a chance to address the delegates.

When he rose to speak, the former Prime Minister was quick to convey greetings from President Uhuru Kenyatta saying that the President had wished the delegates well on their occasion.


What Raila's attendance meant

While explaining what convinced him to join the KANU delegates at Bomas, Mr Odinga cited his history with the party as well as the goal of national unity.

"My brother Gideon called me yesterday to inform me that there would be a major event happening today and asked me whether I'd be able to spare a few minutes to come be with you and I promised him I'd come. If you remember, I used to be the KANU Secretary-General and that is why I came.

"But as some of the speakers stated earlier, KANU is a big part of our nation's history and I was there when the party was founded," the former PM stated before getting into the specifics of how KANU was formed.


The ODM PL also took a friendly tone while addressing Senator Moi's presidential ambitions, recalling how the Senator's elder brother handed over their father's political mantle to Gideon after the former President's demise.

In what seemed to be Raila propping Moi up for the elections, the former PM reiterated that Gideon is neither a politician by dynasty nor a shadow of his father, the panjandrum himself.

While Raila did not explicitly mention any pre-election deal with the KANU PL, his attendance in itself holds meaning, especially considering the upcoming General Election.

Both Kalonzo and Mudavadi have held similar party events where the ODM PL did not make an appearance, arguably, Mr Odinga was not directly involved in forming Wiper and ANC parties.


Some political commentators have floated the idea of a possible Raila-Moi ticket to face off with Deputy President William Ruto for the presidency.

There have also been reports of ongoing "behind the scenes" talks between both Raila's and Moi's teams on a possible deal and if Raila's recent rhetoric is anything to go by, then a Raila-Moi ticket would have Uhuru's blessing.

And should they not end up vying together, the sign of good will may indicate that they are likely to work together post-2022.

KANU Campaigning with Comedians


Unrelated to the world of politics, the KANU NDC saw a number of Kenya's top comedians engage with an audience they are not accustomed to.

MC Jesse was the official MC for the event, with celebrity couple Professor Hamo and Jemutai making an appearance, together with Captain Otoyo.

The comedians drummed up support for Senator Moi going as far as humorously asking him to make some changes when he becomes president.

MC Jesse made a controversial joke while discussing the region he hails from, a joke which might have disclosed where the comedian leans as far as 2022 politics is concerned.


The presence of the entertainers, while not a new fixture in Kenya's political discourse, may indicate that they will be more partisan for the 2022 election campaigns.

Looking at Eric Omondi's partnership with presidential hopeful Jimi Wanjigi, one would not be wrong to assume that influencers from the entertainment industry have embraced politics as a tool for building up their own brands.

We are likely to see more non-political influencers campaigning for their preferred candidates in the coming election season.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Pulse as the publisher.


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