OFFICIALS MEET

Raila's ODM to sign 2022 pre-election deal with Uhuru's Jubilee

Two leaders plan to unveil a huge political machine to take on DP Ruto in next year's general election

In Summary

• A crucial meeting bringing together Jubilee and ODM officials was held on Thursday where a deal was formally struck to start talks for a 2022 pre-coalition agreement.

• The talks will culminate in the formalisation of their union ahead of 2022 polls.

Jubilee Deputy Majority Whip Maoka Maore, Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, Jubilee vice chair David Murathe, ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna and his Jubilee counterpart Raphael Tuju at a Nairobi hotel on June 17, 2021
Jubilee Deputy Majority Whip Maoka Maore, Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, Jubilee vice chair David Murathe, ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna and his Jubilee counterpart Raphael Tuju at a Nairobi hotel on June 17, 2021
Image: HANDOUT

President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Party is planning to sign a pre-election coalition deal with Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement.

This means Uhuru and Raila will take their handshake a notch higher and craft a political pact that will see them work together in the 2022 General Election.

The pre-election deal is expected to translate into the formation of a behemoth political machine that will take on Deputy President William Ruto.

Ruto was boxed out of the Jubilee Party after the President launched a ruthless purge that also targeted his key allies last year.

The Star has established that after three years of the handshake, Jubilee and ODM have started taking steps to formalise the deal.

A crucial meeting bringing together Jubilee and ODM officials was held on Thursday where a deal was formally struck to start talks for a 2022 pre-coalition agreement.

Once the officials agree, they will then engage relevant organs for adoption and ratification.

Uhuru and Raila will witness the signing of the coalition agreement that will be deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties.

Thursday's meeting was attended by Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju and his ODM counterpart Edwin Sifuna.

ODM chairman John Mbadi and Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe also attended the talks at a Nairobi Hotel. Suna East MP Junet Mohamed was also present.

On Thursday, Tuju who is a Cabinet Secretary without portfolio confirmed to the Star that Jubilee is indeed planning to sign a coalition agreement with ODM in the coming days.

“The meeting we have had today is a culmination of several other meetings that we have held before to formalise the coalition with the former Prime Minister,” Tuju said.

Sifuna said ODM has entered serious talks with Jubilee with the aim of developing a political understanding ahead of next year's elections.

“We had our initial meeting today. We have started talks that will see us having a pre-2022 coalition agreement with Jubilee,” Sifuna said.

When asked about the timeliness, the ODM official said it was too early to impose them at the initial stages of the discussions.

“It is too early to talk about the timeliness. We will firm up everything by holding a series of meetings in the coming days,” he said.

While the President has been working with Raila, there has been no legal anchor, exposing it to political attacks from rivals including Ruto's allies.

However, the move by the two parties to initiate the process to put pen to paper will provide parameters and outline the terms of engagements.

The plan could signal the President's decision to back Raila as his successor. Uhuru retires next year after his two terms as President.

The coalition is supposed to usher in a historic re-union of the Kikuyu and Luo communities which have had protracted hostilities since the falling out between founding President Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Oginga was Mzee Kenyatta's vice president.

The announcement of the impending Jubilee-ODM coalition comes days after the President said he will support one of the Nasa principals as his successor next year.

The move triggered fury in the DP's camp with Ruto firing salvos at his boss through a string of posts on Twitter and Facebook.

He said Uhuru had betrayed him and the eight million voters who backed Jubilee in 2013 and 2017.

The President who spoke when he met leaders from the Ukamani region at State House on Monday, asked the Nasa chiefs to work together ahead of the 2022 polls.

Nasa brings together ODM, Musalia Mudavadi's ANC, Wiper's Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula's Ford Kenya.

The three parties have been working on a different political plan under the One Kenya Alliance which also includes Kanu's Gideon Moi.

Kalonzo has claimed he will not back Raila for a third time after agreeing to be his running mate in both 2013 and 2017 general elections.

The Jubilee Party is already in a post-election coalition agreement with Kanu while it also has a working arrangement with Isaac Ruto's Chama Cha Mashinani and Kalonzo's Wiper.