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Wanjigi to storm Raila's Nyanza backyard amid ODM boycott plans

The businessman will be in the region for four days.

In Summary

• The whirlwind tours are part of the strategy to popularise his candidature for the ODM presidential ticket.

• Makabongo said the businessman will not be accorded reception always given to a senior party member visiting the area.

Jimmy Wanjigi to face Raila Odinga in ODM nominations race ahead of 2022 presidential elections.
‘I AM READY’: Jimmy Wanjigi to face Raila Odinga in ODM nominations race ahead of 2022 presidential elections.
Image: KURGAT MARINDANY

Billionaire businessman Jimmy Wanjigi starts a four-day tour of Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard amidst boycott plans by region’s party stalwarts.

The businessman who has expressed interest in the ODM’s ticket for the 2022 presidential race will touch down at Kisumu International Airport on Thursday morning for a tour that will see him hold meetings with party delegates from five of the six Nyanza counties.

The whirlwind tours are part of the strategy to popularise his candidature for the ODM presidential ticket.

Already, the businessman is flying into cold reception from the region’s top party leaders who have disowned his visit to the area.

On Wednesday, the ODM Secretary in charge of the Nyanza region Philip Makabongo termed Wanjigi’s visit private and which has no blessing of the Chungwa House.

Wanjigi’s candidature - initially viewed as a plot to help Raila penetrate vote-rich Mt. Kenya - has also been a concern of ODM’s national officials with top officials questioning his mission in the party. 

He has of late been asking Raila to retire and allow “fresh blood” to lead the country, sentiments that some insiders say are more than friendly fire.

Speaking in BTL Grounds in Ruiru on Wednesday, he said it is time to send home everyone associated with Uhuru's administration to pave way for new blood.

"Lets us unite and send them all parking so that we remain with fresh blood," he said.

Makabongo said the businessman will not be accorded reception always given to a senior party member visiting the area.

In a memo to the six ODM County and Branch Chairpersons, Makabongo instructed the regional officials not to participate in the Wanjigi’s meetings in their capacity as party officials.

“It is the ODM Party tradition to notify grassroots officials of any visit by a national guest. There has been speculation of a visit by senior Party member from the National office,” Makabongo said in the memo dated September 15.

“Kindly note that the national office is not aware of the visit by any Guest to the Nyanza Region and any member participating in such programs is a personal level.”

The memo was also copied to ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna and Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen.

But the presidential hopeful yesterday maintained that his visit is on and he will meet party delegates from the region in his capacity as a senior member of the opposition outfit.

"Tomorrow (today)I am going to Luo Nyanza donning the ODM colours," he said.

After landing in Kisumu, the ODM presidential contender will address a press conference in Kisumu before hitting the ground for the four-day engagements.

He will then travel by road to Homa Bay for engagement with grassroots leaders.

On Friday the businessman will conduct consultative meetings in Migori and Nyamira counties as he the war to Raila's doorstep.

The politician will spend the whole of Saturday meeting leaders and professionals from Siaya to market his agenda for the country.

“On Sunday, he will join worshippers for a church service at Kibuye Catholic Church to mark the end of his tour,” read part of dispatch from his campaign team.