Some of the influential people who worked behind the scenes to deny ODM leader Raila Odinga’s presidential victory in 2007, 2013, and 2017 elections have today, September 28, declared they are behind the former Prime Minister’s presidential bid.
In a meeting held at Safari Park Hotel along Thika Road, the wealthy businessmen under the Mount Kenya Foundation said they believe Raila is the right person to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Throwing his weight behind the opposition boss, Equity Bank founder and chairman Peter Munga said the warm reception Raila received yesterday in various Mt Kenya counties was a clear indication that he is gaining more supporters in a region that has traditionally voted against him.
“You don’t need to go looking for followers, your inspiration will simply draw them to you. That is what happened yesterday when you briefly climbed the Mountain. Our people want a leader who will inspire them, not one who will come looking for them,” he said.
The billionaire compared the former Premier to the late South Africa President Nelson Mandela.
“Mandela never looked front for followers. Instead, they were attracted to him. We are going to let you know our expectations when you occupy plot number one (State House),” he said.
Among the other billionaires who attended the event and pledged to support the former Prime Minister’s bid are SK Macharia and media-shy businessman Titus Ibue.
The forum was also attended by tens of politicians who support President Uhuru Kenyatta, professionals as well representatives from youth and women groups.
Any presidential candidate who gets the backing of the Mount Kenya Foundation always has an edge over his/her competitors.
The lobby group is known to do heavy financing and grassroots mobilisation. Months to the 2017 General Election, the foundation and its allies raised Ksh1 billion for President Kenyatta’s campaigns within an hour.
For he took to the podium to sell his manifesto, Raila promised to make Kenya a manufacturing hub if he becomes the Head of State.
He added that young people should be equipped with the necessary skills to meet the market demands.