Weeks after their parties joined forces ahead of elections in August, Kenyatta reiterated his support to former rival before a cheering crowd in Nairobi.
If proof was still needed that Kenyatta and Odinga have definitely buried the hatchet, it came on Saturday.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta endorsed his former rival for the country’s top job. “We have chosen Raila Odinga ,” he told a cheering crowd in Nairobi.
The move comes 2 weeks after their parties joined forces ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections in August. Under the banner Azimio la Umoja meaning Quest for unity , Mr Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party and Odigan’s Orange Democratic Movement united with other politicals groups.
This official endorsement brings together two of Kenya’s top political dynasties, who’ve opposed each other at the ballot box on many occasions.
Back in 2018, Kenyatta and Odinga stunned the country when they shook hands and declared a truce after post-election violence in 2017 left dozens of people dead.
Raila Odiga, 77, is a veteran politician. He served as prime minister of Kenya between 2008 and 2013.
Odinga’s 2022 presidential bid comes after the politican lost four shots at the presidency in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017.
The announcement came after Kenyatta’s anointed successor William Ruto, who also vyes for the presidency was sacked from Jubilee Paty.
Odinga and Kenyatta have unsuccessfully tried to introduce sweeping constitutional changes, claiming that the reforms would help to end repeated cycles of election violence.
The reforms — popularly known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI)– proposed expanding the executive and parliament to more evenly divide the spoils of victory.
But it was seen by critics as a way to enable Kenyatta — a two-term president who cannot run for a third — to remain in power by establishing the post of prime minister.
The government has appealed a court ruling that rejected the proposals and said Kenyatta could even be sued in a civil court for launching the process.