NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga is scheduled to embark on a countrywide campaign as he seeks to marshal support to be the Orange Democratic Movement Party flag bearer ahead of the general elections.,
Odinga’s entry into the campaign scene follows a blitz by his Deputy Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi who has been criss-crossing the country seeking the party members’ approval as the presidential torchbearer.
Odinga returned to the country on Saturday morning from a two-week tour that took him to Gabon, South Sudan, and Switzerland.
He is scheduled to visit all the country’s 47 counties.
On Saturday, he is scheduled to travel to Machakos for meetings with various party leaders from Machakos, Makueni and Kitui counties in Machakos Town Hall.
The ODM Party leader will then head to Lodwar town next Tuesday, then on to Kitale, Bungoma and Kakamega.
“He will be moving across the country to meet elected party delegates and chart ways of popularising ODM as the party prepares for the elections,” said a statement from his office.
The Prime Minister will also meet party members and supporters in areas he will visit and address them on matters relating to the party.
During the countrywide visits, he will open ODM offices in the 47 counties.
“Odinga will also use these forums to get to know the newly elected party officials from the sub-location to the county levels and exchange ideas on how best the party should prepare for the general election,” the statement added.
The Premier’s return will be a welcome relief to his supporters who have been uncomfortable with Mudavadi proposal that nomination of the ODM presidential candidate be conducted at the county level rather than by delegates in Nairobi.
The decision whether to nominate the candidate at the counties would, however, have to be endorsed at the National Delegates Conference on March 30.
The Sabatia MP has covered extensive ground where he has been meeting ODM delegates.
According to the ODM Party Constitution, there are 60 delegates in each constituency, which forms a sub branch. The delegates comprise 20 from mainstream ODM, 20 from the youth congress and 20 from the ‘women democrats’.
The 47 counties will draw 18,000 delegates who will choose the party’s presidential candidate.
The ODM joint executive and parliamentary group is expected to sit in late February to approve the mode of voting.