NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has tapped Imenti Central Member of Parliament Gitobu Imanyara into his presidential campaign lobby group – the Friends of Raila (FOR A).
Imanyara, who immediately became the forum’s deputy patron said he wanted to work with reformists like Odinga who are ‘the face of Kenya’.
“I am very happy to be part and parcel of forces across the tribal divide, forces bringing members of various political parties who are convinced that Kenya is indeed ready for change and who are persuaded that when President Kibaki retires in a few months time the torch bearer of the new Kenya ought to be none other than Raila Odinga,” Imanyara explained.
Odinga said that he was ready to work with Imanyara as his deputy patron of the FORA group.
“Recently, the Kenya Army joined the United Nations force (which includes) Uganda, Djibouti and Burundi and re-hated to the blue hat of UN in AMISON (African Union Mission in Somalia). Imanyara now is being re-hated to the FORA team, I now fully accept him as my Deputy Patron of FORA,” said Odinga.
He praised Imanyara’s virtues, saying that he was in the forefront of the second liberation of Kenya in the 1980s and 90s together with other ‘Young Turks’ who fought gallantly for expansion of democratic space in the country.
Odinga added that despite persecution by the then government Imanyara joined progressive forces to fight for the rights of the ordinary Kenyan. “It is this resourcefulness and sheer determination that we want to tap in to complete the mission we set out to achieve,” he said.
He continued to say that Kenya needs reformists to grow the country to greater levels in achieving its Vision 2030.
“As Kenyans we know the pain we went through to get this Constitution; that is why we must get reform minded people to implement it, lest we go back to a similar situation like in the 1960s when the independent Constitution was mutilated resulting in a centralised authoritarian regime.”
FORA Secretary General Eluid Owalo said they hoped Imanyara’s inclusion would help to woo the over one million votes from Meru region.
“Through Meru we are likely to bring slightly over one million votes in your basket, to help us in this agenda we need the able support of pro-reformist like Gitobu Imanyara,” Owalo said.