Kioni Reveals Uhuru’s Stance on Competing for AU Role Against Raila

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Kioni Reveals Uhuru’s Stance on Competing for AU Role Against Raila

On Tuesday, February 20, Jubilee Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni responded to reports that former President Uhuru Kenyatta would compete with his Azimio party leader Raila Odinga for the African Union Commission chairmanship.

In a media interview, Kioni denied the reports, saying Uhuru would be one of the opposition leader’s top campaigners to ensure he wins the seat.

The former Ndaragwa Member of Parliament expressed confidence that Uhuru would use his network across the continent to help Raila’s campaign.

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“He (Raila) has to campaign and it has a lot to do with who else is on the ballot. But Raila has a good rapport with many Heads of State and has people who will campaign for him including our former president Uhuru who has very good connections across the continent,” Kioni stated. 

To secure the seat, Raila will need to solicit votes from all 55 member states in his bid to succeed Moussa Faki, whose term ends this year. 

Uhuru’s influence: 

Kioni also stated that, despite his retirement from active politics, Uhuru still wields significant influence in the region, and that his support would sway votes in Raila’s favour.

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On February 18, 2024, a group of Mt Kenya leaders questioned why the government supported Raila’s candidature for the AU Commission chairperson over Uhuru. 

According to the leaders, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua should support Uhuru because they both come from the same region.

“I have heard that the country is supporting Raila Odinga and then I asked myself you want us to choose this person (Raila) when our Uhuru is here?” Kiambu Senator Karungo Thang’wa remarked in Nyeri County on Saturday, February 17.

While attending the funerals of former police chief King’ori Mwangi and the wife of politician Amos Kimunya on Saturday, February 17, Uhuru deviated from politics and only eulogised with the families. 

Furthermore, politicians from the Azimio coalition have hinted that the government’s support for Raila’s candidature is a ruse to keep him out of the 2027 Presidential Election.

“The AU Chairmanship campaign might be structured to fail to embarrass Baba Raila Odinga. I don’t trust Kenya Kwanza on this. It might be Kenya Kwanza fishing for new insults to throw Baba’s way with a campaign they strategically want to fail,” Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai noted.

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Ruto blaming Uhuru

The Jubilee Secretary General also chastised President William Ruto’s administration for failing to consult Uhuru on developmental issues and instead blaming him for the country’s problems.

“Being a Kenyan, Uhuru has opportunities to interact with the public and he can tell when things are bad because Kenyans are complaining. Him being there before, he can quickly tell what they’re doing wrong. But since they don’t want to consult, they’d rather cast blame, that’s why he stated that we should not focus on the rearview mirror,” Kioni told TV 47.

“Kenyans are now very keen to see what former President Uhuru did, how he did it, and where the country was going. If you look at the current situation, it’s as if we hit a reverse gear.”

Revamping Jubilee: 

The former legislator reiterated that discussions are underway to revitalise the Jubilee party in preparation for the 2027 general election.

“Yes, we will create Jubilee mashinani to cater for those at the grassroots level, especially Mt Kenya. I want to do everything possible to make sure Jubilee is available for the youth. We want young people who can articulate issues without insulting people.”

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He confirmed that the party will hold a meeting on Saturday, February 24, to counter the influence of Nominated MP Sabina Chege and her East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) counterpart Kanini Kega, who have been accused of attempting to take over the party. 

“They have continued lying to the members of the county assembly (Sabina Chege and Kanini Kega) and trying to influence them towards the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) but we will have an MCA meeting on Saturday to debunk those lies.”

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Kioni Reveals Uhuru’s Stance on Competing for AU Role Against Raila

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