Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition has been hit by political tensions after a good number of high-flying politicians missed its first anti-Ruto rally in Kamukunji.
The snub could trigger alarm bells in Raila’s camp ahead of their planned parallel Jamhuri Day celebrations next Monday at Jacaranda Grounds.
It has emerged that Raila is furious that most of the members of his ODM party gave the event a wide-berth, exposing rebellion within the outfit over planned rallies.
The ODM boss has planned a series of countrywide rallies in the next 30 days to protest against President William Ruto’s administration, tipping the country for a possible political standoff.
While the Kamukunji rally was expected to be attended by members of all the Azimio partner parties, the attendance left no doubt of the disquiet in the coalition over the call for rallies.
Kanu chairman Gideon Moi a key pillar of the Azimio coalition and ODM deputy party leader Hassan Joho were among the notable big guns who missed the rally.
Makadara MP George Aladwa, a key Raila ally protested that some politicians had decided to take Raila for granted when he needed them most.
Aladwa who chairs the ODM county chairpersons forum insisted that Azimio members and especially the orange party bigwigs must lead from the front instead of ducking.
“There is no way people can forsake Raila at his hour of most need, it was sad that those who have been looking for him for endorsements could not attend the rally,” he said.
“We received a lot of apologies from so many leaders who claimed that they had prior engagements. I suspect that they are fearing showing up because they are quietly working with Ruto’s government.”
The absentee leaders are said to have started sending apologies from Tuesday evening alleging ‘prior engagements’.
They were expected to converge at a city hotel then leave as a team to Kamkunji by 11 am but only a handful showed up.
“It was a big shame,” protested one of Raila’s allies who attended the meeting.
Notably, all governors elected on the Azimio partner party tickets including ODM missed the rally on Wednesday with reports indicating they had been invited to the event.
There are 22 governors and their deputies elected on the Azimio partner party tickets across the country.
Raila had previously held a meeting with the county chiefs and asked them to be part of his resistance against President Ruto’s government.
During a meeting held in Naivasha two weeks ago, governors resolved to lead the charge at the grassroots in an effort to pile pressure on Ruto to fulfill his campaign promises.
However, some have signalled collaboration with the Ruto administration saying that way they will deliver services to the people.
The Wednesday rally was also snubbed by most of the Jubilee party allied politicians expect for Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni.
Despite making a public appearance with Raila on Tuesday, Jubilee vice chairperson David Murathe-a key ally of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta-did not show up at Kamukunji.
The former Gatanga MP had vowed that he would be at Kamkinji to lead the campaigns against President Ruto’s policies.
Others Jubilee stalwarts like nominated MP Sabina Chege and EALA nominee Kanini Kega were also a no show.
In Nairobi, county woman representative Esther Passaris, Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi and Dagorreti North MP Beatrice Elachi did not show up as well.
Sourced from The Star