Influential businessmen from the GEMA community meeting under the Mt Kenya Foundation (MKF) will host ODM leader Raila Odinga for a luncheon on Tuesday at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.
Speaking ahead of the luncheon, MKF vice chairman Titus Ibui said they had invited Raila as one of the leading presidential candidates for 2022 to listen to him and hear what he would offer the GEMA nation should he form the next government.
He said the initial luncheon was slated for Tuesday last week, but it was postponed because Raila was attending a funeral of his friend in Elburgon, Nakuru County.
Ibui said the MKF will be hosting another presidential candidate (whose name he did not reveal) on 1st of October 2021 for a similar exercise – adding that they would listen to all presidential candidates for 2022.
He said it was clear Mt Kenya would not be presenting a presidential candidate in 2022 hence the need to engage the leading contenders and decide on the one to back based on his/her commitment to address the needs of the region.
“Mt Kenya region is listening to all presidential contenders starting with Raila on Tuesday. We will meet another one on 1st October 2021. We want them to tell us what stake Mt Kenya region will have in the next government,’’ said Ibui.
The GEMA community has stated some of its demand as the implementation of one-man-one-vote-one shilling, equal representation and increase of constituencies in the region.
They want the presidential candidate that they will back to promise to fulfil some of the gains contained in the BBI document whose process was stopped by the Court of Appeal.
Ibui said the issues that the GEMA community are seeking are bigger than the post of the deputy president, and that the presidential candidate that will articulate them clearly will get the regions support.
He said once the region identifies the right candidate to support, MKF will mobilise voters from the region to ensure that candidate wins the presidential vote in 2022.