Jimmy Wanjigi, a billionaire businessman, has begun a four-day tour of Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, despite intentions by regional party veterans to shun him.
The businessman who has declared interest in running for the ODM presidential ticket in 2022 will arrive at Kisumu International Airport on Thursday morning for a journey that will take him to party delegates in five of Nyanza’s six counties.
The whirlwind tours are part of a campaign to raise awareness of his candidacy for the ODM presidential nomination.
The businessman has already received a frosty reception from the region’s leading political leaders, who have disowned his presence.
On Wednesday, Philip Makabongo, the ODM Secretary in Charge of the Nyanza Region, described Wanjigi’s visit as private and without the blessing of the Chungwa House.
Wanjigi’s candidacy has been a source of anxiety for ODM national officials, with top officials questioning his mission in the party.
He has recently asked Raila to step down and allow “new blood” to rule the country, which some insiders believe is more than friendly fire.
On Wednesday, he said it’s time to send everyone linked with Uhuru’s administration home to make place for new blood at BTL Grounds in Ruiru.
Makabongo urged the regional officials not to attend Wanjigi meetings in their position as party officials in a note to the six ODM County and Branch Chairpersons.
“It is customary for the ODM Party to notify grassroots officials of any national guest’s arrival. In a document dated September 15, Makabongo stated, “There has been anticipation of a visit by senior Party members from the National office.”
“Please be advised that the national office is unaware of any Guest’s travel to the Nyanza Region, and that any member participating in such programs is doing so on a personal level.”
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna and Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen were also copied on the memo.