By Wainaina Ndung’u
The team mandated to deliver the Mt Kenya voting bloc to ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga is pegging all its hopes on Mau Mau freedom icons to attract youthful voters.
The ODM Reloaded team, spearheaded by Nairobi businessman Peter Kuguru, is targeting one million votes mostly from voters who are below 40.
Mr Kuguru has unsuccessfully vied for Mathira parliamentary seat in Nyeri County thrice.
He told The County Weekly his team has been making tremendous inroads in the area through appealing to the less tribal youthful vote bloc.
But he admitted that selling ODM in the region would require exceptional skills as the local people have been socialised against voting for ‘outsiders’.
“The problem in Central Province has largely to do with the 1969 ‘Gatundu tea’ oathing which bound the population to work against the interests of other people. This is a spiritual bond that is hard to break and there is not much one can do about it,” said Mr Kuguru.
He was referring to the alleged administration of oaths to residents of Central Kenya after Kenya’s first president Kenyatta fell out with his Vice-President, Oginga Odinga, precipitating political tensions which balkanised the country along ethnic lines.
Former mungiki leader
During his tour of the region recently when the ODM Mashinani movement was unveiled, Mr Odinga visited Mukami Kimathi, widow of Mau Mau hero Dedan Kimathi who was hanged in 1956 for fighting against the colonialists.
The Prime Minister has also been identifying and working with families of Mau Mau leaders and during the same tour he went to the Gilgil home of JM Kariuki, the freedom fighter and later Nyandarua North MP who was assassinated after he fell out with Kenyatta in 1975.