Former Thika mayor Mumbi Ngaru: The Raila Odinga I know


Mumbi Ngaru has worked with Raila Odinga for at least 20 years. [File, Standard]

Former East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Mumbi Ngaru has revealed that ODM leader Raila Odinga said, in the run-up to 2007 polls, that, if elected Head of State, he’ll warm up to Central Kenya, even though the region was inclined towards the then-President Mwai Kibaki.

Ngaru is Raila’s Mt. Kenya region political adviser.

She made the revelations at the Mount Kenya University in Thika, where Odinga officially launched his nationwide presidential campaign.

“[In the lead-up to the 2007 General Election], I asked him how he’ll treat Mt. Kenya people if elected president. At the time, the region was overwhelmingly supporting Mwai Kibaki. Raila told me that he wasn’t a vengeful person. He said he will treat Mt. Kenya fairly if elected as president,” Ngaru said at the MKU main campus.

She says the Central Kenya region is now better-primed to support Odinga in his presidential quest.

“I’m sure Raila has Mt. Kenya’s interest at heart. He is best-suited to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta,” said the former Thika mayor, who has worked with Odinga for 21 years.

Her stint as Thika mayor was from the year 2000 to mid-2003.

“If Raila was a bad person, and he dislikes members of our community as it has widely been claimed over the years, I would be the first person to ditch him,” she said.

Ngaru has worked with Odinga since 2002 when she was the executive director of Odinga’s then-Party the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

After the 2005 referendum, she moved to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) with Odinga.

She’d, thereafter, be nominated to EALA as an MP for a period of five years before the former prime minister tapped her to serve as his political advisor.

Ngaru was at EALA between 2012 and 2017.

In his speech, Raila Odinga said the one-man, one-vote, one-shilling mantra that he was pushing for in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) changes was sufficient proof that he had Mt. Kenya people’s interest at heart.

“For now, that reggae (BBI constitutional reforms push) has taken a half-time break. If elected president in the August 9 polls, I will revive it,” he said in his address at the MKU main campus.

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