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Special Venues Where Presidential Candidates Announce Historical Decisions

  • Presidential candidates eyeing the country’s top seat have in the past and present announced their ambitions at special venues perceived to be significant.

    Such venues are not only significant owing to the crowds they attract but also their place in history. Their geographical locations have also been a factor.

    One such venue is the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru. In 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto officially launched the Jubilee Alliance at the venue. The alliance was a coalition between The National Alliance (TNA) and United Republican Party (URP).

    Uhuru and Ruto would come back to the same venue in 2016, in the run-up to the 2017 elections, to launch the Jubilee Party, a merger between TNA and URP. The duo returned to the same venue for their final prayer rally, two days before the general election, where they rallied support for their re-election.

    Jubilee’s final rally at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru

    For Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, the Uhuru Park grounds remain iconic.

    Raila was sworn in as the “people’s president†at the venue. The mock swearing-in was in protest to the 2017 elections, whose results the former prime minister contested.

    In protest of the results, Raila had led mass demonstrations in Nairobi that would start at Uhuru Park before marching into the Central Business District.

    Other than the Uhuru Park grounds, Raila has also held rallies at the iconic Kibra DC Grounds.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta, in his first term, preferred to make major political statements in Githurai but has recently opted for the Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri. 

    The most recent at the venue was a thanksgiving rally, where Raila led ODM supporters in celebrating Kibra MP Bernard Imran Okoth’s victory in a by-election. Kibra had secured victory in Raila’s “bedroomâ€, his perceived voter stronghold.

    In Kakamega, meanwhile, Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) boss Francis Atwoli has adopted the Bukhungu Stadium for major rallies aimed at deciding the Western region’s political future.

    Atwoli convened the Bukhungu I rally, one which saw Musalia Mudavadi inaugurated as the Luhya kingpin ahead of the 2013 elections.

    On the eve of 2022, Atwoli convened yet another rally, dubbed Bukhungu II, that installed Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as the Luhya kingpin. The rally was also aimed at endorsing Raila Odinga’s candidature for presidency under the Azimio la Umoja Movement.

    Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Raila Odinga Arriving at Azimio la Umoja Event at Bukhungu Stadium on Friday December 31
    Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Raila Odinga Arriving at Azimio la Umoja Event at Bukhungu Stadium on Friday, December 31

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