Azimio La Umoja presidential flag bearer Hon. Raila Odinga has cut short his unsuccessful US trip to attend the burial of former president Mwai Kibaki.
In a statement, his Press secretary Dennis Onsarigo said Odinga will return to the country on Wednesday.
“Azimio la Umoja- One Kenya Coalition flag-bearer Raila Odinga will cut short his ongoing US trip and travel back home on Wednesday ahead of the state burial of the former President Mwai Kibaki,” Onsarigo wrote.
Odinga left the country on Friday after the announcement of Kibaki’s death by President Uhuru Kenyatta for a week long PR trip in the United States.
He was accompanied by Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia),James Ongwae (Kisii), former Kenyan Envoy to US Elkanah Odembo, Homabay County Senator Moses Kajwang’ and Kathiani MP Robert Mbui.
Odinga arrived in Washington DC on Saturday where he met with Alice Wairimu Nderitu, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide to the UN Secretary-General, former US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger and the Kenyan community in the Diaspora.
His plans of having meetings with the US Chamber of Commerce and the US State Department for the National Security Council did not see light of the day.
The ODM leader also had hopes of extending to the West Coast to meet tech giants at the Silicon Valley, San Francisco to promote ICT relations between Kenya and the United States.
Odinga intended to use the US trip to rally support within and outside Kenya and also to build partnerships with international communities ahead of the August polls.
Though he did not cancel his trip after the announcement of the retired president’s death, Odinga will return prematurely after having an unsuccessful tour.
He did not hold most of the key meetings he had in mind and he is now returning under the guise of attending Kibaki’s funeral scheduled for April 30. Odinga served in Kibaki’s government as a prime minister between 2008 and 2013.
The ODM leader is also slated to hold meetings with senior US government officials, senior members of the US Congress and key African-American leaders. The meetings are scheduled to take place in the US capital, Washington DC while business networking meetings are scheduled to be done in San Francisco.
He also planned on meeting various technology giants at Silicon Valley, San Francisco with a vision to promote IT and technology relations between the two states.