Hustlers, meet the Strugglers as ODM members launch platform to woo the youth
As the race to the 2022 General Elections hots up, members of the ODM party have launched the Strugglers Movement, to rally up small and medium-sized businesses as well as the youth, ahead of the polls.
The lobby group, in a press briefing on Sunday, said Kenya is a struggling nation that is currently battling among other challenges: education, unemployment and health.
And although the movement did not openly state their political affiliation, their tenets are strikingly similar to those of Deputy President William Ruto's hustler movement that promises to focus on those at the bottom rungs of Kenya's economic ladder and the jobless youth.
"We have launched The Strugglers Movement, a national platform that is free from tribalism, class divisions of haves & have nots, negative ethnicity & discrimination of any form," Kamukunji parliamentary seat hopeful Alinur Mohamed said on Sunday.
"We are going to build a nation that is desired by the people who struggle daily for a better country,"
During the briefing, the movement premiered their official logo- a capital R etched on a purple background.
Most people were quick not notice that the orange and purple colours and the logo are eerily similar to those of ODM leader Raila Odinga.
But according to the group, the colours and logo are purely coincidental and are not indicators of the movement's political leaning.
"We are not a political group, this is a movement for young people, and the R you are seeing, we are not supporting anyone," the lobby group said on Sunday.
"The R means real, kama hujaona hiyo real, sisi tunasema the struggle is real,"
That notwithstanding, the lobby group said it is keen on joining a political organisation that promises to provide a better environment for businesses to thrive.
On Monday, during a panel discussion on Citizen TV's daybreak, Nyeri speaker John Kaguchia poured cold water on the movement, saying its members, who appeared well-fed and clothed did not cut the image of Kenyans who were struggling with anything.
"The Struggler Movement is made up of well-fed youths from Karen & Runda & they are not struggling youths when you look at their faces…they have the capacity to call for a press conference & they are just coping pasting the hustler movement ," Kaguchia said.
He also said there is no problem with ODM coming up with a lobby group for young people, urging the Raila-led party to own up and embrace the movement.
But according to Ugunja MP, Opiyo Wandayi, who is a Raila stalwart, the world over, democracies thrive in the prescence of lobby groups such as the Strugglers Movement.
"The struggler movement is made up of struggling Kenyans who are trying to find a space for themselves in the economy they should be supported," Wandayi said on Monday.
"In the fullness of time, should they choose to support a particular political party, so be it, they also have a right,"