Raila winds up Mt Kenya tour, promises aspirants campaign funds

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ODM leader Raila Odinga on Thursday concluded his extensive tour of Mt Kenya with a cash promise to aspirants flying the Azimio la Umoja flag.

Raila said the aspirants would be facilitated once the campaigns kick in to enable them mop up votes for the coalition where President Uhuru Kenyatta is also a key player.

“You have been crying that you have nothing to facilitate you. An election is like a war which needs weapons. I want to assure you that you will get something (resources) to arm yourself with,” the ODM leader said.

“But if you go to the fight, don’t go with fear as you will be felled. You need to go into the race knowing that there are many people backing this movement.”

He rallied Mt Kenya to join and support Azimio, saying his government would deliver way better than Deputy President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza.

The ODM leader dismissed the DP’s bottom-up approach, urging voters to be wary so that they are not hoodwinked that he (Ruto) is the saviour.

The ODM leader also said the assertions that Kikuyus cannot vote for a Luo is a fallacy, saying the same was demystified when Luos voted Kibaki almost to the last man in 2002.

“I want you to carry the reforms message. We will bring all communities together. Let us stop tribal politics in the country,” he said, urging the aspirants to see him as the Uhuru of the day.

He made the sentiments in Nyandarua in a meeting with politicians and opinion leaders before heading for similar meetings in Nakuru. He got a rousing welcome in Naivasha town.

The former prime minister was joined by governors Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua) and Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya (Majority Leader), Sicily Kariuki (ex-Water CS) and Maina Kamanda (Nominated MP).

The meetings followed similar ones in Nyeri, Laikipia, Kirinyaga and Muranga counties.

Raila pledged to resettle all internally displaced persons, saying those who were sent away from their land will be helped to return to the properties.

“We shall never have IDPs in our country. Those who were pushed from their farms will have to return to their lands. We will also issue title deeds to those who don’t have,” he said.

The ODM leader said it was regrettable that the country was still accosted by the challenges that informed the clamour for independence – poverty, ignorance and disease.

He said his administration – through its 10-point development plan, will tackle the three ‘enemies’ and ensure equity for all, bolstered by the social protection plan for poor families.

“It is 50 years since we attained independence but we still have the challenges. There are some who are still landless, others have no title deeds, we will sort these out,” he said.

With the August 9 election barely 94 days away, the ODM leader said he was confident of beating Ruto.

Raila also promised to continue with the Jubilee government programmes that may not be complete by the time of the succession.

He pledged roads, water dams, electricity connectivity for all, value-addition industries, as well as expansion of markets as parts of efforts to transform the economy.

The former premier also pledged to maintain railway operations and introduce modern locomotives to serve the region better and help farmers transport their produce.

“We don’t want to see Kenya playing in the third league in terms of development yet playing in the super league on matters of corruption,” Raila said.

“We want Kenya to play in the first league on development.”

The ODM leader further pledged to stump out corruption saying perpetrators “will have a home at Kamiti or Naivasha Maximum Prisons.”

“We will seal all the loopholes they use to steal your money,” he said, taking a swipe at his rivals whom he says have been criticising his Sh6,000 monthly stipend plan.

On the planned review of aspirant’s strengths before the June 6 registration, Raila said they were aiming at winning majority of seats in the National Assembly as well as county assemblies.

“The most important thing for us is to win and with a majority of seats. That is our aim as a coalition political party,” he said, saying the aspirants should now consider him as their leader.

Raila said those who would not make it to the clearance by IEBC after the opinion polls would be given state jobs should Azimio form the next government.

Leaders campaigned for Raila as a true friend of the community citing ‘Kibaki Tosha’ declaration and the call for Jomo Kenyatta’s release by his father as a true testament.

They hailed Raila as the brainchild of the Vision 2030 which has seen rapid development of roads, health centres (such as JM Hospital), and markets.

“He is a good person. The propaganda must end. He will make the best president. He will plan government and will consider our projects,” Kimemia said.

“Raila laid the foundation of the JM Kariuki Hospital and through the handshake Uhuru was able to finish his term in office peacefully.”

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