Give dialogue team time to deliver, Raila Odinga tells Kenyans

 Raila Odinga

Azimio leader Raila Odinga speaking during a press conference at SKM Center on September 16, 2023. He gave President Ruto and the Kenya Kwanza government a D (minus) of 30 per cent performance in their first year in office.

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

ODM leader Raila Odinga has said Kenyans should give the ongoing negotiations between Kenya Kwanza and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya time.

Speaking in Bondo on Sunday (September 24), Mr Odinga said the team should be given time to carry out its mandate.

“People are asking the way forward when talks are still going on. Let’s wait for the outcome, if it is good then we will go by it and if not then we will know what to do,” the Azimio leader said. “We can’t discuss much about it, let’s give them time to talk.”

At the same time, Mr Odinga said devolution is failing under the Kenya Kwanza leadership.

“Devolution is not working because the top leadership does not believe in it. They are still holding onto resources at the national level and paralysing development at the county level,” he said.

He went on to accuse the government of burdening Kenyans with unnecessarily high commodity prices.

“We have to try to make it work, people are suffering because of the high cost of commodities. For example, the government is selling fertiliser that it received for free,” said the ODM leader.

Siaya Governor James Orengo condemned the planned deployment of Kenyan police to Haiti.

“The people who should be taking soldiers to Haiti are Americans, not Kenyans. America is closer to Haiti than Kenya. You should not use the blood of Kenyans to get international recognition; you cannot use Kenyans to fight for a cause that will only make you loved by the US,” he said.

Mr Orengo also hit out at ODM rebel MPs.

“Let them know that whatever they are doing, they will not succeed. We saw leaders who did what they are doing now many years ago; Robert Ouko, Odongo Omamo and Oloo Aringo, where did they get to with what they claimed to do?” Mr Orengo asked.

Migori Governor Ochilo Ayacko said the rebel lawmakers must be expelled.

“Allowing them to continue with what they are doing is giving them an opportunity to sow seeds of discord among the people,” Dr Ayacko said.

Backing the sentiments, Siaya Senator Oburu Oginga criticised President William Ruto for “putting the country in an election mood”.

“Fulfil the promises you made during the campaign. Don’t make Parliament your puppet by buying off opposition MPs, let them play their oversight role as enshrined in the constitution,” he said. He claimed that the Stae had stopped the construction of some projects in areas perceived to be opposition strongholds.

“The Bondo-Lihunda road stalled immediately after Kenya Kwanza took over. Construction was going well when Uhuru Kenyatta was president,” Dr Oburu said.

He told Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda, one of the rebels, to resign from his seat and seek a fresh mandate from the people.