Help Uhuru deliver on poll pledges, Raila urges Ruto

ODM leader Raila Odinga during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative report at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on October 26, 2020.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • ODM leader Raila Odinga admonished Dr Ruto for distancing himself from the President because of the 2018 Handshake.
  • Mr Odinga was supported by Mr Kenyatta who accused his deputy of putting his 2022 ambitions ahead of the need to unify the country.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga yesterday challenged the Jubilee administration to implement its 2017 pre-election pledges, telling Deputy President William Ruto that it was not yet time for 2022 campaigns.

Speaking during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report at Bomas of Kenya, the former prime minister admonished Dr Ruto for distancing himself from the President because of the 2018 Handshake.

“Let Jubilee complete its election promises because time for 2022 will come,” Mr Odinga said, warning that the DP’s campaigns platform of the rich versus the poor was a recipe for chaos.

BBI reforms

“You talk of poor people but proletariat revolutions have never been led by a bourgeoisie,” Mr Odinga said, in a veiled reference to the DP.

Saying that Dr Ruto’s decision to disentangle himself from the ruling Jubilee government was akin to spouse disowning a marriage because the offspring was mentally deranged, Mr Odinga insisted that Dr Ruto should help the President to deliver.

 “The President and his deputy are still a pair and they must deliver on what they promised the Kenyan people,” he said, adding that the BBI reforms had nothing to do with the 2022 elections.

Mr Odinga was supported by Mr Kenyatta who accused his deputy of putting his 2022 ambitions ahead of the need to unify the country.

“The BBI was not meant to discuss 2022,” the President told delegates from each of the 47 counties. “BBI was an extension of what I started with the DP in 2013. I apprised him of what was going on. He even helped me get the elders who were part of the BBI team.”

Continues to campaign

The Head of State, however, regretted that the DP had not heeded his call and instead continues to campaign: “Mr Ruto, be slow (sic). 2022 will come and Kenyans will decide,” he said. He caused laughter when he told the meeting that DP had abandoned him just at the time he was about to pass the baton of leadership to him.

“I had promised to support him. But as I was running to hand him the baton, I discovered that he was running backwards. I couldn’t see him,” he said.

The parents of Baby Pendo, the six-month old child killed by police in 2017, were invited and given opportunity to speak during yesterday’s launch.

Baby Pendo symbolises the ugly side of Kenyan election cycle. She was clobbered to death as police tried to quell the 2017 post-election violence in Kisumu County.

Her mother, Ms Lencer Achieng said the BBI should be the end of the violence that have come to characterise elections and urged the political class to stop misusing the youths. “We are here to preach peace and ensure that no mother losses a child or a family loses a loved one because of elections,” she said.

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