Raila Odinga pledges to address Maa historical land injustices

Raila Odinga

Azimio La Umoja (One Kenya Coalition Party) presidential candidate Raila Odinga (right) listens to his running mate Martha Karua during a campaign rally in Suswa Grounds, Narok, on July 30, 2022.

Photo credit: Luis Tato | AFP

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga has pledged to address historical injustices bedevilling the Maa community.

Mr Odinga, who held a mega political rally at historic Suswa grounds in Narok East, promised to resolve the Kedong Ranch land dispute.

“The Maasai community has been a victim of land dispossession since Independence.

“Kedong Ranch issue is a 'small issue' to me. Once I get to office, I will solve it once and for all," said Mr Odinga.

He also took credit for the Maasai Mau forest restoration, saying his efforts finally paid off.

“When I fought for conservation of Mau, they threatened me that they would not elect me and I told them that I was ready to go sell mandazi in Kibera," said Mr Odinga.

The ODM party leader also promised to establish an abattoir and a tannery in Narok County to create jobs and add value to agricultural products from the pastoral areas. He also pledged to ensure that the standard gauge railway (SGR) project proceeds to Kisumu all the way to Kampala in Uganda.

His running mate, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, took a swipe at Deputy President William Ruto, saying the United Democratic Alliance candidate is too temperamental to lead the country. She said DP Ruto has been disrespectful to his boss, President Kenyatta.

"Even if the two principals had differences, Ruto should have sought a sober way to sort them out, instead of insulting the President every day," said Ms Karua.

She said that DP Ruto was bitter and immature. "Kenya needs leaders who are mature. People who have a track record like Raila Odinga," said Ms Karua.

She also promised that under the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party, women will have a space at the leadership and negotiating table.

The former minister also affirmed that their administration will decisively fight corruption.

Ms Karua said Mount Kenya is solidly behind Azimio, contrary to reports that Mr Odinga is unpopular in the region.

For his part, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka told off DP Ruto for using his name while campaigning in Ukambani.

"I heard him (Ruto) acting like he is my advocate by claiming that I had been conned by Raila Odinga. Just like he told President Kenyatta to leave him alone, I also want to tell him to leave me alone," said Mr Musyoka.

Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth expressed confidence that Mr Odinga will win resoundingly come August 9.

Also present were local leaders, led by Kajiado governor Joseph ole Lenku and Narok ODM gubernatorial candidate Moitalel ole Kenta. They vowed to set aside community land in Suswa to be used by the Maasai while making crucial decisions.

Suswa ground is private land and has been used by the community to make political declarations.