Raila woos Central with bag of goodies

Raila Odinga in Nyeri

ODM leader Raila Odinga acknowledges greetings from wananchi outside St Peter’s ACK church in Nyeri town on May 1, 2022. He pledged to fight against graft and promote devolution through proper management of public resources. He was accompanied by Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth among other leaders. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga yesterday May 1 wooed Mt Kenya with a promise of a revived economy, better infrastructure and support to farmers.

If he clinches the presidency, he said, he will ensure that farmers receive subsidised fertiliser and other farm inputs and an assured market for their produce.

“This way we will ensure that agriculture enriches our farmers,” he said. The former Prime Minister added that his government will provide free education from primary school to university.

While addressing a rally after attending a church service at the St Peter ACK church in Nyeri County, Mr Odinga hit out at Deputy President William Ruto’s bottom up economic model, and promised better job opportunities for all Kenyans.

“We want the youth to have money in their pockets. We will also support entrepreneurs to have access to loans on which they will have a repayment grace period of seven years so that they can be able to repay the debts,” he said.

At the same, Mr Odinga promised a social welfare programme he christened “Babacare”, saying, every Kenyan will get free medical care while vulnerable families will be paid a Sh6, 000 stipend per month.

“Under Babacare, every Kenyan including children will have access to health care. I will also support single mothers and widows,” he said. He vowed to fight corruption by sealing all loopholes used to loot public funds.

On infrastructure, Mr Odinga said his government will ensure that the Nairobi-Kenol-Marua dual carriageway goes up to Nanyuki.

“I have been a Prime Minister and I know where the money is. We I will ensure we continue from where Kibaki stopped," he said.

Mr Odinga was flanked by Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and former Gatanga MP Peter Kennneth, both of whom are said to be in the race to be Mr Odinga’s running mate.

Other leaders who accompanied him were Kieni MP Kanini Kega, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina, Nyeri Deputy governor Caroline Karugu, Murang’a woman rep Sabina Chege, former Nyeri Woman Rep Priscillah Nyokabi, and Azimio Executive Director Raphael Tuju.

The leaders drummed up support for the former premier, saying, he was the best suited to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We have denied him the presidency four times ... but this time round, it is not about the party. Let us vote for Raila,” said Ms Karua. Her sentiments were echoed by Mr Kega, who said the region owed Mr Odinga a political debt as he has forfeited his wish to lead the country several times in favour of a person from the region.

“While paying debts, we start with the old ones and I believe we owe Raila Odinga a political debt for he participated in making Kibaki President,” he said adding that the only way the region will be in the next government is ensuring they have numbers in the National Assembly, Senate and governors through the Jubilee Party.

Mr Kenneth said an Odinga presidency will unite the country while rebuilding what has been destroyed during the Uhuruto tenure.

“Raila is a gentleman who is peaceful and does not like squabbles. He will unite the country. Let’s vote for him in August,” he said.

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