Mudavadi’s Meru officials shift to ODM
Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi yesterday suffered a major blow after his officials in the Meru region defected to ODM.
The politicians, led by ANC Mt Kenya Region chairman Jacob Nairuti, said they did not see any future with ANC but in ODM leader Raila Odinga.
“I have been the chairman of ANC in Mt Kenya region. We drummed up support for Mudavadi but as things stand, he has no potential of succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta. We have decided to join ODM and support Raila,” said Nairuti.
Others who decamped to the party are former MP for Ntonyiri (now Igembe North) Ntoithia M’mthiaru, Lucy Mukaria, a Member of the Meru County Assembly and former Lands Permanent Secretary Mukiri Kirinya.
M’mthiaru said only Raila has the capability to economically transform the country.
“You have the vision and the will to unite the country. I have decided to join the only party with a national outlook,” said M’mthiaru.
Raila said his administration would clean the rot in the country and bring sanity to all the sectors of the economy.
His agenda, he said, is to create an enabling environment for economic growth, creation of employment opportunities and expansion of the country’s industrial base.
Raila said the journey to a better Kenya requires dedicated people who are committed to national transformation.
He said his administration would be the panacea to the woes that have bedeviled the country since independence.
Among his administrations policies, he said, would be to give a seven-year tax holiday to business start-ups and enhance internet connectivity to enable the youth get decent jobs.
The former premier, who is seeking to run for the presidency for the fifth time, told the delegates that his administration would create a conducive environment for small and medium enterprises to operate.
Raila also said should he be elected to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, his administration would establish a school feeding programme so that all children can learn without having to worry where their next meal will come from.
“We have families that do not have meaningful jobs and sometimes they go hungry. It is the duty of the government to provide food to school-going children. A child who is hungry cannot learn,” he said.
The former premier regretted that although there are both public and private hospitals, many Kenyans continue to suffer from the burden of high medical bills.
He said it is only in Kenya where a patient pays more for a hospital bed than to have leisure at a five-star hotel.
“How can a hospital bed cost more than spending a night at some of the five-star hotels in Nairobi? There are very sad stories about patients dying within two hours of being brought to the hospital and the families are charged for using the bed yet the patient died. We must correct our health sector,” said Raila.
He said his administration would prioritise Universal HealthCare (UHC).
“We must deal with cartels in the health sector. We know that Health is devolved and we must ensure we have the same standards across the 47 counties,” he said.
The ODM leader further said it is the responsibility of the national government to supervise the devolved units, adding that although the governors have a responsibility to manage the affairs of the counties, the national government must ensure there is uniformity in service delivery.
On education, Raila called for better remuneration of teachers, saying that they were doing a good job and should be adequately compensated.
The former premier said the government will ensure that each sub-county has tertiary and vocation education training institutions to enable those who cannot proceed to university take up courses like carpentry, tailoring, plumbing, welding and Information and Communication Technology.
In an apparent attack on his rival, Deputy President William Ruto, Raila said the youth need decent jobs, not just any job.
Raila also called on the Kenya Revenue Authority to stop harassing small traders and instead allow them to do businesses so that they can raise more taxes.
Others present during the meeting were Oburu Oginga (MP-EALA), party Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, his Rangwe counterpart Lillian Gogo and the ODM Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen.