ODM chief Raila hints at picking Mt Kenya deputy

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 00:00 |
ODM leader Raila Odinga with Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi in Maua town in Meru county, yesterday. Photo/PD/Dorcas Mbatia

Dorcas Mbatia and Rawlings Otieno

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) chief Raila Odinga yesterday hinted at he might consider picking his running mate from Mt Kenya.

Speaking before kicking off a three-day tour in Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Embu counties to woo the East of the mountain, Raila said he was keen to work with individuals who will deliver. 

He told residents through local media stations that he has no problem with choosing his running-mate from either the East or West of the mountain.

 “ I have no problem picking my running mate from Mt Kenya East or West because what matters is to have a person who will deliver to Kenyans in the next government but not the region he comes from,” said Raila .

“I will not hand-pick my running mate I will be very keen on looking at his or her track records on service delivery to Kenyans not necessarily where he or she comes from  because my government will focus on economic recovery and job creation for the youth,” he added .

Raila who was hosted by governor Kiraitu Murungi and Agriculture cabinet secretary Peter Munya said asked them to resolve their political rivalry.

Asked whether he will pick the CS, the former premier only said his wish is to have Munya and Kiraitu work together.

“Munya and Kiraitu are my great friends both are very hardworking and great leaders but what I want is to bring them together because there is no problem with one working at the national and the other one at the county government because this will be one government,” he added.

 Raila further said he has never carried any political grudge against Mt Kenya region residents and leaders despite them not voting for him in his past two presidential campaigns.

 “Even if I have not received any support from Mt Kenya region in the past, they have still remained my friends right now President Uhuru Kenyatta is my friend and former President Mwai Kibaki so in politics there is no permanent enemy; what matters is having a unified nation that accommodates everyone without tribalism and now you can see the region is behind me and they support my presidential bid,” he added.

While addressing residents in Maua, Laare and Maili Tatu in Igembe Raila called on residents to back him come 2022 to enable the country receive tangible economical growth.

Raila administration will help secure new markets for the ‘miraa’ khat produce in Europe and DRC should he ascend the presidency.

Raila, who took his ‘Azimio La Umoja’ clarion call to the Upper East, told the residents that he will use his influence to lobby for new ‘khat’ markets including Tanzania.

“I have long-time friends across Africa. DRC President Felix Tshekedi is my good friend and will talk to him to allow miraa be sold in DRC,” said Raila.

The former PM who is criss-crossing the country in readiness for the August 2022 polls, defended his Sh6,000 per poor household protection that it is possible if corruption is tamed.

He said that the country loses about Sh600 billion to corruption annually, adding that should he succeed President Uhuru, he will ensure that he seals all corruption loopholes so that he can save enough money to implement the Social Welfare Protection.

“Under the Social Protection Fund, families that cannot afford to put on the table, families that are extremely poor will be given Sh6,000 monthly stipend to cushion them from the vagaries of pain and suffering. This is a promise,” he said.

He further explained that to fully implement the Social Welfare protection, his administration will require a paltry Sh150 billion annually, adding that if all corruption loopholes are sealed, it will be possible to fund the programme successfully.

“I will seal all loopholes of corruption. Corruption is the biggest enemy facing us as a country. 

I will use the money saved on corruption on the people. We shall defeat corruption,” said Raila.

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