Raila pledges to protect local investors as he woos Central

Thursday, August 12th, 2021 00:00 |
ODM Leader Raila Odinga addresses residents after a meeting with business leaders from Kiambu county at James Anthony Kariuki Nginyo’s home in Tigoni, Kiambu county, yesterday. Photo/PD/Emmanuel Wanson

Opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday intensified his charm offensive to woo Mount Kenya as he prepares to make his fifth stab at the Presidency next year.

In a clear indication that his name will be on the ballot, Raila for the third time met with a section of Kiambu investors at the home of late businessman and politician Lawrence Nginyo Kariuki in Tigoni, Kiambu county.

Raila told the businessmen that under his leadership, legislation, regulation and middlemen would be reduced so that traders can do business freely.

He said Central Kenya is an agricultural zone, which deals in tea, coffee, pyrethrum, avocado and milk, adding that his administration will remove the bottlenecks that hinder farmers from making profit out of their produce.

He was accompanied by his brother Oburu Oginga, Governors James Ongwae (Kisii), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Siaya Senator James Orengo and former Gatanga MP and businessman Peter Kenneth. 

“We will change the way business is done in this country. We will promote and protect local investments so that the profits they make is ploughed back. Foreign investors come to make money and send the proceeds back to their countries,” said the former premier.

He pledged that his administration will deal with monopolies and at the same time create incentives for the traders to increase volume of the trade.

At the same time, he narrated that during the Grand Coalition government, they increased revenue from Sh300 billion to Sh1trillion in four years, adding that it was possible to increase the revenue because they sealed all the graft loopholes.

“During the Grand Coalition government, we sealed corruption loopholes and the economy improved. At the time, 95 per cent of development expenditure was domestically funded,” he said.

Raila said the proposal in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that devolved units should get a minimum of 35 per cent of the national revenue will help spur economic growth.

Support youths 

The former premier pledged that his administration would ensure that the younger people get the skills and are given opportunity to exploit their talents and help in the wealth creation of the nation, citing that China did the same to become one of the richest nations in the world.

“We will give our youths the necessary skills and opportunities for them to thrive.

There were those who did not want devolution but it is working. If we give counties  35 per cent of the revenue, we will empower people at the grassroots. These are things that can be done,” said Raila.

Importers and Small Traders Association secretary general Ann Nyokabi while drumming up support for Raila, told her business colleagues that the former Premier can be trusted for the top seat, since he understands the plight of the traders.

Oburu urged the Kikuyu community to support his brother’s ambition of being the fifth president of Kenya.

Earlier, Raila met Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, Igembe North MP Maoka Maore and Kenya Leather Development Council Chairman Titus Ibui.

Insiders intimated to People Dailythat Raila is keen to get a chunk of Mount Kenya East votes.

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