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You're being hypocritical on SGR pledge, Raila tells Ruto

By Betty Njeru - May 14th 2022

Azimio la Umoja flag bearer Raila Odinga in Galole, Tana River County. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has told off Deputy President William Ruto over his plan to reverse some SGR directives issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Without mentioning names, Odinga, in a televised address on Saturday, May 14, claimed he knows who played a significant role in slowing down the coast region’s economy.

“Those who are out to deceive you that they will reverse President Uhuru’s port directives are the ones who played a big role in harming the coastal economy,” Odinga said in Mombasa.

Ruto had, earlier in the week, promised that should he win the August 9 presidential election, he will undertake administrative and legal steps to reverse some policies that guide port and SGR operations.

According to Ruto, the directives issued by the Head of State had impoverished the coast region.

The DP alleged that the project was undertaken to enrich a few individuals.

He also promised to make the Port of Mombasa the only point of clearance for cargo. The demand, if executed within a year, will cripple activities at the Nairobi and Naivasha inland ports.

“It was never the intention of the government to build the SGR so that the coastal people can be impoverished. The SGR was meant to make the port much more efficient and to improve the business and the fortunes of the coastal people,” he said.

“Unfortunately, a few people took hostage the whole project and ended up with selfish programmes to the detriment of the coastal people,” added the deputy president.

Odinga, in his Mombasa tour, sought to quell tensions over his decision to support Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir as Azimio’s governor candidate in Mombasa.

“There was a bit of anger from our supporters over the nomination process in Mombasa, but we are slowly healing that wound,” he said.

The Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate has been on a four-day tour of the Coast to consolidate his support base, amid mounting sibling rivalry between ODM and Wiper leaders, defections, and an onslaught from a rejuvenated Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

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