By Moses Njagih

NAIROBI; KENYA: Prime Minister Raila Odinga has pledged to bridge the widening gap between the poor and the rich if elected President.

Raila said he would champion a system for a fair distribution of wealth to ensure equity.

Addressing a rally in Kawangware, Raila said his government would put up systems to uplift the majority poor by setting up a kitty to provide grants to the youth.

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“We have started such programmes in the country, but we are still very slow. We now want to engage the fourth gear and speed up the war against poverty,” he said.

He added: “We will set aside a kitty to provide grants to the youth to start businesses, not loans because we do not want to burden their enterprises with requirements to repay the money.”

The Prime Minister said countries like South Korea, which were at par economically with Kenya at Independence but were now miles ahead, had embraced such programmes.

“Unfortunately, here instead of us promoting such good governance, we are still playing tribal politics, politicians uniting their tribal groupings to seek power. Our agenda in ODM is to unite all tribes and be progressive,” said the ODM Party leader.

Raila urged Kenyans to register in large numbers to ensure they take part in the March 4 General Election.

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At the same time, Raila cautioned security officers against violating the rights of civilians.

Among those who accompanied the premier were Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey, Assistant ministers Margaret Wanjiru and Joseph Nkaissery and Nairobi gubernatorial aspirants Evans Kidero and Philip Kisia.

At one point, supporters of Wanjiru and Kidero engaged each other in an open contest as each side drummed up support for their preferred candidate.

Nkaissery denied claims he was considering quitting the Orange party for Deputy Prime Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta’s The National Alliance, saying he could not support a candidate who is facing criminal charges at an international court.

“We know our friends could be innocent but they are still suspects. I cannot hold my country to ransom by attracting sanctions from the international community in the name of voting,” said Nkaissery.

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Raila General Election ODM youth