Raila Odinga mocks Jubilee over insecurity

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (second right) during his tours of Kibera projects in Nairobi which he initiated as Prime Minister. PHOTO: GOVEDI ASUTSA.
 Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (second right) during his tours of Kibera projects in Nairobi which he initiated as Prime Minister. [PHOTO: GOVEDI ASUTSA/STANDARD]
Kenya: Opposition leader Raila Odinga argues the serious challenges facing the country are a direct consequence of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s rejection of national dialogue with his team.

Raila says the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) had sought to sit down with the Jubilee government to help seek solutions to spiralling insecurity, high cost of living and unemployment among others but its efforts were thwarted.

The leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, which is an affiliate of CORD, likened Jubilee’s rejection of national dialogue, in his characteristic riddle narratives, to a zebra that had refused to talk to a donkey on grounds that the donkey was ugly, even though they were both from the same species.

Raila said when the donkey met the zebra on a second encounter; the zebra was down with a serious flu and coughing heavily from the infection.

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“The donkey then said, last time I asked you to talk to me but you refused. That time I wanted to remove that tick that has now put you down. And what you are witnessing in the country is similar to this offer for help that was rejected, and now insecurity is everywhere," Raila said.

Speaking in Kibra constituency, Nairobi, during a meet-the-people tour, the former Prime Minister criticised the Jubilee government over its handling of the insecurity crisis and highlighted the deployment of the military to Kapedo, Baringo County, before Parliament's approval.

Raila claimed the State had failed to provide solutions to security challenges, citing a state of emergency in parts of the country like Lamu where residents were under curfew.

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The CORD chief singled out Marsabit, Kapedo, Lamu, Mpeketoni, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir and Mandera as areas that had witnessed insecurity under Jubilee, a coalition he charged had remained clueless on how to handle the crisis.

He also cited the high cost of living, unemployment and declining prices of agricultural commodities as some of the issues Jubilee failed to handle.

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Burning issues

"The other day, farmers in some parts (of the country) were crying foul over the price of tea bonus, which had gone down from about Sh36 the previous year to Sh8, while the cost of living had gone up and rent increased," he said.

The CORD leader said the arrogance displayed by Jubilee had prompted them to call for a national referendum to address the burning issues the nation was grappling with.

Raila was accompanied by members of the National Assembly Joash Olum (Langata) and Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), former Raila Odinga secretariat head Eliud Owalo and former Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa.

On land reforms, Raila said Jubilee leaders could not be trusted to implement them as some of them had "insatiable appetites for grabbing land".

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"You saw what they did in Karen," he said, referring to the controversial Sh8 billion land whose tussle over ownership is before the High Court.

Despite Raila's claim of a Jubilee link in the Karen land saga, his rivals have denied playing any role in the fraudulent allocations, and Deputy President William Ruto has even sued some CORD members who dragged his name into the saga.

But yesterday, Raila told the residents of Kibra: "You cannot give a hyena the task of taking care of your goat."

The former Prime Minister was touring the area he represented as MP for 20 years to inspect the progress of ongoing projects initiated by the grand coalition government to which he belonged.

He asked the Jubilee government not to claim credit for the road construction, street lighting and building of high-rise houses in the area, arguing he initiated them when he was the Roads, Housing and Public Works minister in the Rainbow Coalition.

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He said he carried on with the projects when he became Prime Minister.

"The road that the National Youth Service is now doing here stalled in 2009 because Treasury refused to allocate money because its completion could have given Raila mileage, but I am happy that my brother Uhuru, who was in Treasury then has been touched by the spirit and now has resolved to implement the projects," he said.

He recounted how cartels frustrated the project that was delayed for over two years when people claiming to be landlords obtained an injunction to stop it.

"I travelled to Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong to study these models, which we first implemented in Pumwani before coming here. However, some people moved to court... the judge gave them an injunction on grounds that they were landlords. All this land here is public; how could one claim ownership?" asked Raila.

"Don't be enticed by just candy to join the other side. What you are seeing here by NYS is welcome but it's too little and should not be used to hoodwink you," he added.

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Raila Odinga Insecurity Dialogue