Raila: Have faith and hope in building bridges initiative

NASA Leader Raila Odinga at a past event in Kisumu. [File, Standard]
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called for patience as he and President Uhuru Kenyatta unite Kenyans.

''We want Kenyans to have faith in the process we have started with the President Kenyatta. People should not be jittery,'' said Raila.

He told Kenyans to have hope and faith in the building bridges initiative which he re-affirmed was on course and progressing well.

The two leaders appointed a team of 14 advisors to steer national dialogue on building bridges initiative.

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Raila said the team is working round the clock on a number of issues that they want to implement.

The 14 persons in the team are; Dr. Adams Oloo, Agnes Kavindu, Senator Amos Wako, Ms. Florence Omose, Prof. Saeed Mwanguni, James Matundura, Major (rtd) John Seii

Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, Lawi Imathiu, Maison Leshomo, Senator Mohamed Yusuf Haji, Morompi Ole Ronkai, Bishop Peter Njenga, Makueni Women representative Rose Moseo

''The team is working round the clock to help us find lasting remedies to issues that have in the past plagued our country. We want a peaceful country,'' Raila said

The former Premier who spoke in Kisumu on Sunday evening during the wedding of an Asian couple said that the building bridges initiative they started with President Uhuru has already started paying off and has placed the economy on the right path.

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''This is the Kenya we want. A peaceful and prosperous nation. Not a bleeding and anarchic country,'' Raila said.

He recalled how Kenya almost went into anarchy in the last general elections.

''There was breakdown of social bonds between individuals and various communities because of politics. But we re-examined the state and saw it not good for us,'' he said.

Raila said with the then National Resistance Movement building up, unruly behaviors had resulted in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.

''People were ready for anything, especially our disenfranchised supporters. But both me and the President agreed not to let that precedence  continue,'' he said

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In his speech also, Raila also called for boosting economic ties between India and Kenya while describing Kisumu as the gateway to East Africa.

"We want to boost economic ties between Kenya and India," Raila said during the event at Kisumu Simba club.

Raila traced the 70 years relationships with Asians saying that they had shouldered historical responsibilities to improve people's livelihood and help reduce poverty.

He called on both parties to boost exchange of experience on business and investments-building to improve domestic economic growth.

"Our countries-India and Kenya can do a lot together when we mutually cooperate. This is why its important to embrace cultural homogeneity and diversity," Raila said.

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He said though Kenya and India economies are growing exponentially, there is need  for the two sides to continue nurturing good relationships to do business together.

"Today, with the devolved governments in place there are several opportunities in rural development and small scale industries courtesy of the county authorities,'' Raila said

He was happy that even at a time when the world was not even looking at East Africa, Indians went to the continent and became part of its development.

Raila  said India and Kenya have agreed to enhance mutual cooperation and further promote bilateral ties, and hailed the robust development of the relatonship.

The ODM leader called on both countries to deepen political mutual trust and enhance synergy of their development strategies.

He also called on the two countries to provide firmer support to each other on issues concerning their core business interests.

Other leaders present at the  function were Eala MP Dr Oburu Odinga, Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili, Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo, MPs Fred Outa(Kisumu Central), and MCas Victor Rodgers, Seth Kanga, and former Gem MP Joe Donde.

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raila odingabuilding bridgesuhuru kenyatta