Some churches being used to launder money, Raila claims

Opposition leader Raila Odinga addresses residents of Katito in Nyakach Constituency, Kisumu County yesterday. [Collins Oduor, Standard]
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has accused some religious leaders of allowing their churches to be used for money laundering.

He said huge amounts of money being donated to some churches every weekend need to be investigated, saying it could be part of a money laundering racket.

“Some church leaders are true to their calling, others are not. We need to ask the source of the millions of money being taken to churches,” said Raila.

“We need to ask, if someone’s salary is Sh1 million a month, where do they get Sh5 million each week or between Sh15 and Sh20 million a month to hold fundraisers in churches?”

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Unstoppable war

Raila claimed money meant to build hospitals and roads was being turned into private cash then dished out in churches.

He mentioned no names, but warned that the purge against corruption was unstoppable and the thieves’ days were numbered.

Raila also said the ongoing Huduma Namba registration should be made compulsory.

He asked people not to incite others to boycott the registration, saying it was aimed at promoting effective services to Kenyans.

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Addressing rallies in Ahero and Katito, Kisumu County, the ODM leader urged Kenyans to register.

“This is the only exercise that will ensure accurate data for Kenya,” he said.

He said in the past, population data has never been accurate because the numbers were doctored. This made it difficult for the government to effectively budget for its people, said Raila.

“For us as a country to plan well for the people, we need accurate scientific data,” he said.

Raila said Kenya was not the first country to introduce Huduma Namba. He said countries such as the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Canada have launched similar social digital services and so there is nothing wrong with Kenya leveraging on the technology.

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“We have boarded the train which has taken off. So you are either in or out at your discretion and consequent risks,” he said.

Raila said the government will use Huduma Namba to corroborate data from the upcoming census.

He also said they have discussed and agreed with President Uhuru Kenyatta to build a new port in Kisumu.

China loan

The opposition leader said they plan to travel to China after the Easter holiday to look for a loan to build the port. Not long ago, Raila and President Kenyatta toured Kisumu port and re-affirmed the need to give it a new lease of life.

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He said the new port will allow big vessels to dock and to transit goods from Kisumu to Sio port all the way to either port Bell Jinja and Bukoba in Uganda. Already, a dregder has been shipped to Kisumu to help dredge the berthing bay. Dredging will remove mud from the deep bottom of the lake for big vessels to dock.

Raila reiterated that his relationship with President Kenyatta was solid and unshakable. He implored Kenyans to be patient as they resolve some of the electoral malpractices blamed for post election violence.

He said through the handshake, he and the President were determined to fight corruption.

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Raila OdingaMoney LaunderingChurches