Don't blame me for your failures, Raila Odinga tells Uhuru Kenyatta

CORD leader Raila with Kakamega County governor Wycliffe Oparanya during a meeting with ODM delegates from Western region at Kakamega Golf hotel. Raila yesterday told President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop looking for scapegoats to cover for his failure to deliver on his election pledges. (PHOTO: BENJAMIN SAKWA/ STANDARD)

CORD leader Raila Odinga yesterday told President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop looking for scapegoats to cover for his failure to deliver on his election pledges.

On what appeared as his reply to Uhuru’s assertion that he (Raila) sees nothing positive in the government, the Opposition leader said the Head of State should stop blaming him for runaway corruption in his government.

Raila said Kenyans must stand up and end the rampant corruption and misrule by the Jubilee Administration. “Jubilee is like a swarm of army worms, stealing anything or everything,” he said.

President Kenyatta had on Thursday accused Raila of undermining his administration. He said Raila was fond of criticising the government from morning to evening and never appreciates the huge strides realised in development.

But yesterday, Raila hit back, accusing the government of selling Pan Paper Mills to a private investor at a throw-away price. He exonerated himself from claims that paper mill collapsed under his watch as Prime Minister.

Full-scale war

Addressing over 2,500 ODM delegates at Golf Hotel in Kakamega town, the former Prime Minister said President Kenyatta frustrated efforts to revive the factory when he served as Finance minister in President Mwai Kibaki’s Administration.

“It is him (Uhuru) who refused to approve funds for the revival of Pan Paper when he was in charge of Ministry of Finance and those who were in the cabinet then, including Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Paul Otuoma, can bear me witness,” Raila said.

“The company has assets in Nairobi and in Webuye whose value could be between Sh10 billion and Sh20 billion, yet it was given away at a paltry Sh900 million to a friend of the President,” he said.

Raila added that the government is waging a full-scale war against devolution by demonising it despite the huge benefits it promises. “Insecurity is also rising in the country. One of the victims of police brutality succumbed at a Mumias hospital as I watched today (Friday),” he said.

He said the Jubilee Administration is the genesis of several problems facing the people of Western in regard to development. “A pact entered between them and Uganda has seen cheap sugar imports flood our market yet our factories are grappling with the problem of markets,” he said.

He also dismissed claims that ODM governors have been paying him monthly stipends and settling his bills. “I have been to Nigeria, London, Mexico and many other places to give lectures at universities and my hosts always cater for my bills.”

Raila vowed to continue exposing corruption scandals within Jubilee government.

The CORD leader declared that ODM was still the most-dominant party in Western. The delegates, drawn from Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and Kakamega counties unanimously endorsed him as ODM’s flag bearer in the 2017 elections.

While reading resolutions, Butere MP Andrew Toboso said they will not accept anything short of Raila’s candidature. “We have agreed that you are going to be our sole flag bearer in next year’s General Election and our leader in Western is Governor Oparanya,” Toboso said.

Present at the event were governors Oparanya, Cornel Rasanga (Siaya) and Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay) and Funyula MP Paul Otuoma.