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Raila roots for Kazi Mashambani for recovery

ODM leader Raila Odinga speaks at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu County during the 2021 Madaraka Day Celebrations.

ODM leader Raila Odinga has challenged the government to come up with an economic stimulus programme to help Kenyans recover from the Covid-19 economic slump.

Speaking at the Madaraka Day celebrations on Tuesday, Raila said the pandemic has left many Kenyans barely struggling to survive. 

This came as he stressed that the quest to change the constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is still alive, amid thunderous applause.

He claimed that a model similar to the Kazi Mtaani project which enabled unemployed youth get a source of income should be embraced as a response to the current economic situation.

Raila recalled his own battle with Covid-19 adding that it has brought a lot of pain and misery to Kenyans.

“Coronavirus has brought a lot of problems. These people you are seeing here have a lot of problems. Some have lost their jobs, others have lost loved ones,” he said.

He said Kenyans are also struggling to keep their businesses afloat and need assistance to enable them survive economic shocks brought by the pandemic.

“We want a programme to reconstruct. We brought Kazi Mtaani but we should also have Kazi Mashambani to help the people recover,” he said.

Last year, the government introduced measures to cushion Kenyans from effects of the pandemic. The measures have since been lifted even as Kenyans continue to feel the pinch.

Raila’s concerns came even as other speakers including the president and his deputy William Ruto gave the Covid-19 topic a wide berth.

It also came at a time when Covid-19 restrictions were thrown out the window as thousands of residents turned up along the streets and inside the stadium for the fete.

In the last couple of days, some parts of the country including Kisumu have recorded surging numbers of Covid-19 infections. Kisumu, which recorded cases of the deadly Indian strain, has also been on the spot as numbers soared and hospitals beds filled.

The developments threaten to worsen the economic situation for Kenyans, already overburdened by effects of the first and second waves of the virus.

In his speech, Raila also stressed on the need to continue fighting disease and poverty. He claimed the founding fathers have been struggling to fight the two alongside illiteracy, but the goals are yet to be achieved.

He noted that they are hoping to solve some of the problems through the BBI process.

While recalling Kenya’s struggle for self-rule, Raila stated that addressing the issues of disease and poverty was at the core of the goals at the birth of the country.

He said some founding fathers including Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta and the Kapenguria Six were imprisoned while trying to rid the country of such problems.

“We are still struggling with those problems. That is why we want to bring Kenyans together through the handshake,” said Raila.

Harold Odhiambo and Kevine Omollo

Covid 19 Time Series

 

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