Raila Odinga: President William Ruto revenging on George Kinoti

A file photo of ODM leader Raila Odinga addressing mourners in Seme, Kisumu County on October 29, 2022. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga has accused President William Ruto of using his office to settle scores with former DCI boss George Kinoti.

Odinga further claims that Ruto had been targeting Kinoti even before the August 9, 2022 General Election.

Kinoti resigned from the police service on September 27 after Ruto, whom he had a frosty relationship with, assumed office. Ruto had accused Kinoti of weaponising the war on graft to target him and his allies.

In a Thursday, November 3 press conference at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi, Odinga said he'll oppose attempts by President Ruto's administration to "frustrate" Kinoti.

"[President] William Ruto's grudge against George Kinoti and the DCI started way before [the August 9, 2022] elections. Ruto appears to believe that the coming of the UDA regime is a perfect mandate for him to punish the officers he long had a grudge against. We are here to say No," said Odinga during a press conference attended by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Narc-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua, among others.

"We oppose that attempt to sacrifice State officers who, in the line of duty, may have rubbed politicians the wrong way, and who are now being selectively punished for having done this job," said Odinga.

At the same time, the former Prime Minister asked Ruto to offer relief measures that would cushion Kenyans against the high cost of living.

"During the campaigns, both Azimio and Kenya Kwanza made promises to Kenyans. On our part, we made it clear that we would realise the promises we made without increasing the tax burden on Kenyans. It remains our position that Kenyans cannot afford and should not be asked to pay extra taxes for the UDA regime to realise the outlandish and unrealistic promises it is pursuing," said Odinga.

"UDA must immediately shelve any thoughts of raising taxes on suffering Kenyans. Instead, UDA must improve revenue collection at all collection points like airports, customs points, and registration of persons. It must stop diversion of revenue, reform institutions like the KRA, NSSF, NHIF and government procurement," said Odinga.

The ODM leader further asked Ruto to tackle graft head-on and discontinue the plans to increase the NSSF deduction fee from Sh200 per month to six per cent of a worker's salary.

"Deducting more money from workers and throwing it at the corrupt and mismanaged institutions like NSSF and NHIF won't solve any problem. Above all, the government must fight and be seen to be fighting corruption. Those measures will be sufficient to raise money to finance the country without raising taxes. We will resist any attempt by the government to unilaterally raise taxes to finance corruption."

Odinga, in the press briefing, also revealed that DAP-Kenya Party leader Wafula Wamunyinyi will run for the Bungoma senatorial seat on December 8, 2022, under the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya banner.

The seat fell vacant after the holder, Moses Wetangula, was, on September 8, 2022, elected Speaker of the National Assembly.

"Wamunyinyi has what it takes to win the Bungoma seat, and, more importantly, he has a record of speaking out for the people of Kenya. Given the scenario unfolding in the country - an emerging one-man regime that is quickly turning its back on Kenyans and their problems - the country will need seasoned fighters in all critical places," said Odinga.