We will make Raila presidency a reality in 2017, say ODM leaders

Mombasa Woman Representative Mishi Mboko (left), Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Senator Elizabeth Ongoro (nominated) during the ODM rally at Huruma grounds, Nairobi, yesterday. [PHOTO: ELVIS OGINA/STANDARD]

NAIROBI: ODM took its campaigns to the constituency of one of its MPs who has defected to Jubilee Party.

In the Nairobi series of campaigns, the party leaders held a rally in Mathare constituency, whose representative, Steven Kariuki, joined the ruling coalition in a parallel meeting some kilometres away.

In the Huruma meeting, the ODM leaders vowed that the Opposition will beat the Jubilee administration in next year's elections.

Led by ODM deputy party leader, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, and his Nairobi counterpart, Evans Kidero, the leaders accused Jubilee of being insensitive to the plight of the many suffering Kenyans.

Mr Joho rallied support for Raila's presidential candidature, saying ODM will change the lives of Kenyans.

"The Jubilee government has failed to improve the lives of Kenyans. Raila will change the lives of Kenyans and make sure that there is equality," said Joho.

The Mombasa governor said the party has a plan to ensure the high cost of living is reduced, healthcare system is fixed and infrastructural development is equitably shared across the country.

"The journey for taking Mr Raila to State House begins now. ODM has the will and means to fulfill its pledges. The lives of many Kenyans who are unemployed can only be improved by someone who understands their plight," said Joho.

He said the next stop for ODM [email protected] is Eldoret, the political home turf of Deputy President William Ruto, then Murang'a and Kisumu.

The leaders accused the Jubilee administration of 'eating the meat meant for all Kenyans' while the electorate are left languishing in abject poverty.

In a thinly veiled analogy, the ODM brigade likened the 'meat' to corruption dogging the Jubilee administration, including the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal and the Eurobond billions.

The ODM brigade cruised through the streets of Nairobi from Kawangware through to Kibera, town centre, Kariakor, Eastleigh and Mathare before a rally at Muliro Gardens in Huruma.

Dr Kidero accused the national government of failing to remit Sh69 billion to the county government.

He explained that the Government had sat on huge funds meant to develop the city, and vowed to lead Nairobi residents for a sit-in at the National Treasury until the money is paid in full.

He said he had sent a petition to the Senate for appropriate action to be taken against the national government through its agencies for failing to pay up for land rates, parking fees and operating licenses meant for the county.

"They have accused me of not working yet they owe the county government Sh69 billion, money that if paid, will improve the lives of Nairobi residents. We will stage a sit in at the National Treasury until the Government pays up in full," said Kidero.

Kidero claimed that the area MP, Mr Kariuki, who was elected on an ODM ticket, was given Sh20 million by the party for campaigns only for him to ditch the party for Jubilee.

The Nairobi county boss told the electorate to vote out all those elected on Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) ticket, but have since left the Opposition for Government.

At the same time, Joho reiterated his quest for Presidency in 2022 and put on notice Deputy President William Ruto that the 2022 presidential quest will be a battle of titans.

Joho maintained that Raila is their preferred candidate in 2017 and will criss-cross the entire country to drum up support for his presidency.

"We will walk around the country and make sure we sell our presidential candidate Raila until he makes it to State House," said Joho.

ODM's Nairobi branch chairman, George Aladwa, challenged those who recently defected from the party to seek fresh mandate and stop riding on the party's name.

He called on the senators, governors, MPs and MCAs to campaign hard if the dream of Raila becoming President in 2017 is to be realised.

"We are putting on notice all the elected leaders of ODM to rally their supporters and vigorously campaign for Raila if his bid to enter State House is to succeed," said Mr Aladwa.

Senators Moses Kajwang' (Homa Bay), Elizabeth Ongoro (nominated), MPs Opondo Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Tom Kajwang' (Ruaraka), Millie Odhoambo (Mbita), Joash Olum (Lang'ata), Simba Arati (Dagoretti North), Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) and woman representatives Mishi Mboko (Mombasa), Aisha Jumwa (Kilifi) and Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) were present.