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Raila: Stop 2022 campaigns and support Uhuru’s agenda

ODM leader Raila Odinga (center) at Bar Opuk Primary school in Bondo Siaya county on June 16th 2018 where he launched a renovation exercise of of classrooms. He asked other leaders to shun empty politics and concentrate on development. (Collins Oduor, Standard)

ODM leader Raila Odinga has told presidential hopefuls to stop engaging in premature campaigns ahead of the 2022 General Election.

In a veiled attack on Deputy President William Ruto, the former Prime Minister said it was inconsequential for anyone to start campaigning when there was no vacuum in the Office of the President.

“There cannot be two Presidents at a time. We can only have one in each election cycle. That is why I resolved to hold on and support President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he asserted.

Ruto has been making inroads in Raila’s strongholds, getting the endorsements of Raila’s allies and building a political network across the country.

Raila recalled the painstaking political experience he had to undergo to unite with the President for the sake of stability and unity of all Kenyans.

Political issues

Currently, Raila observed, there are many socio-economic and political issues that still required the attention of the leaders before the next elections. “If you have an opportunity to be in the government, you should seize the moment to help the President deliver on its Big Four Agenda and not to campaign,” he said.

Already, the fissures have begun to open up for those who want to tie up the handshake to 2022 politics. “Let those who are talking about the Presidency stop that debate now. Better concentrate in working for Kenyans till that time reaches,” said Raila. Ruto has never taken a rest in his unbridled quest to succeed President Kenyatta, who by law is serving his second and final term.

But speaking at Bar Opuk Primary school in Bondo, the former Prime Minister likened those already campaigningas “men who are out to inherit their brother’s wife when he (brother) is still alive.”

Recently, President Uhuru threw a jibe at DP Ruto and publicly accused him of loitering across the country politicking.

And Saturday, Raila extolled the President’s Big Four agenda, explaining there was a chance of tremendous success if supported and implemented to the letter.

He appealed to Kenyans to stop criticising their endeavour with President Uhuru to do all that will be required of them to ensure the success of ‘Building Bridges’ initiative.

Raila said the initiative was firmly on course, and that those who oppose this national project risked being swept aside by the new political consciousness.

“We will not allow all good of the handshake to be lost in the whirlwind of the divisive succession politics, which have no interests of Kenyans at heart,” explained Raila.

He said that the 14-member task force has now been officially gazetted and given a year to submit a comprehensive report.  “I know there have been calls for a referendum but it should be clear that we’ve given the task force a mandate to decide whether there’s need to have a constitutional amendment or not,” said Raila.

“But there is absolutely no reason whatsoever now to talk about a referendum,” he said.

He disclosed that the task force will soon start its meetings and will in the next six months give a comprehensive update report on their progress. 

ODM he revealed will on Wednesday retreat to give a ruling on the recent Sh3 trillion Budget and what it portends for the common man and the country’s ballooning debts.

“We understand the budget is not friendly to the common man but we are going to meet next week in Mombasa as a party and look into the Budget and other issues,” he said.  

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