Raila calls for unity in the push for reforms
By Rawlings Otieno | October 27th 2020
ODM leader Raila Odinga has denied he has declared interest in the 2022 presidential race.
Raila said his focus was on delivering the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report as he quoted the Bible and Koran to urge Kenyans on the need to unite and reason together.
“Come and let us reason together. Kenya is bigger than all of us,” he said.
Citing the book of Isaiah, he said the referendum push should be a unifying factor where everyone was brought on board, adding that those who listen to all statements and follow the best of it are the ones whom Allah has chosen.
“Let us talk to each other and not at each other. The BBI is not about Uhuru becoming prime minister and Raila the president; it is about what is best for the country,” Raila said.
He dismissed media reports that he had declared interest in the 2022 political race, terming the reports mischievous.
“Raila has not declared he wants to run for the presidency. We don’t want to talk about 2022. The Jubilee government must be given time to achieve its four-point agenda before 2022 politics kick in. Right now, they are all in government serving as a pair and must be given time to complete what they have to now and not wait for 2022,” said Raila.
He took a swipe at his main political nemesis, Deputy President William Ruto, for talking about 2022 instead of fulfilling the pledges they made to Kenyans. He said Kenyan problems must have homegrown solutions.
“Wewe umekuwa na bibi mmezaa mtoto halafu amekuwa kichaa sasa wewe unasema huyu si mtoto wangu (You have a wife and sired an insane child then you say that is not your child),” Raila fired a salvo at the DP on his stand on the BBI.
“No Kenyan should sleep hungry or be denied access to medical care. We want an equal society with a new ethos of “utu” where we live as brothers and sisters. We must feel proud of being Kenyans,” said Raila.
He at the same time challenged the DP on his “hustler” narrative, saying the proletarian cannot be led by a bourgeoisie.
“We don’t want a proletarian devolution; they have never been led by the rich. We want equality and this is why we are promoting new ethos,” he said.
The former premier said the 2010 Constitution was a ceasefire document and the time had come for the country as a whole to look at issues ailing it.
“It’s now all systems go. The journey towards building a better Kenya is proceeding in earnest. I encourage all of you to read and acquaint yourselves with the BBI report. Let’s all come together as a people and find lasting solutions to our challenges as a country,” he said.
Raila said they had agreed with President Kenyatta to establish what was ailing the country and the need to fix it.
“This document is as a result of thorough consultation with the people of Kenya. It must be inclusive so that we bring everybody on board. Our Constitution has been praised as the most progressive in the region yet our people still suffer. The BBI report is a result of extensive consultations, but it is still a work in progress,” he said.
Raila said Kenyans must be given the opportunity to create wealth, adding that the intention of the BBI was to ensure that no Kenyan sleeps hungry and that every person should receive the highest attainable medical care.
He said as Kenya gears up for a referendum, the process should be non-contested.
“We don’t want a yes or no. Everybody will be listened to. We want this to be a unifying document, then Kenyans will decide who will be president. Everyone has spoken and has been heard; we want the referendum process to be a unifying factor and if possible a non-contested one,” he said.
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