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Raila: I will seal all graft loopholes to fund stipend

By Washington Onyango | October 26th 2021

ODM leader Raila Odinga. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga yesterday toured Nyanza region and pledged to end corruption, poverty and ensure better health for all Kenyans if elected president.

Addressing rallies in Ahero, Nyamasaria and Kondele in Kisumu, Raila promised to revive industries and agriculture.

He vowed to ensure theft of public funds is stopped. Referring to President Kenyatta’s Sh2 billion loss daily to corruption, Raila said he will seal all the loopholes and save the country from growing debt.

“We are losing Sh2 billion daily to corruption and theft. This is unacceptable for taxpayers who are struggling to make a living. I know the loopholes and where these corruption activities thrive and I will deal with them,” he said.

He defended his promise of Sh6,000 monthly stipend to poor families describing it as the biggest social welfare programme in Africa.
“I want to assure you that my idea of tackling extreme poverty cases through giving Sh6,000 stipend will come to pass. I have been in the government where almost all my agendas have been fulfilled and nothing can stop me from helping needy Kenyans,” Raila said.

“We want to reduce the cost of living by reviving stalled and collapsed industries. We also need farmers to benefit from their produce,” he added.

To tackle poverty, the ODM leader said he will ensure Kenyans get accessible loans to support businesses and farming. He promised to focus on boosting micro, medium and small enterprises.

ODM leader Raila Odinga at Kisumu Bus Park. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

”We want to ensure basic structures stabilise to benefit people who are facing challenges due to swaying economy. I want small businesses to receive loans with no interests for seven years to grow their businesses,” he said.

“We also want to bring industries to Kisumu through promotion of value addition. I want Kisumu to have a manufacturing centre. This is why I was lobbying for special economic zone in the region so that the city becomes a business and production hub for the East African,” Raila said.

“That is why we renovated and built the Kisumu Port. We want Kisumu to be the market of over 500 million people from Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, DRC, and Uganda up to South Sudan,” he added.

  Raila lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to the National Treasury to allocate Sh10 billion to the Kazi Mtaani programme. He said the project will be critical in enhancing opportunities for youths.

Kazi Mtaani is a national initiative that was launched in April last year, to cushion the most vulnerable and youths in informal settlements from the effects of Covid-19.

The programme, which started with a budget of Sh10 billion, employed 283,210 youths in 900 informal settlements.

Raila also urged residents to come out in large numbers and register as voters.

“The only way you can be my foot soldiers is by registering as voters,” he said.

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