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Punish leaders gambling with your future, Wanjigi tells youth

By Josphat Thiong’o | Nov 3rd 2021 | 3 min read

ODM presidential hopeful Jimi Wanjigi and his daughter Wambui Wanjigi at Kasarani, Nairobi.

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi has challenged the youth to “punish” leaders out to gamble with their future, during next year's General Election.

Speaking in Kasarani, Nairobi, on Tuesday, when he hosted university students, the ODM presidential hopeful urged the youth to interrogate manifestos and not be fooled by politicians employing slogans and political rhetoric just to get their votes.

“To the young people, it is the next 30 to 40 years of your life that is at stake. This is the time to take ownership and take up the revolution as yours,” said Wanjigi who has declared interest in the presidential race.

At the same time, Wanjigi criticised ODM deputy party leader and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya over the proposal that the party should give direct nomination to candidates in the 2022 elections.

He argued that the party constitution lays down the rules and regulations of all elections from the grassroots to the national level and warned that the party risks being destroyed by any process seen not to be democratic.

“There are some undemocratic trends emerging. Our party vice-chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya is favouring direct nominations done in rooms and delegates without transparency on how they choose those people,” said Wanjigi.

“If the party does not prioritise democracy, they will have themselves to blame,” he added.

He castigated a section of leaders claiming that ODM leader Raila Odinga had already been endorsed as the party’s flag bearer, stating that there must be a democratic contest to settle on the presidential candidate.

“For the presidential election, delegates choose their preferred candidate at the National Delegates Conference to be attended by the 3,000 delegates. There is no other way. There is no short cut,” said Wanjigi.

“If they (ODM leaders) decide to conduct the primaries undemocratically, then they will face the wrath of this nation. I will be leading the wrath,” he added.

Last week, Oparanya said to cut down the cost aspirants incur in the nominations, delegates should have a say in picking candidates for the next elections.

Wanjigi, who was accompanied by his daughter, Wambui Wanjigi, also took a swipe at Deputy President William Ruto's wheelbarrow narrative and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka's pledge to clear the country’s debt within two years of being elected in office, saying they were misleading the youth.

He said the Jubilee administration had “stolen the lives of the youth for the last eight years.”

“The legacy of this administration is contained in a scorecard that is very disastrous,” he said.   

The businessman urged the youth to register as voters and liberate their future by voting decisively in 2022.

“The voter registration exercise by IEBC needs to be extended. The low turnout by potential voters however shows that people are not excited by the leader options they are being given,” said Wanjigi.

“There should also be equal media coverage of all presidential candidates and you will see an increase in voter registration,” he added.

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