SECTIONS

Three governors root for Raila leadership, say he will deliver change

Governors Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and Dr. Alfred Mutua (Machakos) during a political rally at Makindu, Makueni County on February 16, 2022 [Stephen Nzioka, Standard]

Governors from Ukambani yesterday intensified their campaigns for Azimio la Umoja, saying the country would be safe in ODM chief Raila Odinga’s hands.

Dr Alfred Mutua (Machakos) hosted Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni for a day-long tour of projects in Masinga, Mwala and Kangundo constituencies where they addressed residents and rallied them to support Raila’s bid for the country’s top job.

Dr Mutua and Prof Kibwana, who had previously declared interest in the presidency in the August 9 elections, said they were convinced Raila was best suited to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna joined the three governors in the rallies, sending signals that there could be a deal in the making between the lower Eastern leaders and the ODM leader.

In the Masii rally where Mutua commissioned the construction of a new hospital, the governors declared they had chosen to lead residents into Azimio because they believe it will form the next government.

“We have joined Azimio because we want real development and transformation for the region. Others have been going there to ask for money and big positions. But for us, we want our people to benefit through government projects,” Dr Mutua said. The Machakos governor defended Raila’s pledge of Sh6,000 social protection stipend for poor families, saying the model had worked well in other developed countries.

Ngilu told residents against supporting Deputy President William Ruto, terming him as a political failure. She accused his of using handouts to win votes. 

Liberation struggle

The Kitui governor termed the DP an anti-reformist. “He fought some of us who were pressing for reforms during the second liberation struggle. He is also on record opposing constitutional reforms aimed at empowering people and promoting democratic ideals,” said Ngilu.

She said Ruto lacks the moral authority to seek to succeed Uhuru, claiming he had failed to discharge his responsibilities as Uhuru’s principal assistant.

“He has been moving round with cash to win the support of Kenyans and we are telling Kenyans to make wise choices. Kenya needs a focused leader who is genuine about transforming their livelihoods,” she said. Prof Kibwana said the Kamba community will not sit back and watch as the next government is formed without their stake.

“As governors from Ukambani, we have decided that our people cannot sit and watch from outside as the government of Raila Odinga is being formed. Our motivation is driven by the passion to see all our people enjoy the benefits of having a stake in the next government,” said Kibwana.

Sifuna said his presence in the governors’ rallies had Raila’s blessings and urged the Kamba community to rally behind the ODM leader’s presidential bid.

He said Raila, once elected president, will bring down the cost of fuel, maize as well as medical care in public health facilities. “Raila has also promised Kenyans free secondary education as well as stipends for the needy families. One of his key agenda is to restore dignity for all Kenyans through social protection, good governance and creation of new opportunities for wealth creation,” Sifuna added.

The leaders addressed rallies in Kangundo town and Kathukini markets in Masinga constituency.