I will revive sugar factories to spur growth, says Raila

ODM leader Raila Odinga. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has reiterated that he will prioritise revival of ailing sugar factories in western Kenya, if elected president.

Addressing supporters in Shinyalu, Ikolomani and Navakholo counties on day three of his charm offensive in the region, Mr Odinga said he would revamp Mumias, Nzoia, Sony Sugar and all other State-owned sugar mills within a month.

“I have promised people in the sugar-growing zone that immediately I am elected on August 9, by September, I will ensure these factories are up and running,” said Raila.

He said the government would be able to create value addition for sugarcane products.

“We know the diseases ailing our factories and we have the medicine, when we win the elections we will find solutions and help these factories start milling again,” said Mr Odinga.

According to the former prime minister, the revival of these industries will create employment.

“If elected, my focus will be on reviving economy, this will be our third and last liberation for this country,” said Mr Odinga.

“Our first liberation was in 1963 when we kicked out colonialists. The second was when we fought for the 2010 Constitution and the third will be economic liberation.”

He said the country needs a leader who can end corruption.

Mr Odinga accused Deputy President William Ruto of misleading the nation into believing that he can fight corruption yet he (Ruto) cannot explain the source of his wealth.

Deputy President William Ruto. [DPPS]

“You cannot be dishing out millions of shillings in churches and buying school buses and cars for church leaders, and then tell us that you can lead the nation yet we don’t know the source of your money,” he said.

Raila said the youth deserve better jobs.

“Our youth need more than just pushing wheelbarrows, they need employment that will make them self-reliant,” he said.

He said the Azimio la Umoja government will push for social welfare targeting poor households.

“Poor households will receive Sh6,000 every month. Kenyans will benefit from Babacare, a medical scheme that will see our people access free health care.”

Raila received defectors, including former Shinyalu MP Silverse Anami.

He started his campaigns at Shibuye Catholic Church in Shinyalu where he attended the morning mass and later addressed supporters at Shinyalu, Khayega, Malinya and Navokholo markets. Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya urged voters to back Azimio la Umoja aspirants.

Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth who accompanied Raila urged people to join the winning team.