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Raila vows to jail looters of public funds in his first 100 days in office


ODM leader Raila Odinga (centre) with other Azimio leaders during a rally in Galole, Tana River County yesterday. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has vowed to jail those who have looted public funds within 100 days if elected president in the August 9 General Election.

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance presidential hopeful said he will recover stolen funds and use them for the social protection kitty and the Baba Care health programme for vulnerable Kenyans.

Addressing campaign rallies in Hola and Garsen in Tana River yesterday, Raila claimed the graft lords have used stolen public funds in harambees and vowed to get the money back to public coffers in the initial days of his administration.

“If elected president, I will recover all stolen public funds. You clearly know who has stolen public funds and I am going to deal with them ruthlessly. In the first 100 days of Baba’s government, the thieves will be in prison at Shimo La Tewa, Hola or Kamiti,” Raila said.

Raila said even after the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that promised to increase funds to counties from 15 to 35 per cent was derailed, he will ensure funds to support devolution is increased if he ascends to power in August.

He said county governments must have more funds to address marginalisation of some parts of the country caused by Sessional Paper number 10 of 1965 which ensured government mainly directed development to areas with high economic potential.

At the same time, Raila promised to expand irrigation schemes in Tana River to address food insecurity noting that the county could feed the whole country once River Tana is dammed.

“It is unfortunate that this county suffers water and food shortage when water flows to the Indian Ocean untapped.

“We will ensure there is enough water even during drought to support irrigation and livestock production. We have a plan to end perennial hunger because Tana River county can feed the whole country. What we need is capital and technology,” Raila said.

Should he ascend to power, Raila said he will ensure Tana River is turned into a commercial livestock keeping zone where animals are slaughtered and meat exported through Lamu port.

He said he will also ensure leather factories are established to create decent jobs for the youth.

“Botswana has an economy that relies on livestock. Over 5000 animals are slaughtered and processed at its factory daily and the products distributed in the region,” he noted.

He said Kenya must have plans for an economic revolution that will lead to the creation of decent jobs and not allow the youth to operate ‘wheelbarrows.’

Raila said as former prime minister, he knows how to raise the Sh6,000 for the social protection to support vulnerable families and ensure that poor Kenyans access healthcare through the Baba Care programme.  

He said he will ensure all children get education from pre-primary to universities regardless of their family backgrounds.

He said he will establish a kitty to support single mothers including widows and ensure their children get education.

“I will ensure that children, mothers and all poor Kenyans access health services through the Baba Care,” he said.

Raila was accompanied by governors Hassan Joho and Dhadho Godhana, Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua, Murang’a Women Rep Sabina Chege, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, Garsen MP Ali Wario and Mombasa politician Suleiman Shahbal.

Joho said he sacrificed his ambition to become president in favour of Raila because he knew his capacity to turn the economy around.