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Karua will take charge of fight against corruption, says Raila

ODM leader Raila Odinga with Kisumu governor Anyang' Nyongo during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of affordable houses at the former Makasembo Estate in Kisumu yesterday. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga has told of his elaborate plans to transform the economy and an intense fight against corruption.

Speaking at his Kisumu backyard, Raila suggested his combination with his running mate Martha Karua is the safest pair of hands that could transform Kenya. The centerpiece of Raila’s economic transformation should he clinch the presidency is based on what he describes as an "economic liberation," spanning across all sectors.

This came to the fore as the presidential hopeful presided over the groundbreaking for the building of a multi-billion-shilling low-cost housing project in Makasembo, funded by LAPFUND. The ODM chief also endorsed his long-term ally, Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o for another term and asked residents to vote "six piece" to help strengthen his presidency should he clinch the top seat.

A seemingly confident Raila claimed the Azimio government will provide answers to questions pricking Kenyans since independence including the difficulty in accessing affordable housing, healthcare and employment. And if all goes as per his vision, Raila said the country will have affordable housing in all the urban centres whose costs will not exceed Sh1 million for those intending to buy and become home owners.

He outlined plans to bolster the country's agricultural, manufacturing, housing and industrial growth and expressed optimism his government will improve all the sectors. But it is the fight against corruption which he described as a major stumbling block to the country’s success that the ODM chief wants to deal with and believes his union with Karua is a formidable force that will end the vice.

Addressing hundreds of jubilant supporters, Raila said his administration will prioritize the fight against corruption as they implement programs to transform the economy. By sealing all the avenues for corruption, Raila said, his administration will be able to generate funds to support projects to put the country on an economic success path.

He expressed confidence Karua, who will also double up as Justice and Constitutional Affairs Cabinet Secretary will “jail” all corrupt leaders.

“The Azimio government that we will form will straighten the country. I have already selected our Deputy President Martha Karua who will be in charge of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. She will deal with all the corrupt leaders,” said Raila.

According to Raila, all the corrupt leaders belong to jail and are to blame for most of the problems that affect the country. Without mentioning names, Raila criticized individuals in Kenya Kwanza over frequent donations sourced from proceeds of corruption. He likened the leaders to a tick that invades a cow while thin but after a short period inflates after stealing money from public coffers.

On housing, Raila praised President Uhuru Kenyatta for introducing the housing levy which he said he will implement to ensure it unlocks affordable housing to Kenyans.

“The fund can help in the rollout of a massive housing development for Kenyans and we intend to implement it,” said Raila.

He said he has engaged COTU that opposed the plans and has convinced the worker’s union to change its stance over the policy to help improve housing.

According to Raila, the growing rural-urban migration means that the next government must start planning on how best to address the housing needs of Kenyans and ensure that affordable housing and home ownership increases.