Raila Odinga: Kenya needs international help to end Ruto's tyranny

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party leader, Raila Odinga. [David Gichuru,Standard]

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party leader, Raila Odinga, has called on the international community to help the opposition rein in the excesses of the President William Ruto regime.

Raila on Friday, December 8, observed that the country, under the leadership of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, has veered off its founder’s vision and stares at a gloomy future.

Speaking at the (CUEA) in Nairobi, Raila regretted that Kenya is reeling under the heavy burden of taxation, officially sanctioned tribalism, and the harsh and heartless leadership of a Ruto Presidency, and only a new crop of leaders will turn around the motherland’s fortunes.

"Corruption is killing our future. Tribalism is stealing our potential under the current regime. These two vices are officially sanctioned, and the country is divided between people with shares and those who don't,” he said.

He cited the irregularities recorded in the recently released 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination results, noting that indications are that the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) would be sacrificed to protect the "cartels.”

"The corrupt are getting plum jobs and getting protection. Those who try to stop corruption get arrested and arraigned on trumped-up charges. I therefore wish to call on our development partners to partner with us in calling out the ills of corruption and tribalism that are crippling our country and making nonsense of the aid we obtain from abroad," he remarked.

In contrast to the democratic leaps and bounds made in the last 60 years, the former premier lamented that Kenya was on a downward spiral where its citizens were uncertain and fearful of what the future holds.

He reproached the government of the day for running the country on debt yet living large and driving the nation into a trap with the IMF and the World Bank whose “unusual conditionalities are driving us back to the 1980s and 90s.”

"I know the country is taking a wrong turn when workers take home only a third of their basic salaries, the rest going to taxes, and when a 14-year-old child has to go to court to seek justice over KCPE marks. Kenya is failing her children,” asserted Raila.

 And to underscore the country's woes, he brought to the fore the massive unemployment crisis, which had forced skilled Kenyans to flee the country in search of jobs. He also went in on the Head of State for failing to create opportunities for the youth.

"Young people with the new skills and knowledge that we need are being exported because the government cannot get jobs, and the government sees it as an achievement. When a whole president goes running out there looking for jobs for people here, something's terribly wrong,’Raila observed.

The Azimio leader, however, believes it is not too late to reclaim the country and put it back on the founder’s vision, although the dramatic departure from the sad state of affairs of today will not arrive easily.

 “I deliberately put emphasis on policy for democracy and rejection of corruption as a critical pathway to Kenya's progress. We'll have a country where leaders focus their energies on important things like funding education and schools, fighting corruption, and creating jobs here for the children,” he noted.

 Raila further called on President Ruto and subsequent leaders to leverage the support received from the international community to turn around the country’s fortunes and regain its status as the regional power house.

 “It is my firm belief that if you make good use of the help and good will that the US, UK, EU, China, and others are extending to us, Kenya can emerge from poverty and take its place among the economic powers. If we cement and respect the ties with our neighbours, Kenya can cement its place as an economic powerhouse and guarantor of democracy,” he stated.