Raila pledges to expose rot in fuel dealings

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga unveiling ODM party membership and verification exercise in Siaya town. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Raila Odinga is set to lock horns with the Kenya Kwanza government after he criticised the oil importation deal between the country and gulf countries.

In a change of stance after several months of observing government operations from afar, the ODM leader claimed that he would drop a major bombshell on an alleged scam involved in the deal next week.

The ODM leader renewed his criticisms against President William Ruto and poked holes in his administration. He blamed Kenya Kwanza administration for the high cost of living and also claimed that Ruto is dishonest with Kenyans.

Raila believes the government-to-government oil importation deal is shrouded in mystery and carefully planned by rogue State operatives to loot money from Kenyans.

He alleged that rogue government officials are pocketing Sh30 for every litre of fuel sold in pumps and claimed they have done investigations and will release a statement on alleged thefts in oil industry.

This came as the ODM chief retreated to his Nyanza backyard to embark on an exercise to revamp his ODM party and strengthen his grassroots support. 

The move is also part of an effort to counter his party’s rivals that have stepped up efforts to infiltrate Nyanza and some of Raila’s support bases. 

In Siaya, the ODM leader unveiled the ODM membership recruitment drive to ring-fence his support and declared that the exercise will run concurrently across the country. The exercise will run until March next year before the party conducts its grassroots elections.

“I want to warn UDA that they do not have any influence. We will ensure that we register more members than them,” said Raila.

However, Raila appears to be retracing his steps to champion the rights of Kenyans after declaring that he will share with Kenyans the controversies involved in the deal that is bound to make the lives of Kenyans even harder.

“I can say without fear of contradiction that out of Sh217 paid for fuel per litre, Sh30  from people goes to individual pockets. Next week I will reveal the secret about this oil scandal,” said Raila.

He was speaking in Nyakach, Kisumu county during the burial of Kathryn Odoyo, the wife of former MP Peter Odoyo where he threw his weight behind the Open Tender System that was adopted in the past.

“I am the one who came up with the system as a minister of energy. In the formula, each importer quotes the price and we choose the best from the competition. This will relieve us from the high cost of living,” he noted.

Raila said the old open tender system must be embraced again by the government and used for transparency and to avoid corruption. 

According to Raila, the country risks losing a lot after its neighbor threatened to cut its oil trade deals with Kenya.

Last week, Uganda threatened to stop procuring oil through Kenya after it was left out of the government to government deal with the gulf countries.

Should the process go through, oil markets from Kenya will be blocked from exporting oil to Uganda. Uganda National Oil will buy the product directly from foreign exporters.

Kenya signed the fuel deal with Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in March allowing for the importation of fuel on an an-180-day credit period.

Yesterday, Raila argued that President Yoweri Museveni had refused to pay money in the individual pockets of corrupt people in Kenya.

Raila was accompanied by Governor Anyang Nyong’o (Kisumu), Ochillo Ayacko(Migori), Senator Moses Kajwang, MPs; Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi, Rozaah Buyu (Kisumu West),Ongondo Werec (Kasipul),Aduma Owuor (Nyakach), Ruth Odinga (Kisumu Woman Rep) and Joshua Oron (Kisumu Central).

As part of his efforts to strengthen the party, Raila warned his troops against engaging in premature campaigns for local seats. He wants his party members to deliver on their campaign promises to give them an edge on the grounds of a development scorecard.

He argued that the premature campaigns would derail service delivery and told those already seeking Governor and MP positions to focus on service delivery.

Additional reporting by Isaiah Gwengi 

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