Raila promises to improve western region's economy

Azimio la Umoja presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga and his team addressing a rally at Misikhu market at Webuye East, Bungoma county on May 29, 2022. [Benjamin Sakwa,  Standard]

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party flag bearer Raila Odinga has promised to revive factories in the western region and build one in each county.

Speaking yesterday at a rally in Misikhu, Bungoma County, Mr Odinga said he would build a one-stop border shop at the Malaba-Uganda border to promote cross-boundary business and benefit youth and locals.

“We want our people, especially from border counties, to benefit from the trade in harmony with our neighbours,” said Mr Odinga.

He promised to ban maize imports and promote local farming, and pledged to reduce the cost of fertiliser from Sh6,000 to Sh2,000. “We are going to empower farmers and the agricultural sector. We want to create a conducive environment for their venture, besides looking for a ready market.”

Mr Odinga also promised to address unemployment among youth and women, saying they deserve decent jobs and not wheelbarrows.

He exuded confidence that his ticket with his running mate Ms Martha Karua is a formidable one and that all factors favour them for a win come August 9. “This has been a long journey of liberating our people from poverty and the time has now come to actualise our forefathers’ dreams. I urge my people to remain focused and calm because we are going to win this election. Support my bid, do not be worried,” Mr Odinga said. Referring to his ticket with Ms Karua as “Rarua”, the ODM leader said it stood for reforms. He promised to end corruption and embezzlement of public funds, besides improving the country’s economy.

“Our goal is to fight against corruption and spur development and the unity of Kenyans, unlike our competitors who stand for nothing other than corruption and the embezzlement of public funds and resources. The difference between us and them is like day and night,” said Raila.

Raila reiterated that Kenya loses Sh700 billion annually through corruption but vowed to seal all loopholes to protect public funds for the betterment of people’s lives. He promised to improve our health care system and the education sector.

Suna East MP Mr Junet Mohammed said: “Ruto has sensed defeat and now claims there are plans to rig. We want to tell him that we have already defeated him and he should accept defeat when the time comes”.

Peter Kenneth assured supporters that Central Kenya is solidly behind Raila. “Things have changed and by the time we get to the election, it will be 60 per cent for Azimio and 40 for our competitors. Let us rally behind Raila because we are winning,” said Kenneth who also challenged Ruto to address land issues in his backyard before claiming he has a solution.

Former UNCTAD Secretary-General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi said Azimio is comprised of reformists who stand for eradicating corruption, unlike their opponents. “Let them show us what they have done before and succeeded and what they intend to do in a realistic manner rather than populist politics, Kenyans want sober minds,” said Mukhisa.

Kakamega Governor Mr Wycliffe Oparanya and Bungoma’s Mr Wycliffe Wangamati, Defence CS Mr Eugene Wamalwa and DAP-Kenya party leader Mr Wafula Wamunyinyi urged residents to vote for Raila and Azimio coalition.