Pole tender a plot to elbow out tree farmers, Raila says

The National Super Alliance accused some Jubilee leaders of planning to grab the multi-million shilling acres of tea fields once the 99 year lease period of the multinational companies ends.

Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate Raila Odinga has accused some top Jubilee leaders of hijacking a tender to supply concrete poles to Kenya Power at the expense of tree farmers who thrived in the business.

While leading a rally at Moi Gardens in Kericho, Mr Odinga asked local residents to reject the ruling party, which he accused of “doing business with the lives of Kenyans”.

“Some leaders in Jubilee have started a company to supply cement poles which sell at Sh19,000 each. The business has spoiled the market for tree farmers,” said Mr Odinga.

He said the business of milling maize and selling flour to hungry Kenyans was another cash cow for the some leaders.

“When (and not if) we win, we shall borrow a broom from my friend Magufuli of Tanzania and sweep out the corrupt individuals so as to allow development,” said the former PM, who was accompanied by his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, co-principals Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula and Isaac Ruto.

‘SUPER LEAGUE’

Mr Odinga said Kenya “is playing in the super league in matters corruption”.

He said a Nasa administration would start over on a clean slate and deal with corruption just like Tanzania’s President John Magufuli. “Kenya, which played in the same league development-wise as South Korea 65 years ago is now ranked third most corrupt country worldwide,” said Mr Odinga.

He said the country now imports vehicles from South Korea whereas it still has no know-how to even produce needles.

Mr Musyoka accused the Jubilee administration of planning to grab the expansive tea estates once the 99-year lease period given to multi-national companies elapses.

“Jubilee leaders are eyeing the James Finlay and Brooke Bond estates because their lease is about to end. We want to tell them that the farms are properties of Kericho county,” said the Wiper leader.

DEVELOP AGRITOURISM

He said a Nasa administration would develop agritourism in the region so that foreigners who are great consumers of tea can visit industries like Kenya Tea Packers in Kericho.

The former Vice-President also claimed that the government had foreseen the downfall of sugar industries leading to closure of the Mumias Sugar and Nzoia Sugar companies.

“Their closure is spoiling job opportunities. Once we take over, we shall bring in more investors to promote growth of industries,” he said.

Mr Odinga accused the National Cohesion and Integration Commission of working with Jubilee to “steal” votes.

TROUBLE SPOTS

He said of the 20 counties the commission had marked as trouble spots, most were in Nasa strongholds. 

“We know that it is a ploy to take many security forces to our strongholds on voting day so as to prevent people from voting,” said Mr Odinga. “We want to ask (NCIC chairman Francis) Kaparo whether he is a Jubilee servant or in that position to serve all Kenyans.”

Mr Mudavadi said: “With the public debt as high as Sh4 trillion, hungry Kenyans, nurses and lecturers on strike and 12 million youth unemployed, Kenyans will not elect Jubilee again”.

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