Raila rallies Kiambu to back his bid for presidency

Mr Odinga, who was making his first political visit to Kiambu since 2012 when he held a campaign rally at Thika Municipal Stadium, said he would work to achieve national unity as he urged the Kikuyu community to rally behind him.

He rekindled memories of 2002 when he successfully campaigned for then National Rainbow Coalition presidential candidate Mwai Kibaki.

Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate Raila Odinga on Tuesday took his vote hunt to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Kiambu backyard, where he sought to debunk a deep-rooted notion that he is an enemy of the Kikuyu community.

“A lot of propaganda has been peddled that I am an enemy of the Kikuyu. That’s not true and I am here to dismiss that. In 2002, Mr Kibaki, who was our general, was injured in an accident, and I told him to rest, after which I traversed the whole country campaigning for him until I was called mutongoria njamba (hero). But now my name has changed to kimundu and muguruki (mad man)?” Mr Odinga, who stopped in Limuru, Kikuyu, Kabete, Ruaka, Kiambu and Ruiru, said.

He also sought to convince the residents that in 2002, President Kenyatta was himself an enemy of the Kikuyu community because he ran against Mr Kibaki, who was the nation’s preferred presidential candidate, and used unsavoury language to discredit his bid.

Mr Odinga said his government would review the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission report to ensure that victims of the Lari Massacre, who he said had been ignored by previous regimes, were adequately compensated.

The massacre took place on March 26, 1953, when the Mau Mau attacked loyalist home guard families, killing about 74 and wounding 50, some of whom are still alive.

KIBAKI’S PROJECTS

The ODM party leader accused the Jubilee administration of failing to address problems facing Kiambu residents while riding on projects started by the coalition government under President Kibaki.

He urged voters not to back candidates merely because they belonged to their respective communities, saying Kenyans must work together for the prosperity of the country, which he said was sick due to Jubilee Party’s poor leadership.

“If there is an issue of unemployment, high cost of living, insecurity and lack of infrastructure, it does not only affect one community, but all. Here in Kiambu, 40 per cent of the youth are unemployed, while roads, apart from the few we built with Kibaki, are in a horrible state,” he said during a stopover at Ruaka Trading Centre.

MUSALIA MUDAVADI

The former Prime Minister was with his National Super Alliance co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, Homa Bay senator Moses Kajwang’, MP Ken Okoth (Kibra), ODM candidate Esther Passaris, who is seeking Nairobi Woman Representative’s seat, Steve Mbogo (Starehe) and former Subukia MP Koigi wa Wamwere.

Mr Mudavadi said the first term of the Jubilee Government had been riddled with corruption scandals, plunder of public resources and over-borrowing that had raised the cost of living.

“We only have two tribes … the rich and the poor because the government has failed to effectively tackle youth unemployment and has been on a borrowing spree overburdening the taxpayers such that the cost of living has shot up,” he said at Gitaru township.

WILLIAM RUTO

Mr Mudavadi said that while the President could be excused for the problems the country is facing, his deputy William Ruto, who he described as a threat to the economy, bore the greatest responsibilities for Kenya’s troubles.

Ms Passaris and Mr Wamwere were shouted down at Waginge Market and Gitaru, when they told the residents to vote in Nasa and deny Mr Ruto votes in his 2022 presidential bid.

But in Limuru, Mr Wamwere said Mr Odinga would unite all Kenyans regardless of their tribe. 

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