Sunday, 23 October 2016

Raila jets back to flurry of campaign activities

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The ODM boss will be in the Coast region at the end of the week for a number of meetings in Kilifi.ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses a press conference on October 19, 2016. The ODM boss will be in the Coast region at the end of the week for a number of meetings in Kilifi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
Cord leader Raila Odinga returns to the country this morning to a packed one-week programme that will see him, his co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy President William Ruto lock horns in Gusiiland.
The opposition boss will hit the ground traversing different parts of the country from Monday to campaign for ODM candidates in by-elections slated for Wednesday.
Mr Musyoka (Wiper Democratic leader) will tour Nyamira County today to popularise his party ahead of the next elections.
He will start at Kemera then meet Wiper grassroots leaders at Viongozi Social Hall, Kebiringo, and later hold rallies at Kebiringo and Keroka markets, a dispatch from his office showed Saturday.
“Raila will have a series of public and private meetings with Abagusii and Kuria grassroots leaders in the course of the week and also address an ODM Women’s Congress gathering in Kisumu mid-week,” Mr Odinga’s spokesman, Denis Onyango, told the Sunday Nation on Saturday.
The ODM boss will be in the Coast region at the end of the week for a number of meetings in Kilifi.
He left for London on Thursday morning to address the London Political Summit at the London Metropolitan University.
Mr Ruto will, on the other hand, be at the Nyabururu Catholic Parish, barely a kilometre from Kisii town, for a fundraiser just a day after he was in Busia for a rally-cum-fundraiser.
Gusiiland has become a hunting ground of choice for all the leading political parties as each tries to shore up its chances ahead of the General Election.
Even ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi is betting big on votes from the region.
Jubilee has taken many development projects to the region, hoping that these will translate into votes for President Uhuru Kenyatta next year.
While in London, Mr Odinga paid tribute to opposition parties in Africa, saying they, and not ruling parties, have been the cause of change that has improved the fortunes of the continent.
He heaped praise on leaders that have refused to give up despite persecution by hostile incumbents because of their deep belief in democracy.
He gave the example of the South Africa’s liberation icon the late president Nelson Mandela.
“In Kenya, the opposition has unearthed massive government corruption, forced debate on government projects that have massive negative impact on the environment, stopped unconstitutional amendments to the constitution and forced debate on foreign policy interventions like the continued stay of our soldiers in Somalia and the forceful relocation of refugees from Kenya to Somalia and our growing public debt,” he said.
Mr Ruto on Saturday rebuked the former prime minister for his call to the West to fund opposition parties saying this would amount to interfering with Kenya’s internal affairs.
“In 2013, they came up with ICC cases so that other people can influence how we vote but Kenyans resisted. No influence or money from whites will change the leadership of this country. Come 2017, the script is the same. We know what to do as Kenyans,” the DP said.
But Mr Odinga argues this was a sure way of propping up democracy as opposition parties have increasingly come under intense onslaught from ruling parties and governments.
Mr Odinga will be coming back to assess the progress of the Sh6 billion Northern Water Collector tunnel in Murang’a, which he raised a red flag that it would interfere with the ecosystem setting stage for a violent face-off with the government.
Central Kenya leaders asked him to stay off the project.
Many regional leaders have since joined in the chorus with Tana River Governor Hussein Dado leading a delegation on a fact finding mission on how the initiative might affect the downstream areas.

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