Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Raila says it’s too early to judge Jubilee government

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. PHOTO/FILE

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. PHOTO/FILE  NATION

As the Jubilee government marks its first 100 days in power, its main opponent in the last General Election, Mr Raila Odinga, who is also the leader of the main opposition coalition, Cord, shared his thoughts with the Nation.

What good things do you have to say about the Jubilee government as they celebrate their 100 days in office?

RAILA: A 100 days is a very short time for one to judge. I therefore want to be fair to them. They should be judged on the basis of what they promised they will deliver within 100 days. I have been in government and I know what governance means.

What do you have to say about the government’s commitment to devolution?

This government is blowing hot and cold as far as devolution is concerned. I don’t think they are really prepared for a devolved system of government; otherwise they would not have signed the Division of Revenue Bill without proper consultation with the Senate.

The way the governors are spending public resources has raised eyebrows. Do you think this will hinder delivery of services to the people?

It is premature to judge them. They’ve hardly begun work. They’re pioneers. They had no one to learn from.

We have seen teachers strike and how the government has handled it. If you had won, would you have handled it differently?

The issue has been there for some time. The current President can remember that I chaired a meeting that resolved the teachers’ strike last year. Yes, if I was in government, I would have handled it differently. I would have sat down with them and negotiated something. If they look widely, I know areas where they put a lot of money. We have talked about laptops. There needs to be proper planning for this.

Will you run in the next elections?

I have not said I am going to run in 2017. I have said it is too premature to talk about 2017. We’ve just come out of an election… I want to organise a party that wins elections.”

People are saying your campaign team was disorganised and this contributed a lot to your failure to win the election and the Supreme Court petition that you filed?

We had 800-page evidence in our petition. To dismiss that evidence because of time is not justice. The Constitution says the Supreme Court should handle the petition in 14 days, but the Constitution also restricts them from dismissing a case on a technicality.

I had the most organised team. People have the right to talk but those are just rumours.

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