Cord leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday sought to counter the Jubilee administration inroads at the Coast when he criticised the decision to charge beneficiaries of the Waitiki land Sh182,000 each.
Speaking after unveiling the renamed Fidel Odinga road, Mr Odinga said it was wrong for squatters to be forced to pay Sh182,000 to own plots in the Waitiki Farm in Likoni, Mombasa.
He supported Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho’s position that the squatters should not pay for the plots.
When he handed over title deeds to over 5,000 squatters earlier in the month, the President said they would be required to pay Sh1,000 per month until they clear the amount.
The money will be used to repay a loan that the Lands Ministry borrowed from a government agency to buy the land from Mr Evans Waitiki.
Wednesday, Mr Odinga also claimed that President Kenyatta had taken credit for the Mwangaza Mitaani street lighting project, arguing that it was a World Bank-funded programme.
He said the President had failed to fulfil his campaign pledges of creating for the youth, add 5000 Watts to the National Grid and build 10,000-km of tarmac roads among others.
“I also told Kenyans that there was theft at NYS. Haven’t you seen and proved for yourself? There was Goldenburg, Anglo Leasing and now Eurobond which is biggest of all,” he said.
UHURU'S MONTH-LONG VISIT
President Kenyatta returned to Nairobi this week after spending more than one month at the Coast where he launched several projects, among them the Mwangaza Mitaani project.
He also issued lease certificates and title deeds to smallholder land owners in Mombasa and Lamu counties.
During his extended visit, the President assured Coast residents that even though they had supported Cord in the last elections, the Jubilee administration was ready to serve them and finance development projects at the Coast.
A number of MPs from the region assured the President they would decamp to the Jubilee Party ahead of next year’s elections.
But Wednesday, Mr Odinga urged Mombasa residents to stick with Cord as he took a swipe at Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko saying he was disrespectful to Mr Joho during President Kenyatta’s visit to Mombasa.
“He abused our Governor before President Kenyatta,” Mr Odinga said.
He thanked Mr Joho for honouring his late son, Fidel by naming a road after him. He said the gesture was an honour to Kenyan youths.
“On behalf of my family... I want to say that we are very happy for the naming of this road after Fidel. My family is part of the struggle to liberate this country. When I was in detention in 1982, Idda suffered with the children but remained steadfast,” he said.
Mr Joho said the New Nyali Road was named after Fidel because he was “besides his father during the entire season of sacrifice to liberate our country”.
“Fidel is a very special human being. He was born when his father was in detention struggling for Kenyans. Fidel missed the fatherly love and we have done this because we respect the Odinga family,” Mr Joho said.
He said he will unveil two other roads, Mekatilili wa Menza in Kisauni and Prof Ali Mazrui at GPO.
Mr Odinga is expected in Homa Bay today after launching a commercial flight, operated by Fly540 from Nairobi to Homa Bay. It will become the first commercial flight to the southern Nyanza region.
Meanwhile, high profile visitors have been invited to Bondo this weekend for the memorial service of Kenya’s first Vice-President, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, and his grandson Fidel.
A former president, Cord leaders Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula are among the guests expected at the celebrations to be held at Jaramogi’s Kango home in Siaya County.
The event, scheduled tomorrow and Saturday, is expected to pull large crowds of Mr Odinga’s supporters.
Additional reporting by Moses Odhiambo.