Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday claimed the government was broke and unable to implement its development projects.
He challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta to tell Kenyans the truth about the financial health of his government, saying the mega projects Jubilee was touting were “a lie”.
“These projects are a lie,” said Mr Odinga while addressing delegates from the Maasai community who had visited ODM’s Orange House headquarters in Nairobi to declare their loyalty to the party.
“There is no money and we are broke and these projects being launched daily are not even in the country’s development plan.”
Mr Odinga said it was the shortage of funds that drove the government to borrow money through the Eurobond, which he claimed was embezzled by corrupt individuals within the establishment.
“Even the Auditor-General himself has admitted that he has not seen the Eurobond funds,” said Mr Odinga, who claimed: “Right now, Kenyans are being lied to and every Kenyan has a debt of Sh85,000 for money that did not get into the country.”
BE POLITE AND RESPECTFUL
The Cord co-principal urged the President to be polite and respectful to him and not talk to him as he would his child. He added that only Kenyan voters, not his rivals, would determine when he would retire.
“Ati sasa anasomea Raila; mimi si mtoto wake. Ongea kwa njia ya utaratibu (He is now dressing down Raila; I’m not his child. Talk in a polite manner),” said Mr Odinga.
On Monday, the President said Mr Odinga had run out of ideas and should, therefore, retire from politics. He accused the opposition chief of sabotaging the government by criticising its development projects and frustrating its efforts to borrow money from international lenders.
“Maybe it is his age, and that is why we are asking him to retire now that he is an old man,” the President said while on a tour of Nyeri County.
“Occasionally, I’ll bring him a bowl of uji [porridge] in Bondo if he quits.”
On Tuesday, Mr Odinga said he was not too old to lead the country, adding that the President’s insinuation that then President Mwai Kibaki gave him a job as a prime minister was wrong.
“Kibaki did not give me a job; I won the election,” said Mr Odinga.
President Kenyatta, who was on a tour of Murang’a County, accused Mr Odinga of seeking to convince the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank to stop sponsoring Jubilee projects, citing corruption in the government.
“The aim of the opposition leader is to convince the AfDB and the World Bank to stop giving us resources to initiate development projects in the pretext that there is corruption so that he can tell Kenyans we have failed to deliver,” said President Kenyatta.
EVICTION OF PASTORALISTS
Mr Odinga criticised the ongoing eviction of pastoralist communities from private properties and ranches, saying it was the government that had driven them there in the first place.
“The Maasai community is suffering,” he said. “They are being harassed and beaten up by police over their ancestral land.
“The government is not keen on implementing the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission report, which could give solutions to the problem of land. If we are to stop having these issues, then implement the report.”
Laikipia North Member of Parliament Mathew Lempurkel also claimed that pastoralists were being harassed, saying: “Our people’s homes are being burnt, women are getting raped by police who were deployed to Laikipia, which is our birthright.
“We won’t get out, no matter how many soldiers you bring.”
Taita-Taveta Governor John Mruttu likened the problems experienced by the Maa community to the problems in his county, saying the two regions should join hands to ensure Mr Odinga is elected president to champion their interests.
More than 22 groups from Kajiado, Narok and Samburu counties defected to ODM.