Raila Odinga puts the corrupt on notice

Tuesday June 12 2018

Orange Democratic Movement boss Raila Odinga

Orange Democratic Movement boss Raila Odinga in his Upper Hill office in Nairobi on June 11, 2018. He issued a statement saying that he will abide by his agreement with President Uhuru Kenyatta to fight corruption. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By RUSHDIE OUDIA
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Opposition leader Raila Odinga has put corrupt officers on notice, saying he will side with President Uhuru Kenyatta in denying refuge to those found culpable.

In the latest statement yet of his intent not to appear to be shielding corruption merchants, the opposition chief said  he is departing from usual politics, where those accused cite tribe or political party to evade justice.

In Statement by his spokesperson, Mr Dennis Onyango, Mr Odinga assured the country that the war on corruption has his full backing, as agreed with President Kenyatta.

“In line with his (Mr Odinga) agreement with the President, he will deny refuge to those accused of corruption, and who try to hide behind parties and communities when they are accused,” said Mr Onyango, referring to the famous handshake in March.

UNITY PACT

The statement came shortly  after Mr Odinga met a delegation of Kikuyu elders. The  meeting is significant in healing the rifts that emerged after last year’s General Election.

The elders  expressed  appreciation for  Mr Odinga’s decision to join hands with President Uhuru Kenyatta for the unity of the country.

The elders asked Mr Odinga to use the new relationship to root out corruption in the country, foster peace and eliminate hate and suspicion among communities.

The Kikuyu elders  pledged support for the Building Bridges Initiative, the war on corruption and called for  firm application of the National Values and Principles  in the Constitution to put Kenya back on track.

FIRM DIRECTION

They also expressed appreciation to the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga for giving firm direction and leadership in the struggle for independence, his  bravery in colonial Parliament and his push for the release of the country’s founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta from detention.

The opposition leader’s statement comes at a time when the country is rocked by mega corruption scandals, in which tax payers lost billions of shillings through shady deals at the National Youth Service (NYS), Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and Kenya Power.

MURMURS

His party, the Orange Democratic Movement, had on Sunday asked members to call out the corrupt whenever they are caught. It was the first time the party was making its stand public following murmurs that it had gone quiet after the handshake.

Chairman John Mbadi said the party would not shelter anyone found guilty of corruption, regardless of their political party y or tribe.

On Sunday, Mr Mbadi said in Homa Bay that ODM will crack down on members supporting senior government officials being investigated for graft.

The Minority Leader  in the National Assembly warned that any member who sought to ethnicise the war against graft would be dewhipped from all committees of parliament.

His sentiments were echoed by Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi, who said those found guilty should face the law.