Cord leader Raila Odinga’s political tour of western Kenya entered its second day on Tuesday, with renewed attacks on the Jubilee government.
He told crowds that influential individuals in Jubilee had used National Youth Service (NYS) funds and the Eurobond proceeds to enrich themselves, as ordinary Kenyans languished in poverty.
At Lukusi market in Shinyalu Constituency, Mr Odinga said the a report by the Auditor-General indicated that Sh20 billion had been lost in the NYS scandal.
He said Jubilee did not deserve a second term for allowing corruption to thrive in the government.
“Kenyans are paying the price for the corruption in government through high cost of foodstuffs, fuel and the general high cost of living,” said Mr Odinga.
Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang’ claimed Jubilee was planning to spend Sh300 million to pay delegates who will be attending the unveiling of the new political outfit by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto in Nairobi on Saturday.
“Jubilee has diverted public funds for use in the unveiling of the party at the expense of the taxpayer. We are calling for investigations into the matter to establish the source of the money,” said Mr Kajwang’.
Mr Odinga asked party supporters to register as voters in large numbers and prepare to vote Jubilee out of power next year.
Mr Odinga said Cord was confident of sending Jubilee packing in 2017. He asked supporters of the coalition to heed his call and turn up in large numbers to vote for the opposition flagbearer.
“Jubilee is at the moment in a panic mode and its leaders are busy making promises to win the support of Kenyans and ensure President Uhuru Kenyatta is re-elected for a second term in next year’s General Election,” said Mr Odinga.
He assured supporters of ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya not to panic about who among the three co-principals will emerge the coalition’s flagbearer since the matter will be settled without causing a fallout.
“There should be no worry about the jostling for the Cord flagbearer since we shall eventually talk and agree and come up with a winning candidate who will be the country’s next president,” said Mr Odinga.
Mr Odinga is seeking to tighten his grip on the region which overwhelmingly voted for him in 2013 in the wake of a bid by some MPs to win support for Jubilee.
SEND JUBILEE PACKING
“Kenyans have a job in their hands to send Jubilee packing by registering as voters in large numbers and voting for Cord to open room for genuine reforms and transformation in the country,” said Mr Odinga.
Mr Odinga was accompanied by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and ODM chairman and Suba MP John Mbadi.
The ODM chief took his campaigns to Lukusi, Shinyalu, Khayega, before heading to Shamsinjiri, Sisecheri and Musoli in Ikolomani Constituency.
He received a warm reception from ODM supporters at the well-attended rallies.
While addressing supporters at Shinyalu and Musoli, Mr Odinga allayed fears about a possible split of the coalition over the issue of its flagbearer.
“There should be no panic about the jostling for the coalition’s flagbearer since what is happening is similar to children scrambling for a share of milk from a mother in a home and that is very normal,” said Mr Odinga.
He, instead, exuded confidence the coalition would settle on a strong and credible candidate who will easily clinch the presidency.
Mr Odinga said Cord co-principals were focused on ensuring the coalition was stronger and prepared to clinch victory in 2017.
He said Jubilee had allowed corruption, tribalism and misuse of public resources to impoverish Kenyans.
“Jubilee has made several promises to Kenyans since coming to power four years ago but the promises have remained just promises with 11 months left to the next year’s election,” said Mr Odinga.
He is using the tour to pacify the region after the recent revolt by a group of MPs as well as heightened campaigns by other politicians to popularise the Jubilee to locals who overwhelmingly supported the Opposition in the 2013 elections.
Jubilee-leaning MPs led by UDF’s Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), have stepped up campaigns to prepare the ground for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to the region immediately after Mr Odinga’s tour.