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Raila chides Ruto, warns of 'big changes' ahead of 2022 poll

Saturday May 11 2019

RUTH MBULA
By RUTH MBULA
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Politician Raila Odinga on Friday told Kenyans to brace for massive changes ahead of the 2022 general election and warned that those who try to resist it will be consumed by a raging tide.

At the homecoming party of Nyatike MP Tom Odege, a stern Mr Odinga, who is leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), described this change as "very fundamental" to Kenyans.

“You cannot resist change. If you try to, it will overwhelm you. An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped," he said at Nyatike grounds.

While vowing not to be intimidated, he said he will deal with emerging issues without fear or pain for a better Kenya.

HANDSHAKE

Mr Odinga further said he will not be deterred in his efforts to fight corruption as he does not fear since God is on his side.

He added that at the end of what he and President Kenyatta started after the disputed 2017 poll, Kenyans will have something to rejoice about.

He was referring to the historic March 9, 2018 handshake and the Building Bridges Initiative which they initiated as part of efforts to unite Kenyans.

"Some people like calling me a witch and say I use lots of proverbs while talking. Yes, I am a doctor because President Uhuru Kenyatta and I are trying to heal what has been ailing this country," he said.

This was in reference to DP Ruto who has been accusing him of trying to stop his 2022 presidential bid.

“2022 is going to come and Kenyans are going to deal with it. We are dealing with Kenya now and we are determined to heal the 2017 political and electoral wounds," Mr Odinga added.

OBADO FACTOR

Mr Odinga and Okoth Obado excited Nyatike residents when they arrived together to attend the homecoming party.

It was the first time that the Orange Democratic Movement leader (ODM) and Migori governor were sharing a podium since the latter was charged with the murder of his girlfriend Sharon Otieno.

At the occasion, they shared a light moment with other leaders as they danced to Luo music.

There was bad blood between Mr Odinga and Mr Obado since the governor was seen as courting Deputy President William Ruto after the 2017 general elections.

During the Migori Senator by-elections, Mr Odinga toured the county to drum up support for ODM candidate Ochillo Ayacko, who won the race.

Mr Obado, however, was seen as supporting Eddy Oketch (FPK), who was said to be Dr Ruto’s project.

But DP Ruto once said he did not care what the public thought of his relationship with Governor Obado and that he would work with him and Mr Odinga as well, for the sake of development.

MURDER CASE

During that tour, Mr Odinga also spoke of many cases of the murder of women across the country and said the guilty must carry their own crosses.

He said so in reference to the killing of Ms Otieno, a case in which Mr Obado is the main suspect. Ms Otieno was seven months pregnant and had been attending Rongo University.

“I am speaking here, the capital of Migori County. We all know what happened here pertaining the heinous murder of the 26-year-old girl and her infant," the ODM leader said

“The guilty must be made to pay for their sins. We cannot have such criminals free in the country."

IRRIGATION SCHEME

In Migori on Friday, Mr Odinga launched the Nyatike Lower Irrigation Scheme for rice production and presided over the groundbreaking for Nyakwere Girls' High School and Masara-Muuru road.

"We are witnessing these development projects in Nyanza because of the handshake. There was a time this region was segregated," he said.

The ODM boss was accompanied by Senators Ayacko and James Orengo (Siaya), as well as MPs Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Peter Masara (Suna West), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga) and Millie Odhiambo (Suba North).

Others at the function were John Mbadi (Suba South), Tom Kajwang' (Ruaraka), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Pamela Odhiambo (Migori Woman Representative) and Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay Woman Representative).

GRAFT WAR

Speaker after speaker, the leaders accused the Director of Public Prosecution and Directorate of Criminal Investigations of slowing down in the war against corruption.

Mr Mohamed said that for the country to move forward, all corruption suspects must be charged in court.

Ms Wanga said they support Mr Odinga's efforts to unite the country together with his "brother" President Kenyatta.

“[Do not stop working] just because someone who has publicly admitted to being part of the corruption cartel has intimidated you,” she said, without giving details.

SMART MOVES

Ms Odhiambo also said there is time for everything and that Kenyans should be smart enough to know that.

“There is time for politicking and development. There was a time when we abused the President but it is now time to work with him,” she said.

The MPs mostly drawn from ODM also said they were united and slammed critics mocking them for losing the recent by-elections.

ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said, "We are fixing our house but that does not mean we are not united. We also demand that the National Treasury releases funds set aside for political parties so that we can hold grassroots elections."