• On July 18, Raila said there should be a mind shift against skilled manual jobs, saying the government had done very little to nurture skills to drive the economy.
• Like DP Ruto, he said empowering young people with skills to become technicians, tailors, cooks, hairdressers, artisans and craftsmen has potential to lift the economy.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa has criticised ODM leader Raila Odinga for copying Deputy President William Ruto’s bottom-up economic agenda, which Raila once opposed.
Barasa said the declaration by Raila on how to help rebuild the economy through industrialisation was exactly what he rejected when pushing the BBI agenda.
On July 18 Raila said there should be a mind shift against skilled manual jobs, saying the government had done very little to nurture skills and make them economic drivers.
He said empowering young people with skills to become technicians, tailors, cooks, hairdressers, artisans and craftsmen has the potential to turn around the economy.
“I have some ideas on how we can have many ‘Made in Kenya’ products on supermarket shelves and shops in a sustained manner that ensures homegrown industrialisation,” Raila said.
Raila also proposed the creation of a human resource agency to scout and nurture the raw talent and align unique individual abilities with national industrial goals.
However, while praising him for the turn-around and bold transformation agenda, Barasa asked why Raila likes copying Ruto’s ideas instead of initiating his own.
“I express joy that recently I heard Raila Amolo Odinga change his tune from Tibim Tialala to advocating for a different economic model. This model would spur economic growth at the rural centre in what he called economic development for rural Kenya,” he said.
Barasa said the former PM also talked of a model to transform the manufacturing centre and to have local markets include Mama mboga, tailors and blacksmiths.
He said the PM disappointed him because though he means well, it appears he has come to terms with what they have been calling the bottom-up economical approach.
The legislator reminded Raila he had an opportunity to implement what he is currently talking about.
“If I look at the handwriting of the BBI Bill that is his handwriting, he is the person who drafted the BBI Bill in the infamous 'nobody can stop reggae.'
But reggae was stopped by Covid-19 and the courts, Barasa said.
He said the ODM party leader had a chance to put what he is advocating now into the BBI Bill by incorporating DP Ruto's ideas about guaranteed minimum return when he was opposing the BBI crusade.
Odinga dismissed Ruto by saying the train had left the station and it didn’t have brakes.
“He had another opportunity to incorporate the bottom-up economy, the hustler economy," Barasa said.
"But again he failed by saying we had an opportunity to appear before the BBI secretariat when they were moving around the country."
He said now that reggae has been stopped, he has changed his tune and appears to be supporting very many good issues to spur rural development.
Barasa said Raila seem to be suffering from memory lapses and does not remember what he was saying the other day. That's why he flip-flops by opposing, then supporting the same thing he opposed.
The MP said if Raila means well for the people about the model to promote and protect local industries, let him convene a meeting in Nyanza.
He can come up with an economic blueprint that will be received at the hustler’s centre to help in the plan for a national economic blueprint that is being formulated in all regions.
“Raila Odinga and his team seem not to be thinkers of their own, they wait until something gathers momentum before they come and say this is the way to go,” Barasa said.
He described the former PM as an opportunist with no original ideas, someone who rides on what is gaining momentum.
The hustler nation, he said, is the originator of the Kenyan bottom-up economy. while Raila is like China known to be a copy country.
Raila is currently at the Coast. He began his tour in Tana River County on Monday and spent Tuesday in Malindi.
While in Hola he defended his new approach saying it was in line with the BBI agenda.
(Edited by V. Graham)