- Raila said that the perceived historical differences between the Luo and Kikuyu communities were a fallacy.
- He cited the 2002 election when he declared ‘Kibaki Tosha’ despite warning by some quarters that he had committed political suicide
A day after the burial of former President Mwai Kibaki, ODM leader Raila Odinga on Sunday promised Nyeri county goodies if elected President in August.
Accompanied by more than 10 political leaders from the region, Raila promised to use the foundation stones laid by Kibaki and his successor Uhuru Kenyatta to build a modern country.
“From where we left with Kibaki and Uhuru has left it, I will pick it from there and build a modern country,” he said amid cheers from the crowd in Nyeri town.
Raila spent the night in Nyeri after the burial of Kibaki in what he told the residents was in honour of the former President whom he worked with closely.
The former prime minister sought to speak to the hearts of the residents, promising his administration will support farmers and small business by providing subsidies and flexible loans.
“We want to ensure every Kenyan has money in their pockets. Farmers will get support in terms of tractors to plough their land, seeds, fertiliser and access to market,” he said.
He reiterated his administration will provide loans to small and micro-enterprises operated by women and youths that will only be repaid after seven years when their businesses stabilise.
In health, Raila pledged every Kenyan, if he succeeds Uhuru, will be enrolled with insurance cover modelled as BabaCare, to ensure they get access to free and quality healthcare.
“We want to uplift the lives of the youths and women in our country,” Raila, fired up by an army of local leaders and cheering crowd said.
He was accompanied by Narc leader Martha Karua, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege and Nyeri Town MP Njungiri Wambugu.
Others were Kieni MP Kanini Kega, former Tetu MP Ndung’u Gethinji, Nyeri senator Ephraim Maina, former Nyeri woman representative Priscilla Nyokabi, Nyeri deputy governor Caroline Karugu among other leaders.
Raila addressed the crowd after attending a service at the ACK Cathedral Church in Nyeri town where he urged the congregants to shun tribalism.
He said the perceived historical differences between the Luo and Kikuyu communities were a fallacy.
The Azimio candidate cited the 2002 election when he declared ‘Kibaki Tosha’ despite warning by some quarters that he had committed political suicide.
“I went and talked to the Luos and they heard me and came out in large numbers to vote for Kibaki. 98.5 per cent voted for Kibaki.
“Not that there was no Luo candidate who was vying. [James] Orengo was a candidate but even in his own constituency of Ugenya, he got 4,000 and Kibaki got 29,000,” he said.
Raila exuded confidence that he has a strong army of friends in the region, where his rival Deputy President William Ruto is believed to enjoy strong following, to deliver the vote bloc.
Karua, who has been touted as Raila’s potential running mate praised Raila, describing him as a patriot and a proven leader who has fought for the rights of Kenyans throughout his life.
“As we go to vote, let's look for a leader who will defend the resources of the country. Look for his record, you will not see any scandal,” she said.
Karua rallied the residents to elect Raila saying he has a proven record and his past is not tainted ‘like others.’
Kenneth said unlike his competitors, Raila will build the country and bring all Kenyans together if elected president.
“This mzee will build the country. Those others for five years of Uhuru tenure, they have demolished the country. Raila will not destroy the country,” he reckoned.
Kega , Ngunjiri and Nyokabi declared that it was Raila's moment owing to his fight for the country’s wellbeing.
“We knew Kibaki will be president but what we did not know is the destiny deliverer. Raila delivered. It is now his moment,” Nyokabi said.