Presidential Debate: Kenyatta, Odinga Families Not Holding Kenya Hostage - Raila

July 24, 2017, 9:48 pm

NASA presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga has dismissed the notion that the country is politically held hostage by two families.

He said it was wrong for Kenyans to propagate that President Uhuru Kenyatta and himself enjoy the trappings of dynasties.

The Opposition leader said he joined politics on his volition, unlike claims that he was seconded by his father the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga arrives with his granddaughter for the presidential debate at Catholic University of Eastern Africa, July 24, 2017. /REUTERS

NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga arrives with his granddaughter for the presidential debate at Catholic University of Eastern Africa, July 24, 2017. /REUTERS

Oginga was Kenya's first Vice President in Jomo Kenyatta's administration after the country attained independence.

Uhuru, on the other hand, is the son of Kenya's founding father who worked with Oginga Odinga after the British colonial era.

The two families have remained dominant in the Kenyan political scenes over the years with the competition for the presidency centred around them.

This has been the case save for the time when retired President Daniel Moi was at the country's helm for 24 years.

Even at that time, Raila emerged as the frontrunner in the calls for multi-party democracy before Moi chose Uhuru as his successor ahead of the 2002 polls.

But when he solely appeared for the presidential debate on Monday, the NASA principal said he has risen the political ranks by virtue of his own drive.

"It is wrong to allege that Kenyatta and Oginga Odinga families have held Kenya at ransom as the only two families that can lead."

"While Uhuru was invited into politics by his mentor, I came into it alone. It was not through the invitation of my father but out of conviction," Raila said.

The two are facing off in the August 8 general election which has also attracted six other candidates.

For his part, the ODM leader said the election remains historic as it will mark the "end of the long walk to Kenyan's freedom from bad governance".

"It has been a long journey. August 8 will be a historic day. At the end of the day, Kenyans will emerge victorious. I wish President Uhuru well."

Raila added that the country is on the brink of making history through the polls adding that his team will congratulate Jubilee if they win.

"Atakayeshinda ashinde. Asiyekubali kushindwa si mshindani. (Whoever will win will win. The person who refuses defeat is not a worthy competitor)."

"In the unlikely event that we do not win, we will congratulate Jubilee. There will be no violence," Raila said calming fears of a repeat of the events of 2007/08.

During the 2007 general election, the country suffered violence which left over 1,300 dead and 650,000 displaced from their homes and businesses.

"Kenyans in urban areas should not run away. Let us come out and vote. We should not lose even a single vote because of fear," he said.

Raila urged his supporters not to fall prey to the "scarecrow saying there will be violence during polls."

On matters integrity, the NASA candidate said his administration will work on the principle of zero-tolerance to corruption.

He said the team which brings together Kalonzo Musyoka (NASA deputy presidential candidate), Musalia Mudavadi, Isaac Rutto and Moses Wetang'ula will not do business with the government.

"NASA leaders will not do business with the government, neither will we allow our relatives to take part in the same."

The opposition chief said the current administration has shamefully brewed nepotism at the expense of quality service for citizens.

"If we count the number of relatives of those in government with jobs in the same administration, it is embarrassing. I don't want to go down that lane."


Source: the-star

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