By Fred Makana
Azimio La Umoja presidential hopeful Raila Odinga has landed another major boost in Mt Kenya region after Muranga leaders endorsed him for the top seat in the August 9 polls.
The Azimio La Umoja presidential hopeful made a grand entry into Ihura Stadium on Saturday where thousands of his supporters started trickling in as early as 8 am.
The former prime minister in a bare knuckle attack took a swipe at the newfound Kenya Kwanza alliance leaders Deputy President William, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula saying the trio had regrouped due to their past links to corruption networks.
” I appointed one of them as Minister for Agriculture yet he went ahead to allocate himself the roles of supplying fertilizer at the expense of farmers. The other one who served as my deputy prime minister went ahead to swindle land meant for the public. The other is well known for being behind the corruption that befell the Tokyo embassy scandal” Raila said.
The Muranga community through their leaders threw their weight behind the former premier and his Azimio La Umoja movement ahead of the August 9 general election.
Raila said past Muranga leaders like Kenneth Matiba and Charles Rubia had sacrificed alot for the second liberation.
He pledged to solve water crisis in Muranga noting that the residents cannot continue to suffer any more.
The Azimio presidential hopeful said his government will prioritize the welfare of tea, coffee and milk farmers of Mt Kenya region.
‘I will prioritize small business enterprises by giving government subsidies to help cushion them against economic constraints they have experienced in the recent past,” Raila said.
On subsistence agriculture, Raila said he help farmers access inputs at subsidized prices.
He also reiterated his pledge to ensure free education for all Kenyans from primary upto university level.
The former prime minister said his government will extend soft loans to businessmen payable after 7 years while single mothers will benefit from the social protection program.
“Babacare health programme will ensure all Kenyans access health services despite their financial status,” Raila told the rally.
He further said all poor families will benefit from the social protection program of Shs 6,000.
” I know where government money is after Serving as prime minister that will be used to cushion this vulnerable families” Raila said.
He said he will seal all corruption networks in the government that have been used to plunder government resources.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega said Mt Kenya is solidly behind Raila and urged Kenyans to be wary of leaders who are regrouping due to their links to corruption networks.
Both Raila and DP Ruto have been scrambling for the region’s votes that will undoubtedly influence the outcome of the poll considered as a two-horse race.
“We have resolved that our region shall be part and parcel of Azimio la Umoja under the leadership of Raila Odinga… We shall mobilize our community to support and vote for Odinga as the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya,” Kega said
Kega cautioned Central Kenya people against supporting DP Ruto blindly saying he had already reserved the running mate slot for Mudavadi.
The meeting dubbed Ihura declaration was organized by Muranga leaders and attended by governors Ndirithu Muriithi(Laikipia), James Nyoro(Kiambu), Anne Kananu (Nairobi), Francis Kimemia(Nyandarua),Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) Mohamed Hajji(Wajir) and over 30 MPs. Other present were former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth,former Starehe MP Maina Kamanda among other politicians and MPs.
Governors Nyoro and Kimemia said Mt Kenya region is behind Raila and they are determined to ensure the former prime minister clinches the seat.
Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya thanked Muranga MPs for sticking with President Kenyatta and Raila.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia described Raila as the safest bet saying he was the only leader who could be trusted with the country’s political and economic future.
“There are those who are seeking the presidency yet they have nothing to show other than theatrics. Raila’s record is well-known and his plans for this country are in tandem with President Kenyatta’s legacy. We shall stop at nothing in supporting him, ” Macharia said.
Raila who welcomed a number of former MPs pledged to create jobs and boost the region’s economy by putting in place measures that will promote tea, milk and coffee farmers.
Other leaders at the convention promised to champion Odinga’s bid saying he was the only person who has the interests at heart.
Narok Senator Ladema Ole Kina called on Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka to join Azimio after the betrayal by his One Kenya Alliance colleagues Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula.
Siaya Senator James Orengo said both President Kenyatta and ODM chief had resolved to unite the country for the good of all Kenyans.
Kenneth took a swipe at their opponents for claiming Raila is a government project saying the former prime Minister’s sacrifices in the fight for democracy is well-known.
“If Raila is a government project then so be it and then he will be the project of Muranga people” Peter Kenneth said.