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Raila: We Must Stop Using Poverty As A Political Tool

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has asked the country to come together and achieve the unity intended in his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta as the 2022 general election race heats up.

Raila, speaking in Nakuru County during the launch of ‘Azimio la Umoja’, said continued political rivalry would only serve to further dampen the economy.

He termed Kenya as “several countries in one” said a section of her citizens are doing extremely well while others are suffering, even unable to access basics.

Raila noted that the tea, coffee, pyrethrum, wheat, maize, sugarcane, and livestock sectors are experiencing challenges, adding that the country is also not generating enough jobs to absorb the population.

“Some of these problems have become fodder for drumming up of chauvinistic and xenophobic political support. As we head into 2022, these problems have become tools for emotional and irrational appeals,” he said.

“A section of leaders is taking advantage of rather than address the problems. It is clear that these problems will persist well beyond 2022 unless we begin addressing them today.”

The former PM also said the Kenyan government needs to establish a fair tax regime so as to promote investment and not punish it.

“We need to build a nation where leaders exist to serve people and not lord over them. A nation where meritocracy shall replace mediocrity and nepotism. A country with zero tolerance to corruption,” he said.

“In our own small way, we must start that conversation. We must start talking about how to ensure elections are not about government but governance. A country where elections are not death traps.”

Raila said political leaders representing various regions with various problems must come together to one table to find lasting solutions.

“Our society is diverse, divided and complex. No single man or woman can be our sole messiah. We, therefore, have no option but to build inclusive political processes. We must urgently embark on uniting our people. Not pitting people against each other. Not pitting the poor against the rich, the young against the old, one faith against the other,” stated the ODM boss.


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