Connect with us

News

Raila to face Ruto in 2022 polls

Published

on

Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Saturday day gave the clearest indication yet that he will contest the presidency in the 2022 election, explaining that it was the reason he resolved to work with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Speaking in Gem, Siaya County, at the burial of his aunt, Eva Donde, Mr Odinga also announced that the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) was revamping itself in readiness for the 2022 General Election and asked party members to prepare for grassroots elections next year.

The late Mama Donde was the mother of former Gem MP Joe Donde.

Mr Odinga sought to explain his handshake with President Kenyatta, saying it was intended to take Kenyans to the “promised land”.

He said he realised it was time to change strategy as he waits for the opportune time to ascend to power. “You have seen me change tack. This is a strategy. There are several ways that can lead us to where our ambition is,” he added.

Mr Odinga told his supporters that he is still optimistic they would get what they have struggled for over the years.

“We will eventually get to Canaan — the land of plenty where our youth will get jobs, schools, health facilities, water, electricity and roads will not be a problem. That is where we seek to take the country,” he added.

Mr Odinga has kept Kenyans guessing about his future political ambitions, with his critics asking him to retire from active politics.

But his allies, especially from Nyanza region, have repeatedly urged him to take a shot at the presidency for the fifth time come 2022. He has previously contested the seat four times — in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017.

Whenever he has been urged to go for the top seat come 2022, Mr Odinga has downplayed the matter, instead stating that his priority and that of President Kenyatta was to unite Kenyans.

In what was deemed as his final shot at the presidency during the last General Election, Mr Odinga went out of his way to rally other presidential hopefuls — Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula — behind his bid under the National Super Alliance (Nasa), but fell short at the ballot.

READ ALSO:   Raila gets an ADC on his trip to Kofi Annan’s funeral

He moved to the Supreme Court to challenge the results, terming them “computer generated”.

He was vindicated by the ruling that the polls were not conducted in accordance with the law.

The Supreme Court in a 4-2 vote in favour of the petitioners ordered a repeat election within 60 days, but which Mr Odinga boycotted, saying the playing field was tilted in favour of President Kenyatta, the Jubilee candidate.

The repeat election went on and President Kenyatta was declared the winner. A dissatisfied Mr Odinga then “swore” himself in at a hurriedly convened event at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, in January last year, sparking a serious confrontation with the government.

It therefore came as a surprise to many when on March 9 last year, Mr Odinga’s handlers sent out messages to the media inviting them to a briefing by the opposition chief and President Kenyatta at Harambee House, an event which gave birth to the “handshake”.

If his latest pronouncement means he is going to contest the top seat one more time, Mr Odinga becomes Deputy President William Ruto’s most formidable opponent, given the massive support he enjoys in various regions especially Nyanza, Western, Coast, lower Eastern and Nairobi.

Whether he will be able to rally other presidential hopefuls, including Mr Musyoka, Mr Mudavadi, Mr Wetangula and governors Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa) and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), to his side remains to be seen.

It also remains to be seen who between Mr Odinga and Mr Ruto President Kenyatta is likely to back come 2022.

Announcing the party polls, Mr Odinga said: “I want to ask all the current party officials to know that all the positions will be declared vacant, and we invite those who wish to be elected as new officials to prepare as we conduct the exercise next year,” he said.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Why Raila's swearing-in has been called off

He also reminded supporters of the party to remain steadfast and unwavering in their support for ODM.

“I want you to know that we have only one party that belongs to us and the party is ODM. I ask you to continue supporting it,” he said.

On Saturday, Siaya Senator James Orengo assured the opposition leader that the party is fully behind him. “We are with you fully and in every step you take, you can be assured of our support,” he said.

Speaking in Dholuo, Mr Odinga said he wasn’t going to abandon the pursuit of the dream established by Kenya’s founding fathers, which included the fight against illiteracy, poverty and poor health.

“That is the reason why I decided to work with my brother President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure we fix the problems facing the country, such us politics of exclusion, negative ethnicity, electoral injustices and corruption,” he said.

He asked Kenyans to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), which he claimed was the only credible process that has fully engaged the country through a consultative method that saw Kenyans in the 47 counties give views on how the country should be governed.

Mr Odinga claimed that the Punguza Mizigo drive was sponsored by those who are against the BBI initiative to scuttle it.

“I have asked several Kenyans whose signatures are purported to have been collected by the Punguza Mizigo team but they are saying they never met them,” he claimed.

He said the BBI team will soon hand over their report to President Kenyatta and himself.

Once they receive the report, a bill will be taken to Parliament for adoption then referendum questions will be crafted, which will be taken to the people.

“We will take back to the people all the recommendations made by the team and Kenyans will have the final say through a referendum,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Slay queen corners Raila for a raunchy ‘Tetema’ dance- Video

Speaking earlier in Vihiga County during the burial of Aids researcher Sobbie Mulindi, Mr Odinga asked Kenyans to remain patient as the country awaits the BBI report.

Mr Odinga, while rubbishing the contents of Punguza Mizigo petition, reminded Kenyans that the BBI committee went around the country and collected views from people in all the 47 counties.

Mr Odinga said the recommendations by the BBI team will arise from proposals made by the public during public hearings, unlike the Punguza Mizigo Bill, which he described as a one-man show that did not seek views from Kenyans.

The ODM chief said the recommendations made by the BBI committee will help solve myriad challenges facing the country. He said Punguza Mizigo Bill, 2019, did not go through public participation.

“We want to eradicate tribalism and refuse to classify each other based on our tribal names. We want to restore sanity in our electoral system and ensure justice is upheld. We seek to fight corruption and plunder of public resources.”

But ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, who addressed the same gathering after Mr Odinga had left, warned against frequent changes to the Constitution.

Mr Mudavadi said it was ridiculous for the country to keep subjecting the Constitution to amendments.

He was however quick to say that should there be a referendum, it should not be intended to benefit politicians.

“We had a Constitution from Lancaster. It was mutilated. We came up with the Constitution 2010 but already there are initiatives to change it.

“If we must have a referendum, let us ensure we consider the views of the people. The biggest problem we are facing is corruption, unemployment and poverty.”

He added: “Let us not be seen to be changing the law to benefit politicians. Let us put strength on accountability, transparency and devolution.”

by nation.co.ke

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Sports CS Amina fires up Kipchoge ahead of historic run

Published

on

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed Saturday visited world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge at his training camp in Kaptagat.

This comes barely a week after the Kipchoge received blessings from Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei ahead of his sub two-hour run in Vienna, Austria next month.

Kipchoge, who has been training under the Global Sorts Communication stable at Kaptagat in Elgeyo Marakwet, is on a mission next month where he will be attempting to break the 1:59 mark in a project dubbed “INEOS 1:59 Challenge”.

Amina arrived at the camp with few officials from her office and was ushered in by Kipchoge’s head coach Patrick Sang and his assistant Richard Metto.

She was taken round the small camp where tens of athletes reside and visited the library where there is a portrait of Sandy Bodecker with his writings “I’m a dreamer…and I work with dreamers in an environment that encourages innovation and challenges norms daily,.”

“When I was told Kipchoge wakes up at 4 am to start training, I also decided to take an early flight to be in the camp on time to offer my support to Kipchoge as he finalizes his training towards the ‘INEOS 1:59 Challenge’ next month. I am his fan and I like how he has been winning races. I was in London in April and I saw him win after a tough battle with the Ethiopians which showed how he is focused on making Kenya proud,” said Amina who also hinted President Uhuru Kenyatta will flag off Kipchoge when he leaves for the daring attempt.

READ ALSO:   NASA sends out invitation cards for Raila's 'inauguration'

“President Uhuru Kenyatta is aware I am in Kaptagat and I want to convey his message that he is wishing him well ahead of the tough challenge,” she added.

Amina also promised to work on the track at the camp which athletes have been using for training but is in poor condition.

Kipchoge on his part said that he has a great team and he believes they are going to achieve their target next month.

“I’m focused and I’m almost done with preparations and for the race. I know we are going to achieve what we are going there to do. I have a great team that is behind me and I know we shall come back home smiling after raising the bar. I want to thank the CS who has taken time to visit the camp and see where we train,” said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge later handed the CS a 43-page booklet containing details of his journey towards setting the new marathon record of 2:01:39 in Berlin Marathon last year.

Concerning the stalled sports facilities, the CS said that she did a series of meetings last week with various contractors and they will be resuming work soon.

“We have held talks with various contractors and they have agreed to get back to work and finish the stalled projects. We need to make sure the champions have better facilities to use during their preparations ahead of global events and that is why we want to complete stalled projects,” said Amina.

READ ALSO:   Raila to Ruto: How do you know only Sh7b was lost

Amina also urged athletes going to the World Championships slated for September 27 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar to improve on the medal haul from the past edition held in London.

by nation.co.ke

Continue Reading

News

Father: KDF used, dumped my son

Published

on

He had it all— his dream military job, a wife and children, a supportive family and generally, self-sufficiency, which was only a subject of envy to his peers.

Then his employer, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), sent him on a peace and restoration mission in Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

Yet, Second Lieutenant John Njoroge’s own life has never experienced peace since he returned from the war-torn county last year.

He developed a mental condition, lost his job, his wife left with their child, and is now forcefully confined at home.

To his family, Njoroge who was once the pillar, has turned violent, profane, abusive, arrogant.

Once, he stabbed his own brother and now his mother says it is “risky to be around him”.

His father, Peter Mwangi, said his son always showed commitment and dedication in his work and was never late to attended to him, his mother, wife and siblings.

“We always came first in his plans, and a few months after his commissioning, he built us a house. He was our source of hope, great expectations and he supported us financially whenever we called on him. That changed,” narrated the frustrated Mwangi.

Joyce Wangari Mwangi, the mother of John Njoroge. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The battle on second lieutenant’s mind started with the battle of Kulbiyow.

He was among the 250 Kenyan and Somali soldiers who were stationed at the base that was attacked by Al-Shabaab on January 27, 2017.

That night, Al-Shabaab forces moved into the Amison base around midnight.

The soldiers at the base responded by firing mortars and artillery at the militants in a bombardment that lasted 50 minutes and the commanders believed that they had repulsed the attackers.

READ ALSO:   Slay queen corners Raila for a raunchy ‘Tetema’ dance- Video

Twenty minutes later though, an explosive-laden truck that was driven by an Al-Shabaab suicide bomber into the base burst into flames.

A brutal and confusing gunfight began and a second car bomb was activated by the militants, then a third one.

The battle lasted for close to an hour and left tens of soldiers dead.

Al-Shabaab was quick to claim responsibility and claimed that it had killed 67 soldiers in total.

Some soldiers were lucky to survive and one of them was 2Lieut Njoroge.

The aftermath of the battle, Second Lieut Njoroge’s family claims, was a disturbed son.

Second Lieutenant John Njoroge. PHOTO | COURTESY

They believe their son could not handle the traumatic event and needed the support of his employer and his family.

They believe that their son was mistaken when he needed help and then fired.

The red flag was raised during the 2017 elections, when Njoroge arrived at their home in Njoro, clad in ceremonial attire. His parents say, that is the day they started questioning the soundness of their second born child’s mind.

“We noticed a change in his character when he returned. He narrated the Kulbiyow ordeal with bitterness, horror, disgust and fear. Then slowly, he became an alcoholic,” his mother Joyce Wangare said adding that by then, he was attached to the 20th Parachute Battalion based at the Kenyatta Barracks in Gilgil.

“He badly fought everyone who came near him and I was not spared too. His father, would be his most target until we all got worried.”

Second Lieut Njoroge’s Vehicle— a Subaru—is being held at Ronda Police Post and the police say they can only release it after proof of ownership and upon payment of Sh7,000 being charges for breakdown services.

READ ALSO:   NASA sends out invitation cards for Raila's 'inauguration'

The police said they found the vehicle dumped along the road late last year in Kaptembwa after Njoroge abandoned it, with all doors closed.

The family believes their son acted that way because of his depression tendencies.

In a letter addressed to KDF Para 20 dated March 30, the family desperately asked the forces to help their son to undergo treatment, claiming that the change in behaviour pointed at a man in need of help.

In the letter, Njoroge’s relatives also questioned why even after reporting the concerns to KDF in 2018, he was transferred to Nairobi instead of being helped to seek counselling and treatment for what they suspected to be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

His family alleged that the Kenya Defence Forces had initially promised to take him to Defence Forces Memorial Hospital.

“He went to Nairobi without a phone and a friend of his who is a police officer is the one who called us to tell us that our son was loitering in the streets of Nairobi. He said Njoroge was spotted wearing one shoe. We sent him fare and he travelled home in Nakuru,” the letter reads in part.

When he arrived, the letter went on, is when the manifestation of the strange behaviour was noticed.

After stabbing his brother twice, poured hot cooking oil on his sister, threatening to hack his father and constantly threatening to eliminate his wife, his wife sought refuge at the Njoro Police Station from where, her parents later fetched her and their child.

Njoroge’s father says that his son has since wrecked down their house window glasses and that the family has made constant reports to the police station in Njoro and also to the military.

READ ALSO:   Ruto allies want Raila arrested

When no help came, Mr Mwangi says, the family placed the family land on sale and now, its title deed is in the hands of loan lenders in Nakuru town.

The Military Science degree holder was commissioned as an officer at the Kenya Military Academy, Lanet, in 2014, after he scored an A- in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination.

Mr Mwangi told the Nation that his son always showed commitment and dedication in his work and wondered why the KDF has not helped him when he needs them the most.

“We are at loss. This is someone who valued his family,” distraught Mwangi said.

Njoroge’s siblings Moses Mbaki and Lucy Nyambura said plans for them to continue with their studies suddenly came to a halt after their brother’s fate twisted.

Mbaki, Njoroge’s last-born brother, told the Nation that despite completing his high school studies last year, he couldn’t proceed since all the focus was shifted to his elder brother’s treatment.

Lucy said her brother was always helpful and quick to respond to distress calls.

“My prayer is that he gets well soon,” she said.

The ordeal puts KDF on the spot over how the Kenyan military treats their soldiers after they are affected by traumatic events after onslaughts in peace missions.

The Nation’s efforts get a comment from KDF communication office have not been successful.

KDF Spokesperson Colonel Paul Njuguna said is need for a face-to-face discussion on the issue.

by nation.co.ke

Continue Reading

News

Husband attacks wife in class

Published

on

A teachers’ lobby has condemned a recent attack on a female teacher in Bondo, Siaya County, in class.

The Kenya Women Teachers Association (Kewota) has termed the assault on Everlyn Otieno, 25, as she taught at St Paul’s Gulf Academy as barbaric, inhuman and traumatising to teachers and pupils.

Mrs Otieno was attacked by her 32-year-old husband Kevin Otieno Ochieng on September 17 while in class.

According to witnesses, Mr Otieno stormed into the classroom and demanded for Ms Otieno’s phone, which she gave.

He went out only to come back and beat her then drew a knife and stabbed her on the neck and the left cheek.

Mrs Otieno, a mother of two, was treated and discharged from Bondo Sub-County Hospital.

She said that her husband had threatened to kill her on several occasions.

Kewota Chairperson Dorothy Muthoni on Friday called on police and state prosecutors to take action against Mr Ochieng, who is said to have been arrested but later was released under unclear circumstances.

“Couples should find amicable solutions to domestic problems without resorting to violence or murder,” she said.

This incident comes barely a week after another female teacher was found murdered by unknown people in Kisumu.

Her husband is among those suspected to have had a hand in the brutal attack.

READ ALSO:   Slay queen corners Raila for a raunchy ‘Tetema’ dance- Video

The Kewota chairperson called on Teachers Service Commission to ensure the safety of teachers in schools.

“Murder cases involving women teachers is on the rise and women teachers should take utmost precaution when signs of domestic violence start showing before they turn tragic,” she added.

by nation.co.ke

Continue Reading

Trending

error: Content is protected !!