Raila on Majimboism
Picture by Clifford Derrick
Odinga in South Africa
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Presidential hopeful, Raila Odinga extended his campaign to South Africa where he urged Kenyans abroad to support his party in the coming general electionsOdinga was speaking during a dinner at the Venue, in Melrose Arch Johannesburg hosted by members of the ODM-South Africa Chapter. Writes Clifford Derrick
He told the Kenyans in the Diaspora that ODM government will provide dual citizenship. Odinga promised to seek bilateral relationship with South Africa, to correct the current trade imbalances within the two countries. He said that the bilateral relations will benefit all Kenyans especially students and business community.
On politics, Odinga laughed at President Kibaki’s recent accusation that he (Odinga) was misleading Kenyans that he would perform miracles once elected as a president. He said that ODM government will transform Kenya by enacting the Bomas Draft constitution and will provide structures that will empower all Kenyans particularly the youth and women. He said ODM government will make the country attain a developed country status early than Kibaki’s vision 2030.
Odinga said that Kenyans were tired of the promise of vision 2030 because they had heard similar sentiments long time ago and yet nothing has brought them closer to realising that dream.
The Kenyan Dream
He said that the founding fathers had a Kenyan dream and even said that by 1990 they wanted Kenya to have attained a developed country status.
“I remember in 1975, the late Julius Gikonyo Kiano the Minister for Water, saying that by 1990, every house-hold in Kenya will have clean drinking water. That time. When the 1990 approached, then they pushed it to 2000, then they came and said vision 2015, then 2025, Kibaki comes and says 2030. By the time we get to 2015, it will be 2040 and then 2050. It will remain there a mirage, the nearer you move the further it goes” said Odinga.
The Economy Worsening
Odinga scoffed at the current 6.1% economic growth, arguing that the actual growth is 4.1% lower than the 5.1% growth in 2001 during the Moi era. He said that Kenyan economy stood at 5.1% in 2001 but only plummeted in 2002 because of the uncertainty occasioned by the general elections then. He argued that the additional 2 % accounts for sectors that were previously not tasked during Moi’s administration.
“They don’t tell you that in 2003, they changed the system of computing GDP by introducing other sectors which have never been included in the past like Jua-kali” said Odinga. He told the more than 160 audiences that the common man in Kenya is now poorer than they were 5 years ago.
“Ask the common person if they feel better now than they were five years ago. If you go to Kibera Village which I represent, and ask them if the economy is expanding, you will be lucky if they cheer you. Most probably they will stone you,” he said.
The Indulgence Of The Rich
He observed that Women were the most affected by poverty and underdevelopment in Kenya since they are the engine of the family. He drummed up support for Majimbo (Federalism) as the modern system of government that could leapfrog Kenya from its current economic nightmare. “There is nothing wrong with devolution because by devolving resources to the regions we will create the capacity in those regions to plan their budget according to their needs.
Dont Demonise Majimbo
Odinga blamed the current imbalances in Kenya to a few individuals whom he said had benefited from the centralized government. He argued that it was the same people who are demonizing Majimbo by instilling fear to the public that the system would result into ethnic cleansing. ODM SA chapter chair, Professor Fred Otieno hailed Odinga and the ODM pentagon for admitting Mrs Charity Ngilu into the ODM’s top decision making organ (the pentagon).
He said the party should enact the Bomas draft constitution within six months as promised one they assume power. President Kibaki and his Party of National Unity (PNU) together with former President Moi have opposed Majimbo, arguing that the system will divide the country. On Wednesday, the Catholic Church threw their weight behind those opposed to Majimbo arguing that the system is not good of the country.
Odinga was accompanied by three ODM secretariats during the dinner. Also present were Professor Fred Otieno, Chair, ODM- SA Chapter, Chris Sunguti, Secretary General and other ODM members. Other attendants were Dr, David Rabari, Professor Nixon Kariithi of Wits University, and Dr Gillian Marcelle Mr Jeff Simiyu among others.
ODM SA members at a dinner in Johannesburg, South Africa