The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Prime Minister Blames Treasury for ODM's Failed 2007 Pledges

Prime Minister Raila Odinga yesterday blamed the PNU-dominated Treasury for frustrating the campaign promises ODM made in 2007.

The PM said the Treasury under his Jubilee Coalition rival and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta often delayed in releasing funds to ODM ministries and projects,.

"We had our plans but every time they would not release the funds," Raila told a Cord campaign rally at the Kamkunji grounds in Kibera yesterday. The PM promised that a Cord government will fully implement its manifesto to eradicate slums, create jobs and improve security.

"The Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme will take off in earnest once Cord forms the government in April. We are not going to experiment because we have watertight plans and we shall start work on day one. We want to eradicate all slums in Nairobi by providing proper housing at affordable rates," he said.

Raila asked the Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo, to investigate how Joshua Waiganjo, a man accused of impersonating a senior police officer, was able to operate undetected for five years.

The Waiganjo case, Raila said, is a clear demonstration that the police force is rotten. "It is a big shame that a tout could be allowed to operate for all these years as an assistant commissioner of police," he said.

The Cord team asked their Jubilee rivals, who are basing their campaigns on their age, to tell Kenyans what they have achieved with their youth instead of demonising and discriminating the PM on grounds of age.

Sports minister Ababu Namwamba said Uhuru Kenyatta's father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, became president when he was already in his 70s.

"Uhuru is already more than half a century old. If he claims to be a youth, then Ababu Namwamba could be an embryo. He should tell us whether his father performed at 74 or not," the Sports minister said. Ababu defended Raila from the Jubilee age onslaught saying the PM used his youth to serve the country.

"As a youth, Raila went to school and qualified as an engineer and he taught so many of the current crop of engineers. The freedom that both Uhuru and Ruto are enjoying today came through the blood and sweat of Raila. What did the Jubilee leaders accomplish with their youth?" said Namwamba.

"The only thing about Uhuru's youth was to be born in a privileged home but then disappeared into obscurity only for Moi to bring him back to the llimelight. Ruto's record during the YK'92 is a dark one that we ought to forget. Their claims of being of the digital era is full of computer errors," the Budalangi MP said in reference to the infamous budget scandal which Uhuru blamed on a computer error.

Meanwhile, Roads minister Franklin Bett, who is the chairman of ODM's National Elections Board, reiterated that Cord will conduct ajoint nominations on January 17.

"I will not entertain silly games and acts of violence. We have decided that we shall adopt a joint nomination which will be through secret ballot and will be free and fair," Bett said.

Bett asked the Jubilee Coalition to find something else to campaign on besides age. "Our rivals lack agenda. Their only agenda is Raila and age. We want to remind them that the Constitution says that you cannot discriminate anyone on the basis of age," he said.

The Kibera rally was characterised by several sideshows pitting supporters of ODM governor aspirants Evans Kidero and Bishop Margaret Wanjiru.

The two tried to outdo each other with less than two weeks to the nominations. Speakers at the rally cautioned Kenyans against voting for UDF's Musalia Mudavadi whom they termed as a State House project.

Those at the rally included MPs Johnstone Muthama, Mohammed Affey, and Elizabeth Ongoro as well as former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga, Kalembe Ndile and former Cabinet minister Mutua Katuku.

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