The Star (Nairobi)

11 January 2013

Kenya: Businessman to Back Raila With Media Outlets

Businessman SK Macharia said yesterday he will use his media house to back Prime Minister presidential campaign.

Macharia said he will conduct a door-to-door campaign for Raila since the PM has promised to fight poverty and ensure there is affordable food for all Kenyans.

"I will walk through the villages to campaign for him since I want to remove the barrier between Kikuyu and Luo. He has promised to end poverty," he said.

Raila, who was present, urged Nyeri residents to elect him as the next president. Odinga, who is in Nyeri town for a series of meetings with local leaders, said he backed President Kibaki in year 2002 and said 'Kibaki Tosha'.

The Prime Minister urged the Nyeri residents to " remember" him during the March 4t general election. The PM said he has never differed with Kibaki and it was only in Bomas of Kenya that they had " little differences" during the making of the constitution.

"When you are saying that you have good roads in Nyeri county, remember it is me who designed for you when I was the Roads minister. Kibaki knows that," he said.

He promised to upgrade the Nyaribo airstrip if elected. "We need more industries in order to pack and sell the products from Nyeri since the county is well endowed with good food and cash crops," he added.

Speaking when he held a breakfast meeting with the business community at Green Hills hotel, the PM also promised to boost tourism in the region once elected.

The PM was hosted by Media Mogul SK Macharia, ODM elections commissioner Peter Kuguru and East African Legislative member Mumbi Ng'aru among others.

Odinga was accompanied by assistant Minister Josephat Nanok and MP Cyrus Jirongo. Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga later arrived with over 500 youth.

"Kenyans should know that I don't want to begrudge what has been done by others but ask for it. It is rubbish saying that if I'm elected, property will be destroyed. I too belong to the private sector," he added.

He urged Kenyans and politicians to ensure that there are peaceful polls during, before and after elections saying he won't like to see the repeat of 2007 post election violence.

"I will also ensure that freedom fighters like J.M Kariuki are given a heroic burial. I have written to British Government over the compensation and the matter is being looked unto. We want all the freedom fighters to live a decent life," he added.

He added that power, water and electricity will be the first things to be given priorities once elected as the Head of State. "Our policy on land makes Kenya change unattractive. We must change land policy to make it available for development. Our people are land dependent. Subsistence farming perpetuates poverty," he added. The over 200 business community in the attendance promised to elect him as the president during the fourth coming elections.

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