Raila Odinga insist he will be in 2017 Presidential Race

Former Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga has declared that he will be in the 2017 State House race saying his political competitors who are writing him off are doing so at their own peril. He said he has unfinished political business because his dream for Kenya is yet to be realised. Raila, who was addressing his supporters in his native Luo language in Kisumu, said he is determined to implement the reforms he has championed for a better Kenya, adding that he will never abandon his quest for the presidency until the pledge he made to ensure better pay and terms for teachers, doctors, nurses and youth employment is fulfilled.

He was speaking at Nyahera village during the burial of William Kaoko, who was a brother to a leading contractor in Kisumu, Gordon Kaoko.

The former premier said four years is not along time for him to wait to serve Kenyans and help them realise their dream for a better country. “Kik uluor igni angwen gi tin (do not fear because four years is a short time),”he said.

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He urged his supporters not to despair because of the outcome of the March 4 general election saying he was robbed of his victory.

“Mano emo miyo nadhie e court to Koro court kocha no go dho gi bor (That is why I went to court but those people were compromised,”he said, adding that, “kata kamano ji kik luor gi bed gi geno (people should not fear, they should still have hope).”

Raila, who was the Coalitions for Reforms and Democracy( Cord) — an alliance of former Vice President Kalonzo’s Wiper party and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya — presidential flagbearer in the last polls said the ODM agenda is still to form the government so that it can implement its manifesto.

The former PM said his supporters should not lose hope because he lost in the last general elections to Jubilee Alliance’s President Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Uhuru was declared winner by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) after garnering 6,173,433 votes against Raila’s 5,340,546 in the last election.

Presidential bid

Yesterday, the former premier’s assurance to his supporters on his return to active political scene in 2017 came on a day when one of his key last allies during the last election, former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, appealed to the Luhya community to shift their political allegiance from Raila and support “one of their own”.

He said the community has rallied behind Cord leader Raila for more than 10 years, adding that time is ripe for them to support someone from the community.“We have supported him (Raila) for two consecutive times in his presidential bid but he did not make it. I cannot vote for him again and think the community also should not,” he said.

Speaking at Namwacha village in Bungoma County during a thanksgiving ceremony of the former Kanduyi MP Alfred Khang’ati, Jirongo said despite the Luhya community being the second largest in the country, smaller communities are doing better in politics because “they have decided to rally behind single candidates.”

“The Luo community is led by Raila, Kalenjins support Deputy President William Ruto and despite fielding several candidates, the Kikuyu community ignored others and unanimously supported President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said.

The former legislator who lost in the Kakamega senate seat, whose Federal Party of Kenya is part of Cord, accused Raila of abandoning the Luhya community despite its massive and steadfast support in the last two elections.

“Even after we voted for Raila overwhelmingly, he decided to nominate his brother Oburu Odinga in Parliament. We supported him despite our own brother Musalia Mudavadi being in the presidential race,” he said.

Accompanied by former MPs Bifwoli Wakoli and Joash Wamang’oli, Jirongo claimed Senator Wetang’ula has been sidelined from Cord affairs yet he is one of the coalition principals. Raila goes to State House to meet President Uhuru he is only accompanied by the former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and leaves our son out,” he claimed.

But in Kisumu, Raila said those asking him to retire from politics are dreaming, adding that he will continue to use his extensive international connections to bring development to Cord headed counties.

The former PM who has been gunning for the presidency since 1997 said he has already organised for the first batch of 12 Cord affiliated governors to visit the United States at the end of this month to learn how devolution works.- The People

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