Raila Returns to Kenya,Plans to Go Back to US


Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga plans to return to Kenya next Saturday but will not stay long. The Cord leader will go back to the US before the end of the year for another university lecture tour.

Raila was invited to the US by Boston University and has been there for three months. His last engagement was in Atlanta early this week where he attended a global health summit organised by CARE International.

Cord has planned multiple events to welcome back Raila including a big rally at KICC grounds. Acting ODM leader Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o is chairing a joint committee of ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya which are the three main parties in the Cord coalition.

Other committee members will be unveiled this weekend at rallies in Mlolongo and Baba Dogo in a dress rehearsal for Raila’s arrival on May 31.

Cord does not want supporters at JKIA for security reasons but Raila is likely to leave the airport in an open top van to Outer Ring Road and then to Dandora, Buru Buru, Jogoo, Country Bus station, Muthurwa and finally KICC.

ODM supporters are concerned that the police has not investigated allegations of an assassination plot against Raila. Raila has been in America highlighting Africa’s triumphs and challenges at high profile institutions.

He started with a speech at Harvard University. In April he traveled to Atlanta and laid a wreath on Martin Luther King’s grave and visited the Martin Luther King Center where he addressed students from several universities.

He also addressed Columbia University in New York, Princeton University in New Jersey, Elizabeth City State University in NorthCarolina, and University of Massachusetts.

He accompanied his wife to Wellesley University in Boston where she delivered a lecture. Raila asked the universities to give more scholarships Kenyan students.

In his lecture he emphasised the positives in Africa. He said malari and HIV were down and secondary school enrollment and per capita income per person were rising.

He pointed out that in the next decade at least twelve African nations will become large oil exporters injecting $3 trillion into their economies. Raila maintained throughout the tour that corruption is swallowing Africa’s potential, although leaders tend to dismiss concerns about it. He said Africa loses $148 billion to corruption annually, equal to 25 percent of the continent’s GDP. –

The Star

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