Raila on trip to Israel, Bomet governor confident of Nasa win
Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga left the country for Israel on Friday night ahead of the official launch of the coalition’s presidential campaign in two weeks’ time.
Mr Odinga’s spokesman, Mr Dennis Onyango, confirmed to the Nation that Mr Odinga would be attending an international conference in Israel.
“Yes, he left the country last night. He has been invited to attend an international conference whose details I will release later,” Mr Onyango stated.
Suna East MP Junet Mohammed said Mr Odinga would be away for one week.
“He is attending a conference and will be back after one week to officially launch the Nasa presidential campaign,” said Mr Mohamed, who is also the ODM director of elections.
Mr Odinga’s co-principal in Nasa, Bungoma senator Moses Wetang’ula, is also said to be out of the country.
It is not the first time Mr Odinga is in the Jewish state to attend an international conference.
In March last year, Mr Odinga travelled to Jerusalem to attend the first-ever Africa-Israel Policy and Leadership conference.
He spoke at the conference that was organised by The Harry S. Truman Research Institute of Advancement of Peace.
He also addressed the conference on the subject of governance in Africa.
He was accompanied by Senators Dr Agnes Zani and Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o.
It was not immediately clear who accompanied Mr Odinga in the latest trip.
Sources close to the five Nasa principals – Mr Odinga, Mr Wetang’ula, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto – said they had already retained the technical team which helped craft the opposition alliance’s power-sharing formula and tasked them with the duty of developing a campaign strategy and structure as soon as possible.
The team is led by lawyer Dan Ameyo and includes economist David Ndii and University lecturer Adams Oloo among others.
The principals had been expected to meet last Thursday to look at the campaign strategy and structure developed by the team but were informed that it was not ready.
“They had been given up to Thursday to prepare a detailed campaign strategy and structure but could not beat the deadline so the principals were forced to call off the meeting,” said an aide to one of the principals.
Speaking in Bomet on Saturday, Mr Ruto exuded confidence that the alliance will form the next government with Mr Odinga as the President.
“We settled on Mr Odinga as presidential candidate because of his age. He will be at the helm of the country’s leadership for only one term before the mantle rotates to the other co-principals,” the Bomet County boss said.
He said that once Nasa takes over the presidency, it will hand over infrastructural development of schools to counties and at the same time ensure learning at day secondary schools was free of charge.
Mr Ruto said that the Nasa principals had agreed, through consensus, that when they take over power, it will devolve at least 45 per cent of the previous year’s audited revenue to the counties for faster and meaningful development in the units.
On this year’s General Election, the governor told the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to ensure the exercise was free and fair.
He said all the aspirants results, including that of the president, should be announced at the sub- county tallying centres for the sake of accountability and transparency.
Mr Ruto claimed that the escalating food prices were part of a ploy by the Jubilee Government to raise funds for its campaigns ahead of the August 8 General Election.
He said essential commodities like maize floor, milk and sugar had become a luxury in many homes because of the government’s inability to contain their rocketing prizes.
“Families are now unable to afford such essential commodities. This government, therefore, has no business being in power. They should be voted out in August,” he said.
He further lashed out at Deputy President William Ruto, accusing him of using foul language on his perceived enemies whenever he visits the South Rift.
He said the Presidency was a respectable office as well as a symbol of national unity and urged the DP to stop hurling abuses at his perceived enemies.
The governor made the remarks on Saturday at the Bomet Green Stadium where he presented nomination certificates to winners of Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) primaries.
Some of the notable politicians that received the certificates include CCM deputy leader Patrick Ntutu and Kuresoi South MP Zakayo Cheruiyot.
He urged the country’s top leadership to cease imposing leaders on the electorate.
“Let the people elect their own leaders without coercion and manipulation. Bomet people are mature politically and can make informed decisions without external influence,” he added.
“Education bridges the gap between the rich and the poor. Hence learning should be free to make it accessible to all children,” Mr Cheruiyot said.
The governor accused Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i of issuing directives that public primary schools with less than 45 pupils per class will not be registered.
He said the move was punitive and aimed at oppressing Kenyans living in marginalised areas.
“Does the CS expect women in this county to give birth to at least 45 babies at the same time to raise enough children to meet his demands?” he asked amid laughter from the crowd.
Source: Daily Nation