NAIROBI, November 1 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has stressed the importance of unity by all Kenyans for the sake of peace.,
Speaking during a fund raising ceremony in Kiambu on Saturday, the premiere urged Kenyans to jealously guard the prevailing peace in the country and foster national cohesion towards realisation of the desired development.
He pointed out that the country could not afford to relapse back into events that characterised the violence experienced during the polls last year.
Mr Odinga called on Kenyans to resist the trap of tribalism which he termed as detrimental to the development goals of the country.
“We have seen a lot of problems and we do not want to go back to that period again. We sat down with President Mwai Kibaki and signed a peace accord,” the premiere recalled.
He stressed the need to ensure that the skirmishes experienced during the polls do not recur again.
“We do not want to see once again the era of Kenyans picking up bows and arrows or even pangas to kill his neighbor,” he further stated.
The PM decried the rising cases of crime in the country which he attributed to escalating rates of unemployment among the youth but announced that the cabinet was looking into the matter.
He said proposals were flouted to open up the job intake market in tandem with the outflow of school leavers and graduates in local institution to ensure that youth who comprise at least 75% of the population were absorbed and utilized.
Mr Odinga further dismissed the latest opinion polls that showed a decline of confidence in the government by Kenyans.
The polls released on Friday by the Steadman group revealed the government’s rating having dropped from 77 percent to 69 percent, within three months.
The lowest approval of the Government was recorded in Eastern Province, in what Steadman group’s head of research Mr. Tom Wolf described as a sign that the populace was “beginning to get back to their normal routine” after the return of normalcy from post election violence.
Mr Odinga described the polls as premature and urged Kenyans to be patient with the grand coalition structure.
“The City of Rome was not built in a day. It takes time. It is for this reason that I am surprised that Kenyans are losing patience with the government,” he said and further outlined plans by the government to make a positive impact on the lives of Kenyans.
“One who is patient will reap great benefits in the future. The government is developing plans to ensure that the life of Kenyans is improved but it cannot happen in one day,” Mr Odinga stressed.
According to the polls, the Electoral Commission of Kenya has the lowest confidence rating among government institutions, followed by the police force.
The highest-ranked institutions are the media, and Parliament Speaker Kenneth Marende.
According to the poll, 42 percent of Kenyans have confidence with the media, followed by the Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende with 37 percent. Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s office scored 28 percent while the Office of the President is at 19 percent.
The Vice Presidency has an 18 percent confidence rating, Parliament is at 10 percent, with only seven percent and six percent of Kenyans expressing confidence with the Electoral Commission of Kenya and the Police respectively.
The Steadman poll also portrays a declining support for the major political parties, with ODM’s dropping from 53 to 50%, while PNU has a 22% approval rating from 29% three months ago.
ODM-K has the support of six per cent of Kenyans.