BY ADEN DUALE
Raila Odinga’s diatribe – for that is what it is – has confirmed one thing: That 25-year empty rhetoric is not about to abate; if anything, it can only increase.
The fight against corruption has never reached the level and proportion that the Jubilee administration has taken it.
90 days ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta took the unprecedented step of unveiling the corruption in Government. He took an Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission list of 175 officials to a joint session of Parliament and urged the individuals named to step aside.
He also asked the institutions constitutionally mandated to fight graft to process it. Since then, nearly 100 officials, including two Cabinet Secretaries, have been charged in courts of law all over the country. This is action at the heart of Government. And it will continue.
Administrative action has been instituted to stop cartels that have previously run roughshod in Government corridors. As a result, Government is paying for services many times less than previously. The noise around the Standard Gauge Railway, laptops and other mega projects is the product of hungry cartels stopped dead in their tracks.
Compare this with Raila Odinga’s tenure as Prime Minister. Nothing was sacred – neither the maize of our farmers nor the Sh300 paid to each young man and woman who took part in slashing grass and uncovering manholes under the Kazi kwa Vijana programme. Fuel in our reserves was siphoned out, disappearing in the same way the Kisumu Molasses Plant was grabbed from the public.
You cannot compare the Jubilee administration’s transformative agenda for Kenya with Raila Odinga’s adventure. You can only contrast. The Government is transforming Kenya; Raila’s is rhetoric and a gangland approach.
Terrorism and other forms of insecurity are serious threats to our people and our country. The President and the Deputy President, together with the security forces, have worked hard and long to make Kenya safe.
More security officers are being trained and equipped to fight insecurity. Their welfare has been boosted with better tools, better working conditions and better remuneration. The communities and leaders in northern Kenya, the North Rift and in fact all Kenyans are working with Government to find a solution of solutions for conflict and terror.
Al Shaabab is cornered, devastated and weakened by Kenya and Africa’s willpower and force of might than ever before. They know the end is near and that is why they have turned to ragtag militia tactics.
But instead of Raila Odinga and his acolytes playing national like the Government, all they see is opportunity for rhetoric. They have become Al Shabaab’s greatest morale boosters with their rallying call: Get out of Somalia. Negotiate. Kiss the terrorists!
The military went to Somalia when Raila Odinga was the second highest ranking official in Government. Then it was right. Now, it is not. This is unbridled rhetoric for a person to whom Kenya is only a personal opportunity.
Raila Odinga ends his rhetoric with more rhetoric, even unashamedly claiming the credit for the new Constitution. The Constitution is the fruit of many farmers who planted the seed and they did it for God and country. They, therefore, see no reason to mount the rooftops to proclaim it.
This rhetoric has betrayed Raila’s agemates and people old enough to be his children. That can be forgiven. What will not be forgiven is betrayal of children old enough to be his grandchildren.
(The author is the Majority Leader in the National Assembly)