NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Saturday underrated President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government, saying it had scored poorly for the time it has been in office.
Odinga – who did not read his prepared speech but sent it to newsrooms later – said the Jubilee Government had failed to lead the country in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution.
“What is happening in Kenya today is not a true reflection of the ideals and promises of our Constitution,” he said.
He urged Kenyans to stand up and defend their country and also demand for accountability to ensure the country is not run down.
The former premier also told his supporters to take charge and not wait for too long while they have been denied freedom and good leadership.
“Let’s not be faint hearted. Kenyans, arise and defend the motherland in pursuit of freedom and happiness. The time for change is today. The time is now. The train for change is leaving the station from here, in Uhuru Park where many campaigns have started, ended and succeeded,” he asserted.
As Odinga spoke, the crowd changed ‘Uhuru must go’ but he played down the chants telling them ‘it is you who are saying that.’
He told the crowd that when he was leaving the country for his sabbatical, he informed President Kenyatta he was leaving the country for a while, and would be a good ambassador of Kenya.
In his written statement he indicated: “we must take our country back from those who are ruining it for all Kenyans. It is you, the people, who have the power to determine the form of governance in this country.”
He noted that the Kenyatta administration had failed to provide security in reference to the series of terrorist attacks that have been rocking Kenya.
Odinga said the government had failed to apply modern technology in addressing security concerns.
He also raised an issue with the Kenyatta’s administration over the implementation of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission report which he said could have addressed some of the challenges the country is facing.
“The causes of the security lapses would have been known if an objective analysis and lessons could have been drawn from the TJRC report. But it was discarded and demonised,” Odinga said.
He further blamed the government for unemployment of young people and increasing poverty rates in the country.
Other concerns included the Westgate attack which he said the government had failed to constitute a commission of inquiry as earlier promised.
The security operation carried by police to identify people living in Kenya illegally was also criticised by the former premier.
He described the operation as a strategy of fighting a certain community in the name of addressing terrorism
“Instead of undertaking the hard and disciplined fight against terrorists, our government has singled out an entire community to scapegoat and persecute. This must stop immediately,” he asserted.
The heavy impact on the country’s economy due to fluctuating tourism sector was also another issue that Odinga focused on in giving the government a poor rating.
He also blamed corruption for also bringing down the economy of the country.
“And as leaders milk this country dry to fatten their own bank accounts, prices soar out of the reach of ordinary Kenyans since money is being siphoned away from service delivery.”