, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 10 – CORD leader Raila Odinga says the coalition is ready to engage in constructive dialogue with the government in a bid to find viable solutions to the problems bedeviling the country.
Speaking during the funeral ceremony of his son Fidel Odinga in Bondo on Saturday, Raila emphasised that development can only be achieved through constructive dialogue and not adversarial politics.
He described Fidel as an outstanding example of one who had no boundaries and stressed the need for all leaders to emulate him.
“We are all ready to talk so as to see if we can try to solve the problems that we face as a nation. His death can be a bridge to better things. He used to join us with other people and we need to remember that,” he stated.
He further noted the need for everyone to work hard in achieving their goals as this would make their lives meaningful and have a positive impact on those around them.
“If we are with God, we will remain strong and soldier on,” he said.
Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula echoed his sentiments and called on the Executive to make arrangements so that talks between the government and opposition may begin.
“The President said that he wants to dialogue. We are telling him today that if he was not playing propaganda or populist politics at the church, let him tell us now when he is available for dialogue so that we can sit down and look at how our country is bleeding,” he stated.
“This is what we want for our country. A united country devoid of tribalism and a country with people looking in the same direction.”
Earlier, Fidel’s sister Rosemary Odinga urged leaders from both sides of the political divide to come together and use dialogue to settle contentious issues rather than engage in shouting matches and brawls.
She stated that this is the only way the country will move forward and develop economically.
She further noted out that doing so will ensure that the legacy left behind by her brother for everyone to be united is preserved.
“If the leadership of CORD can come and have dialogue without any ultimatums, please come and have dialogue without any ultimatums. To the leadership of the country right now, yesterday, you did not own the instruments of power, tomorrow, you will have to hand the instruments to somebody else. What will be your legacy?” she said.
She remembered that Fidel knew no boundaries and would interact with people regardless of their ethnicity or political affiliation.
“I am not here today to give tribute to my brother. That I will do next year at his anniversary. I have a massage from Fidel and it is that we must have dialogue and the only way we can do this is if we stopped shouting,” she explained.
During her speech, she reminisced on some of her joyous moments with her brother.
“Humble yourselves and come for dialogue. That is a message from my brother Fidel. Fidel’s hero was Bob Marley’ …Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, non but ourselves can free our mind, have no fear for atomic energy, cause none of them can stop the time” she stated while belting out a tune from Bob Marley’s song.
During the event, other CORD leaders stated their commitment to engaging in dialogue but emphasised the need for goodwill from both sides to be successful.