NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – The National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga on Tuesday assured members of the Kikuyu community that he has no problem working with them.
Odinga who made his first vote-hunting visit to Kiambu County since being cleared to run for presidency by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission mid-May said he remains committed to working with all Kenyans.
Citing a similar working relationship in the past including when he supported retired President Mwai Kibaki in 2002, Odinga said he will work closely with the kikuyu should he win the August 8 vote.
“I said Kibaki tosha in 2002. Do you really think that I did not know then that Kibaki was Kikuyu? Even when he was involved in a road accident I took over the responsibility of campaigning for him,” the ODM presidential candidate said.
“I therefore want to tell you today that I Raila Odinga; I am friend to the Kikuyu community. So members of this community are at the heart of our alliance – NASA (wako ndani, ndani, ndani ya NASA),” he added.
The NASA leader said he intends to create facilities where youths will be trained before being given grants which they will use to start their own business ventures should he win the presidential election.
“We want to follow the Chinese and Malaysian example where we will train youths before giving them grants to start their business,” Odinga promised.
Odinga, who served as premier in the 2008-2013 Coalition Government with Kibaki said the solution to youth unemployment lies in eliminating bottlenecks that impede efforts by youths to secure business loans.
Before embarking on his tour of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s home turf, Odinga held a press conference at his Capitol Hill office where he disputed claims that he was a dictator.
During the presser, Odinga assured Kiambu residents that he would work tirelessly as president to protect their socio-economic interests of people in the larger Central region, saying they too have a right to prosper in an all-inclusive country.
His visit to the region comes a day after he received about 20 MCAs from the county who jumped ship from the Jubilee Party to his ODM party.
Most of the leaders who defected lost during Jubilee primaries in April but however asserted that their support for Odinga was informed by their quest for better governance.
Leaders who accompanied Odinga to Kiambu include Koigi wa Wamwere, economist David Ndii and lawyer Paul Mwangi.