Monday, 29 July 2013

PM Raila Odinga Opens Bi-National Kenyan Governors Summit

Dallas, Texas USA
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has appealed to America’s private sector and government to help Kenya’s devolved units succeed by directing investments to Kenya.

While officially opening the meeting between governors from the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy and investors in Dallas, Texas, Mr.Odinga said America has always stood with Kenya at times of significant transition like the one the country is undergoing today.

Mr. Odinga down played the recent decision by President Barack Obama not to visit Kenya saying it did not mean the ties between Kenya and the US had been downgraded.

“The ties between our two countries are strong as they have always been. Don’t worry so much that President Barrack Obama never stepped in Kenya during his recent tour of Africa. I am sure the President appreciates the depth of the ties that bind our people and our countries,” Mr. Odinga said.

“The truth is; the boundaries between our people and our countries are overwhelmed by our connections. Kenya’s prosperity will benefit  America. Our security certainly contributes to America’s. The steady march of our democracy certainly advances human rights, which is a
pillar of America’s value systems,” he added.

The former PM said that because America has always stood with Kenya at significant moments, it was “therefore not a surprise” that Kenyan governors are in the US as they seek to implement devolution which he described as, the most significant provision of our new constitution.

He called on US investors to support Kenya’s governors by directing investments to various counties saying it would ensure equitable economic growth and create jobs for the youth.

“Governors are at the frontline of our dreams for an equitable society where development opportunities are evenly spread across the country. They are the most prominent symbols of the new order we are trying to create in Kenya. The Governors are on the ground. They are able to see directly what is working and what is not working, what needs to be retained and what needs to be fixed. Their success will be our success as a country,” the former PM said.

“We are at this forum to learn and to seek opportunities for the benefit of our country. I am here to invite the American business fraternity to join us in the exciting but complex journey of taking  power to the people through devolution,” he added.

Mr. Odinga said CORD prioritized expenditure on social programs that  it believes will transform the lives of the people, reduce poverty, improve healthcare and create jobs.

He called for investment in infrastructure, healthcare and education.

“A trained and skilled workforce will attract investments and also ensure the youth are able to compete for and get jobs. At the same time, a good network of feeder roads across our counties, coupled with provision of affordable, reliable, clean and efficient energy together  with healthcare will change the lives of our people,” Mr. Odinga said.

He said that although education is not entirely under the mandate ofcounty governments, the governors still welcome investments in areas that will promote Early Child Education, create a sound working environment for teachers and proper infrastructure in schools for the pupils. He called for investment in Agriculture which remains the main source of income for our people.

Mr. Odinga said changing weather patterns across the world, Kenya  included, means the sector cannot stand in its traditional form.“We need to set up more research institutions; to produce more quality and diseases and drought resistant seeds. We need to produce fertilizers and to pursue irrigated agriculture. We also need to process  our agricultural produce and package them for the global market. I invite you to partner with us in this too,” he said.

Mr. Odinga appealed to the governors to establish linkages and learn from America’s long history with devolution, multipartism and the culture of bipartisanship that has enabled decentralization to work in the US.

“Some of the goals we are pursuing back home require that we join hands with colleagues from other parties in a bipartisan manner. Securing Devolution requires that the governors, the senators and Members of Parliament must work hand in hand,” Mr. Odinga said.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

PM Raila Odinga Hails Makueni County Voters For Electing CORD’s Mutula Kilonzo Jr To The Senate

Dallas, Texas USA

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has hailed Makueni County voters for electing Cord’s Mutula Junior as their new senator.

Mr Odinga also congratulated the Wiper Democratic Party and CORD leaders for the firm stand that ensured the coalition clinched the seat.

Mr Odinga thanked the youth who poured in Makueni in their thousands to stand with one of their own, Kilonzo Junior , and to ensure Cord won the seat.

The former PM also thanked Mutula Kilonzo Junior’s sister Kethi Kilonzo for her fight for Makueni seat, which was frustrated by Jubilee, saying it inspired Makueni residents to come out in their thousands to make their intentions known.

”I have just received good news that the Makueni people have elected Cord’s Mutula Junior. I am very happy that the Makueni people have  confirmed to the doubting Thomas that they are still ardent supporters and member of the Cord as many majority Kenyans are’ he said.

“I congratulate Junior. I congratulate the Wiper Democratic Party and the CORD fraternity for refusing to budge. This victory shows our future lies in standing together especially in times of trial, and Makueni was a big trial on our resolve and our unity,” Odinga added.

Referring to the struggle that pushed Kethi out, the former PM said the young lawyer remains a critical member of the Coalition going forward and asked her to stay focused and support her brother and the party, adding that CORD believes Jubilee will never forgive or give her rest but the  party will stand with her and the family.

Mr Odinga said CORD is determined to hold the hands of the youth and lift them to key leadership positions as shown in the coalition’s fight to put a young
man in a critical Senate seat after Jubilee ruined her sister’s chances.

He said the election of Kilonzo Junior is a win for the forces of Devolution that are determined to ensure all regions of Kenya get a fair share of the national cake out of the taxes they pay.

The former Prime Minister spoke during a dinner party organized for him and his  entourage that included governors by Kenyans residing in Texas, a head of a two day summit between the County Chief Executives and key investors.

He challenged Kenyans living in the Diaspora to help County Governments stabilize economically by investing in the country.

Raila said the country new system of governance will succeed in alleviating poverty if Governors got support from Kenyans in the Diaspora through ‘back home investments’.

‘The foreigner investors we are looking  for every time will only play a minimal role in spurring economical growth of our county economies. Some investors will invest with a set mind that part of the profits they will make, must go back to their mother countries but if a Kenyan invests back home that is a win win situation’ Raila told a team of Kenyans in Dallas, Texas in the USA.

The former PM spoke on Friday Said he ‘Kenya can only be built by Kenyans themselves no matter where they are’ he said. The Cord coalition leader was accompanied by Governors among them John Nyagarama (Nyamira, Alfred Mutua (Machakos) Josephat Nanok (Turkana),  David Ngetiany (Kajiado), Cyprian Awiti (Homabay), Ranguma (Kisumu), rasanga amoth(Siaya),James ongwae(Kisii) Amason Kingi (Kilifi)and Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia)

Also in attendance was National Assembly leader of Minority Jakoyo Midiwo and Eliud Owalo,among others, Speaking on behalf of the two day summit organizers, Raphael Atore dispelled fears that his group was harbouring political agenda in inviting only Cordallied governors.

“We have no political agenda. We are not here to campaign for Raila Odinga or party as such but we opted to invite Cord Governors because of their being in the opposition. As Opposition allied leaders they will carry out investments transparently bearing in mind their roles as the ruling coalition’s watchdogs’ he said.

He said the organizers had invited leading investors to interact with the governors and agree on best partnership modalities. 'Our main focus as Kenyans in the Diaspora now is to help our governors come up with means of at least reducing poverty rated as being the highest in Nyanza and North Eastern and Eastern parts of the Country’ said Ochieng.

He added ‘ours is to revolutionalise management of development matters for the better Kenya under devolution’ he said.

After the Dallas meeting Raila will lead his entourage to three other States in the USA.