ADDRESS BY RT HON RAILA AMOLO ODINGA TO THE MEDIA
Tuesday, June 3, 2014:
Am happy to be back home after a very rewarding three-month stay in the US as a guest of the Africa Presidential Centre in Boston University. It was an extremely useful experience.
The late Chinua Achebe wrote, “The world is like a mask dancing. If you want to see it well, you don't stand in one place.”
The three months across the US accorded me an opportunity to exchange views and experiences with other leaders in different sectors.
It was a chance for me to look at our world from different spots, from outside and see how we are dancing on it.
I believe that in the process, I was a good ambassador for our country, pro bono, on the international stage. I want to believe I represented our country well.
I did give many talks in several respected universities including Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Elizabeth City in North Carolina, Morehouse in Atlanta and the University of Massachusetts. I also accompanied Madam Ida Odinga to Wellesley University where she also gave a talk.
We had meetings with the top management of these institutions.
At all meetings, we appealed strongly to them to expand admission and scholarships to young Kenyans.
I have faith that some day, some Kenyan children will benefit from my appeal to the universities.
In the meantime while I was away, I kept on following events back here at home and I realized things were getting from bad to worse.
Kenya has been going through a VERY, VERY, rough stretch compared to any time in our recent history.
We are fighting Al Shabaab abroad and at home, and the end does not seem to be in sight. I don't pretend I know all the answers but we must all be ready to look for viable solutions through some serious dialogue.
Terror has claimed too many lives already. Nobody feels safe anymore.
Our tourism is collapsing and people losing jobs in their thousands.
In the midst of all this, cost of living is forever rising and families are struggling from month end to month end.
At a time like this, divisive politics, particularly in government and public institutions, can only worsen and not improve our situation.
To add insult to injury, corruption is everywhere. The era and culture of primitive acquisition are back in a big way.
This is adversely affecting investments, demoralizing the business community, sinking our economy into irredeemable debts and impoverishing our people today and into the future. In that regard, we must not just forget and "move on" regarding the Anglo Leasing scam.
The payment of 4.1 billion shillings to an Anglo- Leasing type company by the Jubilee government is a slap in the face of the Kenyan people who have opposed impunity and corruption for decades.
We are calling for the refund of this money that has been paid out.
We also call for the prosecution of all the civil servants, plus their business associates, who have aided and abetted this scam that has led to Kenya losing over $300 million.
Nobody should be cheated that there is any relationship between the paying of this Anglo- Leasing money and our credit rating with regard to the Eurobond.
Any such attempt to derive an association between the two is a lie.
The re-emergence of big time corruption, with inflation of contract costs and demands for kickbacks, added to the growing insecurity in our country mean no investors will me coming here.
That means no new jobs and disappearance of old ones. That means more desperation for everybody and especially our youth.
WE MUST GATHER ALL THE COURAGE TO DEAL WITH THIS CRISIS AND STOP THE COMPLETE COLLAPSE OF OUR NATION.
That is why we are calling for a NATIONAL DIALOGUE not to have CORD join government but to provide Kenyans with a platform to discuss and resolve the following issues:
3. National Unity and Constitutional inclusivity in public appointments and government.
4. The IEBC, the electoral process and credibility of elections.
5. The restructuring of the Provincial Administration and Devolution.
We expect Jubilee to treat this matter with seriousness it deserves and provide a team to engage with us
In the meantime we shall continue to consult Kenyans and discuss with them in our National rallies.