By Micah Kigen
A closer look at current political
developments in Kalenjin land and a dichotomy of all competing factors
reveals a mix of desperate attempts to uproot Prime Minister Raila
Odinga’s overwhelming support ranged against unyielding resistance by
the local community.
The main reason is that the Kalenjin
grassroots wananchi know very well that the Prime Minister offers the
single most, believable road map for tackling the myriad challenges that
afflict their community today.
He is focused, steadfast and
transparent. They know and are convinced he has developed a development
masterpiece for the whole country which includes unique and achievable
plans for the region.
Besides, the PM stands out in Kenya as the
biggest insurance against the bastardization of the new constitution
and the reform agenda.
He has promised the people that he
will anchor the war against corruption, good governance, implementation
of the new government and his devotion to enforcing national cohesion.
are the qualities needed for leadership that can transform this country
to match other modern states in the world. Also his vision is timely
for Kenya as a whole.
In PM Raila Odinga’s priority agendas
lined up for the benefit of the Kalenjin, he intends to enforce the
provisions of the new constitution to tackle all historical injustices
affecting the community once and for all.
Top among the
injustices include the runaway land question and ample compensation for
all Kalenjin civil servants, parastatal workers, soldiers and policemen
who were illegally and summarily sacked from their jobs when the Kibaki
government came to power. These were honest, professional and hard
working people mostly hounded out of their jobs by the new wielders of
power; purely on ethnic grounds. Nobody bothered to follow procedure in
retiring them and many were pushed out crudely and even denied their
benefits, up to this day.
“I was retired unprocedurally without
even the formal communication. Only after some time a messenger was sent
to my house to bring me an envelope with only Shs.500,000/= enclosed.
Surely, there are better ways of treating retiring civil servants.” Dr.
Sally Kosgei once told a national daily newspaper.
landmark priority on the Prime Minister’s list of Kalenjin needs to be
fixed immediately he gets power is to bring radical changes in the
agriculture sector in Kalenjin country with a view to improving yields,
value addition, investments in the sector in the region and direct
He that locals will vote in strong,committed County
leaders who will help him implement these policies at the grassroots
for the citizens to realize the real fruits of the transformation.
is both to fast track job creation, boost agro-based industrialization
and to radically step up rural incomes. It is also meant to re-invent
Rift Valley (Kalenjinland) as the bread basket of this country, to shore
up Kenya’s capacity to sufficiently feed its population and also
produce for the export market.
His main focus will be on key
products like: Maize, Wheat, Tea, Potatoes, Horticulture, Dairy
industry, Hides and Skins and beef products.
Part of the blue
print includes giving government subsidies and other incentives to
farmers. Farm inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and implements
(machinery, etc) will be made more affordable at prices that make
economic sense. Also agricultural and veterinary extension services will
be revived to international standards.
He also intends to
work for the expansion of tourism opportunities and investments which
will lead to growth in the hospitality industry in the area. This will
be extended to introducing the yet to be exploited Agricultural tourism
for foreigners visiting to see for themselves our unique climatic and
weather conditions, our major cash crops (eg. Tea and commercialized
traditional crops), our soil types and terrain plus our livestock.
Raila government will also work out with development partners and also
encourage private investors to build both big and cottage industries in
strategic places to be purchasing and processing various agricultural
products and adding value locally before selling to fetch higher prices.
This will greatly reduce wastage, help fetch higher selling
prices for farmers, create plenty of jobs for local youths and excite
commerce thus empowering local entrepreneurs who are keen on supplying
to farms and factories or trading in main and by-products from the farms
Another top priority area in Mr. Raila’s plan for the community is the empowering of youths to secure their future.
this, he has great plans to mainstream vocational training by
modernizing and equipping all existing technical training institutes in
the region, beginning with the overstretched Eldoret Polytechnic, and
putting up at least one high level other in each and every constituency.
This is aimed at producing many high caliber middle level
professionals, artisans, and technicians from the community to work
locally, in other parts of Kenya and even overseas. It will also open a
great window to many of our school leavers who are today lacking
education advancement opportunities.
Along the same designs of
empowering Kalenjin youths, the PM recognizes too well the coveted place
our youngsters hold in the world of athletics. He hopes to structure
the athletics industry to be of greater benefit to the community while
diversifying the sports industry in the region to get our youths
excelling in other lucrative sports disciplines too.
great strides so far made in this area globally, we are still heavily
dependent on foreign coaches; trainers, scouts, managers etc.
is also great under development in terms of tapping all available
athletics talent across the region; hence many great athletes are never
discovered and end up lost in the far off villages once they fail to
access the few athletics scouts available.
Therefore, the PM’s
plan is to develop a vibrant and sustainable athletics development
program that will produce trainers and other officials and also build
well equipped modern athletics academies in every constituency to ensure
serious harvesting, sharpening and professionalizing of our young
athletes at a young age.
This will make many of our retiring
athletes interested in promoting the sport to get engaged gainfully as
trainers and officials and add value to our young athletes so that when
they venture out to the world stage they bargain for more and avoid
One other area Raila-critics should be ashamed
of is that he is coming out openly to address the post – 2002 malicious
oppression of the people.
Between 2003-2007, the law was that of
offloading Kalenjins from public jobs. Following the PM’s entry through
the post-PEV peace settlement, he ensured that the sackings stopped and
went ahead to ensure the bringing on board of Kalenjins, some in senior
Today through this deliberate effort, the community
boasts of a big number of ministers and other senior public officials
who would otherwise not have been hired into government. Even those not
appointed by the PM merely got accepted as kifumba macho after the
enemies of the people got cornered and moved to appoint a few to deny
the PM the credit of being considerate of the Kalenjin. They include
ministers: Franklin Bett, Dr. Sally Kosgei, Henry Kosgey, Prof. Margaret
Kamar, John Munyes and Samuel Phogisio. There are also assistant
Ministers Permanent secretaries and others.
To the surprise of
most Kalenjin’s the architects of the drive to torment and kick out
Kalenjins from plum public sector jobs have regrouped in TNA and yet
that is the group URP leader William Ruto has chosen to go to bed with!
THE WRITER IS NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE FRIENDS OF RAILA (FORA) LOBBY