Saturday, 8 December 2012

Transcript of Prime Minister Raila Odinga's NDC Acceptance Speech of ODM Presidential Nominations

"Once again, I am both humbled and overjoyed to be here with you today as the leader of our great political party, ODM Chungwa!

Today, we remember how buoyed with hope we were at this time in 2007, when we as a party knew we were about to take over the leadership of this country.

All the blessings and good intentions of our ODM manifesto lay, as they do today,
brimming over in our basket, ready to be delivered to the people.

But sadly it was not to be. We were denied our victory, and denied our opportunity to make a real difference to this country.

Now, however, we have another chance.

And I want to reassure everyone, here at Kasarani, in Kenya and around the world, that this election will be free, fair and peaceful. In fact, I want to ask that all presidential contenders come together in a strong show of unity and resolve, to reassure Kenyans that we are all unequivocally committed to a free, fair and peaceful election.

Ladies and gentlemen

My purpose here today is to tell you a little about my far-reaching plans for the future of this beautiful country of ours.

Today, I want us, as a party, to make a social contract with everyone in this country – that we will deliver democracy, the rule of law, prosperity, unity, inclusiveness and equality.

In conjunction with our coalition partners, we will fully implement the Constitution we fought so long and so hard to bring to fruition.

We will make devolution a reality, so that all of our country has the opportunity to develop equally.

Ladies and Gentlemen

In 2007, I said we must invest heavily in three things: One, Infrastructure! Two, Infrastructure! Three, Infrastructure!

We have seen the result in expanded road-building, accelerated growth through ICT, and successful irrigation projects in arid and semi-arid lands.

While we continue with this work, I now pledge that we shall again invest heavily in three things: One, Jobs! Two, Jobs! Three, Jobs!

Every one of the ills we suffer has its roots in POVERTY. At the very root of this poverty is the lack of jobs.

Most of our young people do not have jobs. Yet our youths have been educated to expect something more from life.

They expect to be gainfully employed.

They expect to have the opportunity for personal development, to make a decent living and to contribute something valuable to their communities.

Lack of jobs, as we have seen, leads to only one thing: social insecurity.

Social insecurity is characterised by corruption, poor policing, muggings, extortions, insecurity, cattle-rustling, land clashes, poor health and education, strikes, deficient local production and lack of food sufficiency.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Don’t get me wrong. I am proud to be a Kenyan. No one could be more proud than I am when I represent our country, as I have been privileged to do on so many occasions.

And every time I am out there representing Kenya, I am always trying to learn from the experience of others, always seeking the best ways of building sustainable economic development, always planning how we can provide an environment where local and foreign investors are eager to work with us.

I have spoken many times about the Asian Tigers, those countries once at par with, or behind, Kenya, and now way ahead of us. My plan is that Kenya becomes the African Simba, the Lion of Africa, and sets the standard for the continent.

To do this, we must take a very different approach to our national life.
We have already taken huge strides towards making it much easier to do business in our country.

We have removed much of the red tape and bureaucracy that has made us so uncompetitive in the past.

Ladies and Gentlemen

As well as these major steps, we shall also concentrate in areas that make a more immediate difference to the life of each individual Kenyan.

Too often, we talk about annual percentage growth, GDP, rising or falling inflation, and other such exalted matters of finance.

Too rarely do we consider how little the ordinary Kenyan can feel of this.

We must begin to think of the individual, of the cost of living TODAY, of having enough food on the table TODAY, of being able to send the children to school THIS TERM, of being able to afford that URGENT hospital bill, of having a road nearby so that we can market the crop ripening in the field AT THIS MOMENT.

We cannot always wait for the long-term results of big business, so we must back up these plans with parallel projects to help people improve their lives NOW.

To this end, we have many ideas that are intended to revolutionise our national life.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Our ODM manifesto is a carefully thought-out, comprehensive programme to change the direction of this nation.

In preparing for job creation, for example, we shall reform the Kenya Industrial Estates to establish incubation centres in each county, so that people can acquire locally the skills they need to get jobs.

We shall focus education and training systems to be more responsive to industry’s needs.

We shall provide funds for enterprise development among marginalised communities and disadvantaged groups, including those living with disabilities and the differently-abled.

In the Kenya we envisage, our youths will be our greatest asset.
We shall invest in business skills development among the youth and women, and then offer grants – not loans – that will provide the start-up capital to establish viable livelihoods.

We shall give the youth the life-skills they need, so that they don’t fall into the trap of drugs and alcohol and crime.

Women are at the core of Kenyan life – yet their true value as builders of this nation has never been acknowledged.

We shall sustain the march towards parity and equality across the gender divide whose foundation has been laid.

Ladies and Gentlemen

All these goals tie in with our Vision 2030, and we can only realise Vision 2030 if we have industrial peace.

Over the past few months, we have seen many of our workers lay down the tools, complaining of low pay and poor working conditions – university staff, medical staff, civil servants, teachers.

Just as I have moved determinedly forward in creating an enabling business environment, so I plan to ensure that all working Kenyans receive remuneration commensurate with the contribution they are making to nation-building.

We intend to invest in rural and cottage industries and to foster transformation through a good-neighbour system, so that community efforts help each and every person to build his or her house, to plough his or her land, to reap in good time whatever has been sowed.

I believe that, through ensuring social inclusion, social security, and marketable skills, we are investing in sustainable economic development – and that means a quicker transition to a fully waged society.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Our country has been ripped apart by factionalism and tribal hatred. This lack of social cohesion is high on our list of things to be addressed. And I am well aware that poverty contributes the largest portion to that kind of insecurity.

Poverty contributes to the ineffectiveness of our police force.

We intend to fully revamp our criminal justice system. We shall improve police conditions, providing police officers with proper initial training, as well as sustained retraining and the opportunity to acquire wider policing skills.

We shall provide officers with decent housing, equipment and pay cheques that match the onerous responsibilities of their work in guarding our nation.
Speaking of onerous duties – our police officers have a very onerous and important task coming up soon – that of guarding our elections.

Because of their work, these officers will not be able to vote on March 4th.
In this sense, they are disenfranchised, and I am requesting the IEBC to put in place measures to allow police officers to vote early, so that they, too, have their say with the rest of the nation in electing the leaders of their choice.

All these measures we intend to take will give the police force a new culture and a new pride, guiding it towards a new identity as a pro-people agency of assistance and security.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Speaking of social cohesion brings me to the fundamental underpinnings of ODM as a social-democratic party that advocates the peaceful, evolutionary transformation of society through social inclusion.

Being a social-democratic party means promoting a social-market economy where people have choices, not just at the ballot box but through being stakeholders in their own economic futures.

It means ensuring rights not just to education, but to QUALITY education.

It means ensuring rights to accessible healthcare facilities – QUALITY healthcare that is available to everyone through a universal health insurance scheme.

Our social inclusion programmes will help close the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

We have begun cash-transfer programmes. We shall extend this, so that anyone who cannot make a living through no fault of their own is not forced into a life of crime, or life on the streets.

This transition to a humanly sustainable way of living will loosen the grip that criminality, homelessness, hunger, modern diseases, ethnic clashes and other ills have on our society.

And when people are treated equally and there is equity in the distribution of our national resources, we shall finally be able to send ethnicity to the place where it belongs – the museum of curiosities of human history. NOW is the time.

Ladies and gentlemen

Only national unity will make possible the great goals we have set for ourselves.
I have set the bar for co-operation with fellow Kenyans by entering, on your behalf, into coalitions with some of my fellow leaders.

At the signing on Tuesday this week of the largest coalition agreement in our history, Kenyans saw what they had so eagerly been waiting for – the composition of a new government that will usher in the change that our people have fought and sacrificed so much for over the decades.

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, the Honourable Moses Wetangula and I – with so many other leaders who appeared at the formation of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) – have made a pledge of total commitment to a new future for our beloved country.

In the days to come, other leaders, professionals and activists will join us. All of them realise this election is by far the most important in the history of our country.

This will be the biggest step Kenya has ever taken towards real unity.

The Grand Coalition was a forced marriage but we have still managed to achieve some things of significance – the new Constitution, devolution, and the entrenchment of integrity as an essential pre-requisite for leadership.

We must build on these gains as a united nation, all of us willing to stand side-by-side in mutual support.

In the search for unity and dignity of our nation, I commit, as I have said before, I will petition the Security Council of the UN to have the cases facing our people before the International Criminal Court, referred back to Kenya.

We have a reforming Judiciary that enjoys the confidence of the people and can handle the cases.

My message is one of peace and unity, just as our national anthem prescribes. We must “dwell in unity, peace and liberty.”

Our hearts must be “strong and true” and service must “be our earnest endeavour.”
The third verse of the national anthem contains exactly the message I want to impart to you today:

“Let all with one accord, In common bond united, Build this our nation together.

“And the glory of Kenya, The fruit of our labour, Fill every heart with thanksgiving.”

Nothing can say it better.

I, Raila Amolo Odinga, am more than READY. Are you ready? Mko tayari?
 (Response: Tuko tayari!) Then, let us get on with the job!
ODM! Chungwa! Maisha bora!
Wiper! Ford-Kenya! Narc! All the people of Kenya!

Thank you so much, and go well. We have exciting work ahead"

Thursday, 6 December 2012

ODM Receive Major Defectors

ODM leader Raila Odinga to brief the media at Orange House at 12pm today, set to receive MAJOR defectors from various political parties and coalitions. 

This morning, Hon Gitobu Imanyara was at Orange House to announce his party of choice.
Imenti Central MP Mr. Gitobu Imanyara has today officially defected to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). Mr. Imanyara who is in parliament on the Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) party ticket ditched his party to join the ODM saying it was the only party that had good policies for Kenya and its posterity.

Speaking at the ODM headquarters at Orange House, Mr. Imanyara declared that he will gun for the Meru County Senate seat on the ODM ticket.

Mr. Imanyara said the planned political rally in Maua area of Meru County scheduled for this weekend has been postponed to next weekend and that it will be graced by the Prime Minister and the Wiper Party leaders.
Mr. Imanyara and his team were received in the party by Secretary General Prof. Anyang' Nyong'o and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Mr. Ababu Namwamba.
Prof. Nyong'o said Mr. Imanyara's decision was timely and a well calculated move saying ODM was the only party with a national outlook.
He said ODM will form the next government and that it was sure of winning majority of seats in both houses and the counties.
Others who joined the ODM were Bishop Godfrey Shiundu of the Reformed Catholic Church, who is vying for the Governorship of Transnzoia County who was accompanied by Bishops Robert Makona and Maurice Maelo.

Hon Gitobu Imanyara announces he will vie for senator of Meru county on an ODM ticket
This post will be updated shortly.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Statement by Raila Odinga on the Formation of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD)

December 4, 2012

At the signing this morning of the largest coalition agreement in our history, Kenyans saw what they had so eagerly been waiting for – the composition of the new government that will usher in the change that our people have yearned, fought and sacrificed so much for over the decades.

Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka, Hon Moses Wetangula, Hon Charity Ngilu and I – with so many other leaders who appeared at the formation of CORD – have today made a pledge of total commitment to fight for a new future for our beloved country.

It has been absolutely heart-warming to see the outpouring of support for the new national democratic front which will unite all Kenyans who want a better future for all our people and not just a few. CORD is now poised to deliver a resounding victory on the 4th of March.

We thought we had achieved the goal of an inclusive government that would finally bring justice, peace and prosperity in 2002, and then again in 2007, only to see our hopes crushed by divisive politics which benefitted a minority. But that dream is now finally within our grasp, and no one can stop us.

The team that assembled at KICC today with little advance notice is just one segment of an evolving and very broad coalition of Kenyans from every class and nook and cranny of this great nation. In the days to come, numerous other leaders, professionals and activists will come out and support this ticket. All of them realize that this election is by far the most important of our history. If the people do not win it, a future of even greater impunity stares us in the face.

Our new alliance is a highly symbolic one. It brings together parties – ODM, ODM Kenya (now Wiper), Ford and NARC – which emerged in the ferment for change and justice. Their coming together is proof that we have learned to overcome barriers that have been used to divide us by those running the corrupt and unjust systems that have held sway for decades in our country.

Today marked the beginning of a wave that will sweep away the power and influence of all entrenched elites.

Kenyans have already lived through a coalition government for the last five years. While it kept the peace and also delivered the new Constitution that is the guarantee of a better future for us all, it did not meet the aspirations of the vast majority of Kenyans who wanted a complete break from the past.

But after the disastrous election and the bloodshed that engulfed us for the first time in our history, we had no choice but to accept a forced marriage to save our country.

The Grand Coalition was a forced marriage – and a marriage without shared values. The two sides had campaigned on completely divergent platforms. One stood proudly for change and the other no less proudly for the status quo. But in this forced marriage, ODM managed to get the minimum it had fought for – the Constitution, Devolution and the entrenchment of Integrity as the essential pre-requisite for leadership.

To safeguard these gains and rapidly transform our country, we have created the only kind of coalition that can work – a coalition of the willing!

We are headed for a massive victory in March. Let no one fool Kenyans that such and such region is committed to the other side. Kenyans are too savvy now to be herded like sheep to alliances that serve nothing but their leaders’ interests. The people know what they want. They will not succumb to bribery or intimidation. A few leaders can be bought but not an entire community or country.

We are now launching a unified, pro-people’s campaign of a kind never before seen in our history. We will fight together for the vote of every single Kenyan in every county, constituency and ward.