I’m not a tribalist, Raila tells critics

Nasa leader says his relatives who landed plum State and county jobs did so on merit, not his influence

 Eric Juma  

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has warned politicians against linking him to nepotism and tribalism in various sectors of the economy.

He denied claims he has been perpetuating nepotism in government jobs, arguing that his relatives landed their positions purely on merit.

The former Prime Minister said he has never influenced jobs for those close to him.

“It is unfortunate that a report was once produced by the 9th Parliament stating that I used my position to appoint relatives and tribesmen to plum jobs yet that was not the case,” said Raila.

He said his in-law, who landed an ambassadorial job, is qualified and got the position because of his education credentials and work experience.

“Even Jack Oburu, whom we have blessed his home today, is  my nephew and just heard that he landed a job in the county government. Those accusing me of nepotism are doing so to ruin my reputation but they will not succeed,” said Raila.

He added that his close relatives are also Kenyans who have a right to jobs and it is through their academic qualifications that they have acquired their positions.

“It’s been a difficult moment for my family. To even do business with the government, we are confronted with intimidation and malice because our competitors think we have an undue advantage over them because of our family name,” he said.

Raila, who was speaking at a function at Oburu’s home on Saturday, said propaganda fanned by his political detractors to destroy his reputation will not yield any fruit.

“All Luos in government are said to be Raila’s relatives including those in Nyanza counties,” he posed.

He added that Kenyans are entitled to employment despite their tribe, family background or political affiliation.

The former Prime Minister said he will not hesitate in pushing for employment of youths irrespective of tribe.

“We are in the ‘Handshake’ era whose key objective is to unite the country and see to it that all Kenyans treat one another as brothers and sisters,” he said.

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