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Raila hints at major announcement next week during Uhuru visit in Kisumu

Dickens Wasonga

Oppostion leader Raila Odinga has hinted at making a major political announcement when president Uhuru Kenyatta visits Kisumu next week Thursday. Raila said the announcement will determine the political direction the country will take.

The President, who will be making his first visit in the region after the March 9 handshake, is expected to officially launch the universal healthcare coverage programme.”Myself and the President will give directions on the next step politically when he comes to Kisumu next week. It’s me and the President who will shape the politics of the country moving forward. Don’t listen to the others,” said Raila.

Raila asked Kisumu residents to welcome Uhuru warmly, adding that his presence in the region will reaffirm their commitment to rebuild the country and fix past political mistakes and usher development.He renewed calls to review the Constitution, hinting that the Executive and structure of Parliament will be looked into after views on the referendum are collected by the Building Bridges Initiative.

”You cannot do the same thing the same way and expect different results. We will re-look at the way the Legislature is structured and also the Executive. We must also fix the electoral system before we head to the next poll,” he said.

In a thinly veiled attack on Deputy President William Ruto, he criticised focus on 2022 campaigns, saying the country ought to focus on service delivery to citizens other than launching early campaigns disguised as inspection tours of development projects

”Why talk about 2022 when we are still far away from the polls, who can be sure that they will be around when the next election is held?”  Raila posed.

At the same time, Raila lashed out at MPs over demands for hefty salaries, saying the public was already overburdened and can not afford any pay increment.

He said MPs are not above the law and must respect the decisions made by SRC in determining what they should earn. ”Nobody is above the law, Parliament included. We have a constitutional body charged with handling remuneration of MPs and they must respect and allow it to do its job without interference,” he said.

Raila said the bonding and bench-marking trips that most MCAs and MPs engage in were affecting service delivery to the people and should stop.

”How do you go to Russia to watch football when the country does not even have a team playing in the tournament. Our MCAs are also busy attending numerous trips outside their counties for the sake of earning allowances,” he said.

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