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I’m not decided on 2022, says Raila

Opposition leader Raila Odinga is yet to decide whether he will attempt another presidential run in the 2022 General Election.

In an interview with Kameme FM yesterday, Raila, who has unsuccessfully vied for the presidency four times, said he and President Uhuru Kenyatta had resolved to avoid politics to allow the country space to pursue its development goals.

“I do not want to discuss anything to do with 2022 politics. I am yet to decide my position,” he told Programme host Gatonye Mbugua.

He said during the meeting between him and the President which culminated in the March 9, 2018 Handshake, they agreed to shelve personal interests and put the country first.

“We agreed to set up the Building Bridges Initiative committee which, after listening to Kenyans, will bring to us a report,” Raila said.

He denied accusations that his working relationship with Uhuru is a scheme to frustrate presidential ambitions of some politicians.

“We have no business barring anyone from contesting for whichever position. It is Kenyans who will decide whether you are the right person to lead them,” said the ODM leader.

Asked whether he had abandoned his position as an opposition leader, Raila said there was nothing to oppose now that even the ruling party is working for change.

“I find nothing to oppose. The government, even President Uhuru, is playing his role especially in the anti-graft crusade. The situation is no longer the same. Even Jubilee Party MPs are talking openly about ills bedevilling the nation,” he said.

The ODM party leader, however, denied that he had joined the government saying his was a working relationship with the State.

Raila also denied targeting  Deputy President William Ruto in his anti-graft pronouncments, saying he had nothing against the Deputy President.

He, however, accused Ruto of trying to interfere with investigations by commenting on matters surrounding the proposed Arror and Kimwarer dam projects in Elgeyo Marakwet county.

The Deputy President had said only Sh7 billion payments for the projects were in question, and not Sh21 billion as alleged by investigative agencies.

“The fact that a Cabinet Secretary has been questioned for two days confirms that a crime was committed,” he said in reference to the grilling of Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich on Monday and Tuesday by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations. Raila said only those who were involved in corruption  were opposed to the renewed anti-graft war.

On the proposed takeover of  Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) by Kenya Airways, Raila said such an arrangement would be in the best interest of the country.

He said it is a trend in many countries for national carriers to own main airports and Kenya would not be an exception. “All what we are asking is for the takeover process to be transparent and open,” he said.

On the proposed referendum to amend the Constitution, the former Prime Minister said it was possible to carry out both a census and a referendum this year.

He dismissed claims the referendum is meant to create positions for individuals. Raila also proposed the reduction of counties.

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