STATEMENT BY RT. HON RAILA ODINGA AT THE MERU SLOPES HOTEL:
LET US WALK TOGETHER. MERU.
We are here to listen to Kenyans living in this part of the country; their fears, hopes and expectations.
The more we have listened, the more we have learnt that the problems, dreams, fears and aspirations are not any different from those from the other parts of Kenya.
We are here to sell our policies as NASA and invite the people of Meru and Tharaka Nithi and all Kenyans to join the push for lasting change that is gathering momentum across the nation, propelled by a shared feeling that the nation is sick and needs a cure. Above all, and most importantly, we are here to reaffirm our belief that Kenya is, and must remain one indivisible nation.
There is no Kenya called Mt Kenya region or Jubilee stronghold or NASA stronghold. There is no Kenya of Uhuru Kenyatta or Raila Odinga or Kalonzo Musyoka or Musalia Mudavadi or Moses Wetangula. There is only one Kenya, the Republic of Kenya. We are seeking the unity and the oneness of this nation.
In times like these, some politicians try to divide us along ethnic and geographical lines.
These are the times some politicians tell us so and so is not one of us, is not circumcised, is not fit to lead and will punish our people if he or she ascends to power. We are here to urge a total rejection of politics of that kind.
We are here to appeal for politics that clearly identifies our problems and that prescribes realistic cures for those problems with the caveat that whenever the prescriptions fail, those responsible for them are voted out regardless of tribe, religion, race or region of origin.
We are here to appeal for the embrace the politics that takes responsibility instead of passing the buck and spreading blame. Going into 2017 elections, our problems are clear and universal. There are no Meru, Luo, Luhya or Kikuyu problems. There are only Kenyan problems. The cost of living high for all Kenyans. Insecurity is unprecedented for all Kenyans. Corruption is hurting all Kenyans. The Kikuyu or Meru or Embu or Kalenjin are not paying lower prices for unga, bus fare, house rent because they voted Jubilee. They are not getting better security because they voted Jubilee.
They are not paying lower school fees. All Kenyans are suffering the same fate. The people being killed in Kerio Valley voted largely for Jubilee. The people struggling to find markets for Miraa here in Meru voted for Jubilee.
The doctors and lecturers on strike serve Jubilee and NASA supporters alike.
When a regime fails, it fails the entire nation. We believe that is what has befallen Kenya under Jubilee.
We must therefore confront the problems as Kenyans and bring change together as Kenyans.
We have monumental problems that indicate system failure. I know no time when doctors have been on strike for months and the president goes on with business as usual looking for votes.
I know no time when we were listed the number three most corrupt country in the world as happened this year.
I know no time when hunger and drought have hit our people as is the case today and the president and his deputy go around looking for votes. Lecturers have been on strike before in this country but the government engaged them and pleaded it's case. That is not the case today. I know no time when Kenya has been in a bigger debt as is the case now and the president thought it can be addressed by borrowing more.
Governments are elected to solve and not to create problems.
Here in Meru, you are struggling with a crop, Miraa, which has sustained you for years. Jubilee failed to negotiate for you.You are not different from the fishermen in Nyanza who now live with the reality of Chinese fish in the market and sugarcane farmers in western fighting Uganda sugar in the market.
You are not any better off than maize and wheat farmers in the Rift Valley struggling with low prices because of cheap imports flooding the market.
When a regime fails, everyone pays the price except for very tiny elite with connections and relatives in government. We have come here to tell you that these are the realities we face as a nation and to assure you that in NASA, we have the cure to these problems. We say NASA Tuna Dawa.
We are laying out our vision for addressing insecurity, supporting farmers, addressing youth employment, fighting corruption, reducing the cost of living, ending tribalism and ensuring that Kenya returns to being the one united nation that our founding fathers handed over to us.
We appeal to the region to join and support the change and benefit from the cures we have. Nasa Tuna Dawa. We urge you to try it. Above all, we urge that we face the future as one nation, the Republic of Kenya.