Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga has once again reiterated that he was justified to rally behind the late retired President Emilio Mwai Kibaki for the country’s leadership back in 2002.
Speaking during the burial of the late former Head of State in Nyeri on Saturday, Raila noted that he proclaimed ‘Kibaki Tosha’ given that in his view, “Kibaki had the knowledge, and the experience that the country needed in that period of transition.”
He said his decision to back Kibaki was not received well in certain quotas, including within his own camp, but noted that he had to stick to his guns for he had made what was the right decision at the time.
“I was actually hit so hard. By the time I arrived home, my wife had received so many phone calls saying how I had messed up. But I said there is no going back, we will move forward together with Mwai Kibaki.” He told the mourners who converged in Othaya.
According to the former Prime Minister, Kibaki was a man with clear foresight and who was always ready to negotiate and take in new ideas. He said through this, the country’s third President managed to open the government and got new progressive ideas about development.
“He was transformative. He came up with progressive ideas and brought us together to create a team that was ready to work for Kenya. We are paying tribute to a great Kenyan leader, fare thee well Mwai Kibaki.” He said
“We sat together and we created the national economic and social council (NESC), as a think tank of the government. And NESC is what came up with most of these projects such as LAPSSET, SGR, KONZA, and special economic zones. They are all a result of a discussion of a think tank.” Added Raila
During their time in the Rainbow coalition government, Raila credited Kibaki for putting Kenya on the roadmap to success in infrastructural development. Recounting his own role and contribution to infrastructure development, the ODM leader, who was Roads Minister then, disclosed that Kibaki backed him when he ordered the demolition of structures to create space to construct roads.
“I was censored in the cabinet but Kibaki defended me in the cabinet. I said where we are demolishing structures, those are structures built on road reserves and those people had already been compensated. Kibaki said kama watu wanajenga kwa barabara ibomolewe (people had built on the roads, let the structures be demolished).” He said
At the same time, Raila said he has never blamed Kibaki for the failure to implement the 2002 Memorandum of Understanding they had signed.
“I have always said it was not Kibaki. It was a clique that was around him which took charge. They are the ones who are responsible for the rejection of the MoU that we signed.” He said
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