Is an Odinga – Ruto coalition in the offing?

Is an Odinga – Ruto coalition brewing?
Is an Odinga – Ruto coalition brewing?

Are the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto likely to run as President and runningmate in the 2017 General Elections?

The two leaders, who met on Sunday at the Kitoben Africa Gospel Church in Chepseon, Kericho shared sentiments on an array of issues including corruption, the International Criminal Court (ICC), and devolution of resources as well the formation of the Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP).

On corruption, the two leaders agreed that the Jubilee Administration has failed Kenyans as millions of shillings are being siphoned through dubious deals. They cited the recent graft allegations facing the Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru saying the President and his team should sack her immediately.

Odinga specifically challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta to deal with Waiguru just like he did with suspended CSs Eng. Michael Kamau (Transport and Infrastructure), Davis Chirchir (Energy), Charity Ngilu (Lands), Felix Koskei (Agriculture) and Kambi Kazungu (Labour).

He questioned why Waiguru continued to serve despite reports showing that millions of shillings had been lost in her Ministry. He cited the latest report that showed how prices of basic commodities were inflated during the procurement process.

He further questioned why no action had been taken against her in the wake of Ksh 791 million loss at the National Youth Service (NYS) through the government IFMIS system.

His sentiments were echoed by Mr Ruto who challenged the President and his deputy to show their commitment in fighting graft by dealing with what is already visible.

On the devolution of resources, the two leaders agreed that there is a need for the national government to increase the allocation given to counties.

Odinga and Ruto said they will push for more money to the counties through the Okoa Kenya and Pesa Mashinani referenda respectively. The two wants counties given more money to be able to carry out their mandates effectively.

On the controversial debate on who fixed Deputy President William Ruto at the ICC, Odinga – who is a former Prime Minister – said that his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) would never, at any particular time, betray Ruto who was their main man in Rift Valley.

The two leaders further accused the Jubilee administration of imposing party on their members by forcing them to dissolve their parties and join the Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) – the political outfit the two leaders will use to seek re-election in 2017.

Other leaders who attended the function include Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony, Siaya Senator James Orengo, his West Pokot counterpart John Lonyangapuo, and Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) chair Nicholas Gumbo among others.

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Story By Koome Kimonye
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