Raila hits out at Uhuru over foreign trips, Eurobond saga
CORD leader Raila Odinga has hit out at President Uhuru Kenyatta over the number of foreign trips that he has made since coming into office.
Speaking at the burial of Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s father, Johnson Kidero, the ODM leader said there is need for the government to cut down on the number of trips he is making in order to save the taxpayer from unnecessary financial burden.
He called on President Kenyatta to cut down on the number of delegates who accompany him on foreign trips and instead use ambassador as government representatives in high-level meetings.
“Some people accompany the president to meetings abroad only to go shopping immediately after arrival,” said Raila.
“Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has banned foreign travels in Tanzania and cut the number of delegates to four. It is time we did the same in Kenya.”
Reports indicate that President Kenyatta has made 43 trips in the three years he has been in power. His predecessor Mwai Kibabi made only 13 trips in the 10 years he was president.
Raila also lashed out at National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich over his handling of the Eurobond issue, saying the government should show evidence of how the Sh140 billion that is uncounted for was used.
“We said Sh140 billion is missing in the Eurobond proceeds and instead of shedding light on this, Rotich saw it fit to invite me to his office,” he pointed out.
He told the president to launch investigations into the Eurobond transactions in order to unearth where the Sh140 billion disappeared to.
“Sh140 billion is a lot of money and if you use it every day it will last until the end of time. It is not pocket change and the government should take the money seriously and investigate.”
“We used Sh50 billion to build Thika Superhighway. It is not possible for the government to claim they used Sh140 billion on infrastructures in one financial year,” stated Raila.
CORD co-principal Moses Wetangula accused the government of using diversionary tactics in the fight against graft, claiming the move to scrap his name from voters registrar is aimed at preventing him from voicing his opposition to corruption in government.
He said the opposition would be steadfast in demanding answers for questions that are in public domain.
“How is it possible for the government to misplace Sh140 billion and not feel it, instead claim that we are making noise for nothing?” posed the Bungoma Senator.
Speaking at the same event, Nairobi Senator Gideon Mbuvi ‘Sonko’ reiterated the government’s efforts to fight graft and called on CORD not to welcome officials who have been dismissed from their positions due to corruption.
“As we heed to your call against corruption and dismiss officials implicated in graft, we do not expect you to take them in since doing so will be tantamount to condoning the same vice you are fighting against,” said the senator.
The government has been on the receiving end in the past week over the Eurobond saga with CORD claiming that Sh140 billion had been lost in the transactions.
The government has, however, refuted the claims, with CS Rotich insisting that every penny collected from the sovereign bond is accounted for.
Rotich last week called on Raila Odinga to visit his office and receive every document that will shed light on the questions he may have, an invitation that Raila vehemently rejected.
In his speech in Migori, Raila said Rotich has no powers to summon him saying the issue he raised is in public interest and the reports should be made public.
Rotich has ordered all ministries to submit a detailed report on how they have spent the proceeds from the Eurobond in a bid to clear the air over the issue.
This comes as Deputy President William Ruto accused CORD of perpetuating propaganda to destablise the country’s economy and chase away investors.
“Instead of going to relevant bodies with their complaints about the Eurobond, CORD decided to go to the streets just to cause unrest,” he said.
“If they mean well, and do not wish to taint the country’s image, they should go to the EACC with their concerns so that investigations can be done.”
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