Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga has said he will draw lessons he shared with the late Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli to transform the country, reports The Standard.
Raila said he was the secret key that helped Magufuli unlock Tanzania’s economy and helped him identify the loopholes he needed to seal to spur economic growth and fill public coffers.
Speaking in Suna West, Migori County, the ODM leader vowed to fight corruption which he blamed for the myriad of problems facing the country.
“I was Magufuli’s advisor and he would even call me at 6 am in the morning to ask for my input on issues. I told him where he could get money,” said Raila.
Mr Odinga claimed that after Magufuli was elected, he spent several days giving him tips on how best to unlock the country’s potential.
“I stayed with him for one week when he was elected. I told him the loopholes to seal to help him generate money for the country,” said Raila.
And among the lessons that he hopes to draw from Magufuli’s leadership to help Kenya grow include the fight against corruption.
“In our country, our main enemy is corruption,” said Raila.
The ODM leader said that he would promote development in the counties under a programme dubbed Uchumi Mashinani even as made a case for his social protection fund.
“I said that I know where we will get money to support the social protection fund. We must change how we are moving as a country,” said Raila.
He also said that he would prioritize education and job creation as part of his agenda for the country.
“We must make sure that we invest heavily in Education. Everyone should have access to education. It will help unlock employment opportunities and also encourage self-employment,” said Raila.
The ODM leader dismissed Deputy President William Ruto’s bottoms-up economic model saying it can never be the solution to the problems Kenyans face. He maintained that it was important to empower young people.
Raila promised to introduce tax reliefs for businessmen and also introduce healthcare insurance for all Kenyans.
The ODM pledge to ensure that factories are built across the country with each sub-county having at least a factory to create employment opportunities.
“Health sector is also an area that we must revamp. We must ensure that everyone is able to get access to healthcare regardless of their financial status,” said Raila.
He faulted Ruto’s generous donations to churches saying it was unrealistic for someone earning Sh2 million a month to spend Sh100 million monthly on donations.
“He takes the donations to church and claim others are waganga,” said Raila.
The ODM leader used the opportunity to rally his Nyanza backyard to enlist as voters in their numbers to ebanle him clinch the presidency.
He urged ODM supporters and aspirants to maintain peace and assured of free and fair nominations.
“Do not heckle an opponent. If you don’t like them, wait for the ballot,” he said