NAIROBI Governor Dr Evans Kidero stole the show on Saturday at the Cord rally in Kisumu attended by the three coalition principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula.This came in the wake of debate over the governor’s fundraising events in the Nyanza region.
Last year, a meeting at Raila’s Bondo home discussed the impact of Kidero’s fundraisings after a section of local leaders complained that the events were aimed at dividing the Luo community.
Kidero’s activities in Nyanza have been a major concern to local leaders allied to the former PM over suspicions the governor is attempting to take over the territory dominated by the Odingas since independence. Kidero has however maintained he is not keen on instigating any battle between him and Raila.
On Saturday, the host Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma was heckled at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground forcing him to cut short his speech but Kidero received a rousing welcome from the crowd.
Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o, who was the master of ceremonies, at one time had his speech interrupted by the crowd that was impatient to hear Kidero’s address. The crowd chanted “Kidero, Kidero” as Nyong’o was introducing leaders at the rally.
When the Nairobi governor finally took to the podium, his speech was met with cheers as the crowd told him to continue with his development projects in the region.
“Maendeleo ziendelee, harambee ziendelee, tuko na wewe kwa maendeleo, (Development should continue, fund raisers should continue, we are with you on development),” chanted the crowd.
“Do you want me to continue with development in the region?” Kidero asked. “Yes!” the crowd responded. Kidero promised to continue with various development projects in the region, saying this would not compromise his work as the Nairobi governor.
Earlier, a forum of Cord governors, senators and women’s representatives held at the Ecolodge Resort resolved to support Kidero’s development initiatives.
The forum addressed by Raila, Kalonzo and Wetang’ula said the tribulations Kidero is facing are instigated by the Jubilee government.
They were referring to a court case in which Kidero is charged with assaulting Nairobi women’s representative Rachel Shebesh, who has in turn been charged with creating a disturbance.
Meanwhile, Raila, Kalonzo and Wetang’ula have censured President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto over their 20-year planned rule. They told the rally that the Jubilee plan is a pipe dream. Raila said Kenyans will not persevere the “suffering” the Jubilee government has exposed them to.
He cited unemployment, job discrimination, high prices of commodities, insecurity and tribalism as some of the issues the Jubilee government promised to address but are dragging their feet on.
Raila also faulted the government for introducing the media bill, the shoot-to-kill order and tough rules on NGOs, which he said would only make life difficult for Kenyans.
“They must know that Kenyans have not taken lightly their statement that they will rule for 20 years. They must rest assured that Kenyans will not tolerate this for long,” he said.
Kalonzo said the 2017 election is distant in light of the tough economic times “brought” by the Jubilee government. He accused Jubilee of perfecting the politics of exclusion while favouring their tribesmen in employment opportunities.
“The next elections will be a peaceful revolution against such unfair treatment of other Kenyans simply because they are not part of the government,” said Kalonzo.
Wetang’ula said the Cord principals will remain united as a formidable team to take over the country’s leadership. “We want to assure Kenyans that neither me nor Kalonzo will quit this coalition,” he said. The leaders challenged the government to come clean on the attempts to assassinate Wetang’ula.
The rally was attended by Senators Otieno Kajwang, James Orengo, Anyang’ Nyong’o, Hassan Omar, Elizabeth Ongoro, David Musila and Daisy Nyongesa; and Governors Ukur Yatani, James Ongwae, Cyprian Awiti and Julius Malombe. Also present were women’s representatives Rose Nyamunga and Christine Ombaka, several MPs and ward representatives.