Raila ‘Without Unity, Even The Best Economic Plan Will Fail’
ODM leader Raila Odinga is beseeching the political class to take the lead role in uniting Kenyans ahead of the 2022 general election.
Raila in a statement Sunday said long-term political stability, which results from effective and clean governance was the antidote to the country’s problems.
The former Prime Minister who seemed to be pushing for coalitions as the best bet for Kenyans said Kenya needs to build a tradition for inclusive political processes and non-violent competition for political power.
“In a diverse society like ours, no single man or woman can be the nation’s messiah. We need a tradition of putting the people and the nation first. We must begin creating a shared understanding by our people that we are one country in a continent struggling to find its space in the world, and our progress depends on our ability to unite, pursue and defend our space and interests, otherwise, we all lose” he stated.
Drawing lessons from the 2007-2008 election violence that sank the economy, Raila said the Grand Coalition Government succeeded largely because it brought the diversity of Kenya on to the table and embarked on systematically addressing the issues that were identified to be at the heart of the mistrust, frustrations and bitterness.
Bottom-up economic model
Raila tore into the bottom-up economic model being championed by DP William Ruto saying even the best economic plan will fail to create prosperity if the government is ineffective, the country is divided and the political landscape shaky.
“One thing we have never given the attention it deserves and is missing in our current discussions is the role of political unity and stability on our aspirations. We have tended to act as if we can stumble into economic growth and prosperity however disjointed and unstable the country is and regardless of how we govern” he said
He added “Kenya must therefore always strive to keep a balance between economic development, social and political stability and effective government. It is only when the political situation remains stable and inspires confidence in our future that we are able to attract the investments we need for rapid economic progress”.
He called a paradigm shift in our politics even in the ongoing campaigns that should be driven by altruistic acts.
“For me, it begins with the brand of politics we play, how we mobilize support, particularly during the campaigns…. Kenya requires leadership whose core reflexes is for national and not individual survival, with a demonstrated capacity to put national interests first and personal interests next, if at all….. Stability stems from the credibility of the leadership” he noted.
He urged Kenyans to be wary of leaders who offer erratic policies with no defined long-term and consistent goals.
“There is no path to jobs, good schools, hospitals, industries and security other than political stability enabled by constant pursuit of reform and development while always putting people and the nation first. It takes sound politics and Kenya needs it now more than ever”
Raila who has already declared his 2022 Presidential bid said it was saddening that Kenyans were always worrying about conflicts and uncertain regime changes in every election year.
“A country that constantly worries about conflicts and uncertain regime changes cannot have its population concentrate on working, saving, and investing. There can be no steady investment in factories for jobs without political stability”.