ODM leader Raila Odinga on Thursday afternoon made an impromptu stop in Kisumu County, where he asked youths from Nyanza to be patient with development projects and not fall for ”quick fixes” to their problems.
In a thinly veiled attack on his political archrival, Deputy President William Ruto, the Orange Democratic Movement leader warned youths against falling for “the current antics” of giving donations in form of wheelbarrows, car washing machines and motorcycles ”in the name of empowering youths economically.
The DP has launched his ”hustler movement” in Mr Odinga’s backyard, promising to uplift the livelihoods of the youth, a move the former premier has termed ”tokenism from the proceeds of corruption”.
Mr Odinga’s short visit came a few days after a team of DP Ruto’s supporters, led by politician and strategist Eliud Owalo, launched the movement in Homa Bay, Siaya, Kisumu and Migori.
Meanwhile, the DP’s meetings in Kisii and Nyamira were thwarted by anti-riot police.
On Wednesday, Dr Ruto also hosted a delegation from Migori and Homa Bay, led by Mr Owalo and former Rangwe MP Martin Ogindo, at his Karen home in Nairobi in preparation for a tour of Mr Odinga’s backyard.
But on Thursday, Mr Odinga called for patience from the Nyanza youths, saying his development plans will benefit the region and the whole country.
“Wheelbarrownomics is not an answer to our problems in this region,” he said.
“Hold your horses. We are actually going to bring real change that works for the youth,” he said.
Mr Odinga said that the second liberation took long and cost many lives and, therefore, the third one should be approached with patience.
“In the third liberation, we have brought the BBI as a way forward. The BBI will not be about creating jobs for five people. It will bring solutions to a number of issues that have bedevilled us, including more resources for counties and jobs for the youth,” he said, adding that he is trying to create meaningful jobs for the youth, not just engage in tokenism.
The ODM chief also spoke about the ”national cake”, noting that,. at independence, Kenya’s population was about eight million while now it stands at more than 47 million.
“I have always said the national cake has not been expanding to keep pace with population growth in our country. Unless we continue to bake this cake to make it possible for everybody to eat, many of our people will continue to go hungry,” said Mr Odinga.
He spoke during an impromptu inspection tour of the Sh1.4 billion Jomo Kenyatta sports complex, whose construction started last week.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium two months ago. It has a capacity of 30,0000.
Mr Odinga said this is one of the many projects set for the region. He said the others include construction of Muhoroni-Mau Summit highway, that will also have spur roads, and Mau Summit-Malaba-Kisumu-Busia road.
He also cited rehabilitation of the meter-gauge railway, saying it is a major boost to the Kisumu Port as it links Nakuru and Kisumu, bringing goods from Naivasha terminal for shipment through the lake to Uganda and Tanzania.