Businessman Jimi Wanjigi has linked ODM leader Raila Odinga to economic woes facing the Coast region as he appealed to residents to support his bid for the party’s presidential ticket.
Mr Wanjigi accused Mr Odinga of supporting the compulsory use of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) by cargo importers, which left more than 32 per cent of the locals economically deprived.
“If Mr Raila was genuine as he claims, why doesn’t he convince President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and rescind pick or pay order for SGR, which has left more than 40,000 jobs and about Sh122 billion taken from Mombasa by SGR?” Mr Wanjigi posed at PCEA Church in Makupa before meeting Nyali delegates in Kongowea.
The presidential hopeful said Mr Odinga’s handshake with President Kenyatta should have benefited Coast people, who have rallied behind ODM for more than 15 years.
“Mr Odinga has influence and yesterday we saw him saying petroleum prices will come down this week, then why is it difficult to intervene and ensure transporters and thousands of workers who benefited from Mombasa port and other jobs that have been deprived by SGR are saved?”
Mr Wanjigi, who in August said SGR was his idea, defended the project, saying it would have boosted the economy but that its implementation by the Jubilee administration was flawed.
His comments yesterday followed protests by transporters over the government directive to haul all Nairobi and hinterland-bound cargo via SGR, denying them business.
During his tour, Mr Wanjigi said the stepping down of Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya from ODM’s presidential race gives him an opportunity to be nominated as the flagbearer. “Yesterday Mr Oparanya stepped down. I don’t know why but what I know is that I have declared I will go on with my tours across the country until I get enough numbers ahead of National Delegates Convention, which will be announced soon,” he said. Mr Wanjigi is scheduled to visit Kilifi and Lamu this week.
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Author : Nation
Publish date : 2021-10-04 06:18:04