Inside Politics

Raila: Leadership isn’t about salary

Thursday, April 21st, 2022 00:00 | By
ODM leader Raila Odinga awards a nomination certificate to former Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi Mohamed (right) and his running-mate Ahmed Muhumed Abdi at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, yesterday. PD/Gerald Ithana

Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga yesterday warned aspirants against joining politics to enrich themselves.

Raila, who was meeting the Orange party aspirants at the Bomas of Kenya, was categorical that leadership positions are not for people to enrich themselves but to serve the public.

“Public service is not an avenue for the creation of wealth. All those who want to enrich themselves should venture into business. Public service is a call to serve the public,” he said.

The Azimio-One Kenya coalition presidential hopeful told the aspirants that his team is not seeking leadership positions but to better the lives of Kenyans.

He said public funds are for the service of Kenyans and not to make politicians in any position of public leadership room become wealthy.

He noted that the contrary to previous years where lawmakers created trips to make money, he cautioned this year’s aspirants not to fall into temptation.

Yesterday, Raila was categorical that those who are this year’s aspirants should serve the public with utmost honesty and integrity. Raila at the same time reiterated his call for a six-piece voting, arguing that it was only meant for ODM members across the country and in places where the party is fielding candidates.

Former Premier said his remark over the weekend did not in any way mean to coerce anyone within Azimio to vote for ODM candidates. “I was speaking to ODM members and told them to only vote for party candidates wherever they are, not everybody in the coalition,” he clarified.

While issuing nomination certificates to ODM candidates who emerged victorious in the party primaries, Raila said as the party leader, he has all the rights just like his colleagues within the Azimio coalition to popularise their respective outfits. “Azimio coalition is a movement that has many political parties. I am the presidential candidate of the coalition but also the ODM party leader,” he said.

Take a swipe

He added: “I urge members of ODM to vote for our candidates, but if you are not a member of ODM, vote for whoever you are supporting.”

The ODM leader also took a swipe at party members, who when defeated in primaries shift and vie as independents, saying it is an affront to democracy.

“You find someone applying to vie for a seat on a certain political party when they are subjected to nominations and lose, they go independent. My question is, why didn’t they declare their interests in vying as independents before applying to vie on a party ticket?” he charged. 

He said it was bad manners for politicians to join parties just for the sake of winning elective positions but when they lose in the primaries; they ditch the parties and go independent. “When you chose to join a political party, remain steadfast and believe in its ideology and principles,” he added.

Raila urged the successful candidates to spread the message of peace and unity, saying his aim is to see a united Kenya.

“You are now our ambassadors. Go out there and campaign vigorously for the party and deliver, but remember to talk about the unity of Kenyans and in particular the people you want to represent at various levels,” Raila urged.

Candidates vying for various elective seats on the party ticket from across the country received their nomination certificates.

Outgoing Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, who is vying for the Kisii governor’s seat, former Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi, Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and Paul Otuoma, (Busia) received their nomination certificates.

Others were Kevin Okwara who will fly the party’s flag in Nambale constituency, Winnie Majani (Vihiga Woman Rep) and former Provincial Commissioner Hassan Noor Hassan (Mandera Governor candidate) were also awarded their certificates.

Present during the occasion were Suna East MP Junet Mohamed (Director of Elections), Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi (Director of Political Affairs), Catherine Muma (Chairperson NEB), Oduor Ongwen (Executive Director ODM) and Raphael Tuju (Azimio Executive Director) among others.

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