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Kituyi hints at deal with Raila ahead of polls

Former UNCTAD secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi has signalled a coalition deal with ODM presidential contender Raila Odinga ahead of the August 9 General Election.

Kituyi, who has also declared he would be vying for the top seat, said he has been in talks with Raila for the last three weeks over the possibility of the two of them working together.

“Over the last three weeks, I have been talking to Baba over the possibility of us working together and I had wanted us to complete these talks before the Azimio la Umoja tour of Bungoma county,” Kituyi said.

Kituyi made the remarks during an Azimio la Umoja rally in Kimilili town, Bungoma county.

The rally was led by Raila and other Azimio leaders among them governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Wilbur Otichillo (Vihiga), James Ongwae (Kisii), Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma) and MPs Ayub Savula (Lugari), Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi), Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren), Godffrey Osotsi (Nominated), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo), ODM secretary Edwin Sifuna and Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.

Kituyi added that even as they discussed about working together, they agreed that Deputy President William Ruto must be stopped from winning the elections.

“Somebody must be stopped from ever becoming the president of Kenya,” he said.

The former cabinet minister added that Raila asked him to join the nationwide Azimio campaigns.

There have been reports that Azimio is likely to front Kituyi to run for the Bungoma senate seat instead.

It follows recent announcement by Wamunyinyi that he had shelved his bid for the senate seat to instead defend his seat.

Wamunyinyi has been insisting that Azimio must field a strong candidate to face the current Senator and Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang’ula. Wetangúla is in an alliance with Ruto and ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi.

On February 22, Kituyi announced he is crafting a coalition for the August 9 vote. He said he is in talks with several political parties to form Sauti ya Wazalendo Coalition.

In his address in Kimilili, Raila said he will build industries in every subcounty to open employment opportunities for youths and boost local economies.

He said his government will give priority to education, better health services to fight diseases and revamp ailing industries in the region.

“Immediately I take over the leadership of this country I will shift focus to revamping the ailing industries,” he said.

He assured that farmers will get support from the Azimio la Umoja government as it will provide subsidised farm inputs, particularly fertiliser.

The ODM boss censured Ruto for complaining about corruption in Kenya to media abroad saying he is among leaders who have been looting from public coffers.

Earlier, Raila was in Kuria West constituency for the burial of Nigerian High Commissioner Wilfred Machage where he implored residents to back his State House bid saying the area has in the past been voting for his rivals.

He said the region has been voting for his competitors but still complain to him especially on development and leadership shortcomings.

“I am one of you and your brother but when it comes to polls, you vote for other people and still come and cry to me, but in the coming polls I want us to stay together,” Raila said at Kehancha Stadium.

He said community elders installed him as an elder on January 20 and said residents should work with him in the August 9 polls.

 “Since you gave me a shield and a spear to fight for your interests nationally, I will need you to back me in the elections,” he said.

Story by MANUEL ODENY, TONY WAFULA and ALLAN KISIA

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