Saturday, September 13, 2008



The Standard
September 13, 2008
By Beauttah Omanga

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said he will not be held back by dissenters over failure to accommodate them in Government.

Raila said he is focused on his duties and no distractions will deter him from achieving his goal.

"Many people supported me in last year’s elections. All Kenyans know what led to us getting half a loaf. It is not fair for some people to keep on demanding for rewards in Government and pulling us back from carrying out our mandate of building Kenya," said the PM.

He called for patience among his supporters for the sake of the country.

He was speaking at a Nairobi Hotel during a funds drive in aid of Rosemary Wanjiru Bichage, wife to ODM member Chris Bichage, on Thursday evening. Wanjiru is in hospital in the US following injuries she sustained during the 1998 Nairobi bomb blast.

The PM helped raise Sh1.4 million and gave personal donation of Sh200, 000.

"We have talked enough. It is time to focus on taking this country forward. We can not continue talking about positions all the time," he said.

Raila said persistent lamentations were dragging the country back.

Tough decisions

"We make two steps forward and a step backwards but at the end of the day we are moving ahead even though not at the speed we intended," he said.

He was accompanied by Lands Minister James Orengo, Public Works Minister Chris Obure and Public Health Assistant Minister James Gesami.

Obure said those complaining were insincere and out to distract the PM from his development agenda.

"You have a big responsibility as PM. Kenyans expect you to deliver and guide them to prosperity. Move forward and never look back," said Obure. He said Raila had proved his critics wrong by accommodating all, including those who doubted his leadership qualities.

"Many, including me, for many years doubted your leadership qualities but for the eight months you have been in office as the country’s PM, I am happy you are a worthy leader for this country," said Obure.

Orengo said it was impossible to satisfy everyone and urged Raila to concentrate on his duties.

The Lands minister said it was normal for some to disagree with the PM on decisions he has taken.

"At some point, it calls for tough decisions to move the country forward. Some decision calls for a lot of sacrifice and will automatically make some people uncomfortable," said Orengo.