Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has hailed the Building Bridges Initiative as the initial process that will ultimately liberate farmers from their perennial exploitation by brokers.
For many years, Raila observed that farmers have been exploited by middlemen leaving them to languish in poverty.
He noted that the BBI report has proposed various measures which will ensure farmers benefit highly from their crops.
The ODM leader spoke as he toured Kangari trading centre in Murang’a county Wednesday, accompanied by Kigumo MP Ruth Wangari.
“We want to ensure farmers, miners, fishermen among other producers benefit more from their produce. Currently middlemen and processors accrue more income leaving the primary producers with meager earnings,” said Raila.
He drummed support for the report saying once it sails through many political, economic and social challenges will be dealt with.
Raila encouraged people from Mount Kenya to fully support the report saying tea, coffee and dairy sectors will get a boost and farmers reap more from their economic activities.
He said the handshake between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta was meant to benefit the entire country by ensuring there is peace, order and cohesion which can spur economic growth.
“We agreed to keep off our political differences and build a country which is united as it was the wish of our forefathers who fought for independence. This country is for all the 42 communities and there is a need to embrace each other and live in harmony,” the ODM leader told people of Kangari who were surprised by his impromptu visit.
He castigated those perpetuating corruption in the public sector saying lost money has denied this country’s development achievement.
“The BBI will cure runaway corruption which has been witnessed in this county in the recent past. All public funds will be protected and used for the intended purpose,” he stressed, calling Kenyans not to be deceived by those opposing the report without genuine reasons.
The former Prime Minister said together with President Kenyatta they want to leave a legacy of a united country ready to take off economic transformation.
He lauded the proposed increase of funds allocation to counties saying the money if prudently used will spur development at grassroots.
“BBI proposes increase of county allocations to 35 percent of total national revenue. This money will be sufficient to support development projects. Currently counties are struggling to complete some of the projects they started due to shortage of finances,” he added.
On her part, the MP told the ODM leader to feel free to drum support for handshake and BBI in Mount Kenya region.
Wangari said Kenyans should embrace unity and work together to achieve prosperity of the nation.
By Bernard Munyao