Your time is up, Ju­bilee lead­ers tell Raila, Kalonzo

Sakaja says Pres­i­dent’s elec­tion marked the start of new gen­er­a­tion

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - BY STAR WRITER @TheS­tarKenya

JU­BILEE Party top brass have ad­vised op­po­si­tion lead­ers Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses We­tang’ula that their time is up and they should step aside to give way to a new gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers.

Speak­ing on their be­half, Nom­i­nated MP John­son Sakaja, 31 years old and a pres­i­den­tial con­fi­dant, told the Star yes­ter­day the time for the old brand of pol­i­tics was over and his elec­tion in 2013 marked the dawn of a new gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers.

Sakaja was chair­man of Uhuru’s for­mer TNA party un­til it was folded into the Ju­bilee Party at the week­end.

“Some of these lead­ers can­not read the signs of the times and that is why they still hope to find ways of di­vid­ing Kenyans. They have time and again cho­sen vi­o­lent, destructive and un­demo­cratic pol­i­tics. This can­not con­tinue be­cause at the end of the day it is or­di­nary Kenyans who suf­fer from ir­re­spon­si­ble lead­er­ship,” Sakaja told the Star on the phone.

He did not name names but his re­marks left no doubt that he was re­fer­ring to op­po­si­tion lead­ers Raila, Kalonzo and We­tang’ula who have all pre­vi­ously served in govern­ment.

“Those lead­ers had their chances. They wasted them, again and again - al­ways opt­ing to di­vide Kenyans, rather than unite them. Your time is done,” Sakaja de­clared.

In De­cem­ber 2007 the de­feat of ODM can­di­date Raila by Pres­i­dent Mwai Kibaki led to claims of vote rig­ging and post-elec­tion vi­o­lence where 1,500 Kenyans died and 650,000 were dis­placed.

The March 2013 elec­tions were also dis­puted by Cord who claimed that Uhuru had not se­cured a sim­ple ma­jor­ity on the first round. How­ever the Supreme Court re­jected their pe­ti­tion and en­dorsed Uhuru’s elec­tion.

Sakaja asked Cord to fol­low Pres­i­dent Keny­atta and Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam’s ex­am­ple of al­low­ing young peo­ple to run party af­fairs.

“Cord has many young smart lead­ers but they are not al­lowed to ex­er­cise and re­alise their full po­ten­tial. This coun­try will be changed by lead­ers who want unity of pur­pose like we are do­ing in Ju­bilee,” said Sakaja.

Raila is 71 years old. He was En­ergy min­is­ter in the Kanu govern­ment of Pres­i­dent Moi be­fore tak­ing over as Roads min­is­ter un­der Pres­i­dent Kibaki in 2003. Af­ter 2007, he be­came Prime Min­is­ter in the coali­tion govern­ment.

Kalonzo, 62, served in the Kanu govern­ment as a min­is­ter for more than 20 years. In 2007 he be­came Vice Pres­i­dent in the coali­tion govern­ment af­ter un­suc­cess­fully con­test­ing the pres­i­dency.

We­tangu’la, 59, served as a Kanu nom­i­nated MP and as as­sis­tant Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs. He be­came For­eign min­is­ter in the coali­tion govern­ment in 2008.

The three co-prin­ci­pals all hope to take the the Cord pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion in 2017 but are yet to agree among them­selves who should run.

With less than a year to go be­fore the Au­gust 2017 elec­tions, the three have been ac­cus­ing the Ju­bilee ad­min­is­tra­tion of fail­ing in its elec­tion prom­ises and of in­volve­ment in cor- rup­tion in­clud­ing the Eurobond con­tro­versy.

Sakaja told the Star that the op­po­si­tion needs to give way to new lead­ers who are in­ter­ested in unit­ing and de­vel­op­ing the coun­try.

“We are telling those who can­not read the signs of the time that our gen­er­a­tion has learnt from your mis­takes. We refuse to make them all over again. We can­not go back. We will not go back. Let our gen­er­a­tion ful­fil its destiny to lead us on a path of unity to reach the high­est heights,” he said.

“Many of these par­ties have di­vided Kenyans along tribal lines all this year. We want to unite the coun­try and that is why we formed Ju­bilee,” said Sakaja.

“Divi­sion and dis­unity bred a pol­i­tics that was un­demo­cratic and un­re­spon­sive to the needs of the peo­ple. In the late 1980s, Kenyans

‘WE ARE TELLING THOSE WHO CAN­NOT READ THE SIGNS OF THE TIME THAT OUR GEN­ER­A­TION HAS LEARNT FROM YOUR MIS­TAKES. WE REFUSE TO MAKE THEM ALL OVER AGAIN. WE CAN­NOT GO BACK. WE WILL NOT GO BACK. LET OUR GEN­ER­A­TION FUL­FIL ITS DESTINY TO LEAD US ON A PATH OF UNITY TO REACH THE HIGH­EST HEIGHTS’

started to ag­i­tate for change, seek­ing to unite around a com­mon goal of pur­su­ing multi-party democ­racy. Un­for­tu­nately, no sooner had we seen the great prom­ise of unity than we took the wrong turn in the road, again. From that came the pol­i­tics of divi­sion and even eth­nic vi­o­lence through the 1990s,” he said.

“The pol­i­tics of this new cen­tury started with the call of unity in 2002. You will re­mem­ber what hap­pened af­ter our first ref­er­en­dum in 2005. It also be­came a plat­form for a new era of eth­nic pol­i­tics. In that di­vided way, we walked into the tragic break­down fol­low­ing the 2007 elec­tions,” he said.

Launch­ing his new Ju­bilee Party at the week­end Pres­i­dent Keny­atta un­veiled his vi­sion for a Kenya where equal­ity, jus­tice and pros­per­ity will be guar­an­teed. He pointed to progress al­ready achieved in the en­ergy, in­fra­struc­ture, health, ed­u­ca­tion, tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion sec­tors.

Yes­ter­day Ford Kenya leader We­tang’ula in­sisted that Ju­bilee had not de­liv­ered on its prom­ises.

“If they had done what they promised Kenyans, their achieve­ments would have been there for all to see. But where are they? In fact the coun­try is worse off now,” claimed We­tang’ula.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Bar­rack Mu­luka said it was im­por­tant for the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship to recog­nise the power of young peo­ple.

“Young peo­ple in all these par­ties are many and will­ing to not just learn but to serve. They have the en­ergy and de­sire to suc­ceed. Let us nur­ture them,” said Mu­luka.

/ JACK OWUOR

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta and Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto dur­ing the launch of the Ju­bilee Party at Sa­fari­com Sta­dium in Nairobi on Septermber 10, 2016.

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