Ukambani Leaders List Demands Raila Should Meet to Get Their Votes

Raila Odinga During the Azimio La Umoja Forum in Makueni on Friday November 12.
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The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, has been given a list of demands by the larger Akamba community as he seeks the country's top job.

While attending the Azimio La Umoja mobilisation rally in Makueni, the ODM leader was presented with a raft of demands by the Ukambani leaders in return for their support when the country goes to the ballot in under nine months.

In a memorandum handed to him by the outgoing Makueni Governor, Kivutha Kibwana, on behalf of the Lower Eastern region, the ODM leader was asked to commit to prioritizing the highlighted projects if the voters from the region were to support his presidential bid.

In a summarized version that was read to him by Governor Kibwana, Raila was asked to prioritize and ensure that key infrastructure projects, among them the construction of the Thwake Dam, are completed to ensure that locals can access clean drinking water. 

An undated image of Thwake Dam construction site
An Undated Image of Thwake Dam Construction Site

"Since independence in 1963, people come and ask for votes and promise us that they will deliver this and that, but five years later, nothing has happened," stated Kibwana in his memorandum presented in Swahili.

"We have been promised roads, we have been promised education, jobs, and so on. This has, however, remained a pipe dream for years. And that is why we are saying this matter or resolutions must be taken seriously."

Kibwana further asked Raila to focus and pay special attention to the needs of the poor Kenyans, stating that it was the dream and right of every citizen to lead a decent life.

Other areas captured in the 20-page demands document included the completion of the Konza Metropolis City, that was cited as a job creation infrastructure that would address the high levels of joblessness in the region.

The Makueni Governor noted that the Konza project would not only be beneficial to the Ukambani region, but to the East African region as well, as it would provide the much needed critical ICT infrastructure.

On matters of education, the Ukambani leaders urged Raila to ensure that the schools in the region are enhanced in order to reduce the demand for local students traveling to other parts of the country in search of knowledge.

The list also included the need to increase power supply from the current 25 per cent coverage in the region, in order to fast track industrialization.

Food shortage, which has been a problem for the region, was also captured in the list of demands together with youth unemployment and poor road infrastructure. 

Ngong Suswa Road construction works.
Ngong Suswa Road construction works.