Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has vowed to resign if he fails to deliver on his promises to better the lives of the country’s youths.
In what confirms he will be on the ballot in the August 2022 presidential election, the ODM leader on Tuesday said he has the remedy to the ills bedeviling the youths in Kenya. And should it fail to work, he will pave way for another leader.
Raila promised to position Kenya as an ICT and e-commerce hub as a way to make local youths become competitive globally.
“In this regard, there is a commitment I can give the youth of Kenya today. In the event that I fail to deliver what I promise, I will not invent excuses. I will not change the goal posts,” Raila said.
“I will do what Mwalimu Nyerere did next door in Tanzania. I will admit that my experiment and dream has failed and I will let somebody else try.”
The ODM boss, who was giving a virtual public lecture to University of Nairobi students, tore into Deputy President William Ruto’s Kazi ni Kazi narrative terming it pre-historic.
He accused Ruto of failing on his promises to better the lives of youths and resorting to excuses and cheaper solutions to complex youths’ problems.
Raila said Kenyan youths deserve well-paying jobs and not outdated tools that are being offered by DP Ruto.
“Let me be clear here too. I do not subscribe to the idea of Kazi ni Kazi. No. I have been allergic to giving excuses and resorting to half measures,” Raila said.
He added, “ Young people were promised digital jobs, who were promised knowledge-based economy, who were promised double digit economic growth, are now being offered wheelbarrows and being told Kazi ni Kazi . That is a route I promise Kenyans can never take.”
The hustler narrative is a key component of Ruto’s 2022 presidential campaigns through which he argues will dramatically turn around the fortunes of the poor masses who are currently toiling hard to eke a living.
But Raila urged youths to shun leaders who after failing to find solution to their problems are now resorting to dishing archaic tools in the name of Kazi ni Kazi.
Kazi ni Kazi, he noted, is an attempt to hold people back when the rest of the world is moving forward.
“I want to prepare Kenyan youths for jobs of the future, not jobs of yesterday. I want to focus the youth of Kenya on where the world is going, not where the world is coming from,” he said.
“In an era when nations are sending their sons and daughters to planet Mars, I refuse to tell the children of Kenya that the tools our great, great ancestors used in the pre-historic age represent some kind of revolution that can take them places.”
The African Union High Representative for Infrastructure and Development said he has a vision for the youth that will ensure they remain competitive in the global scene especially in the area of digital and information economy.
“I want to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas. I want to position Kenya as a hub for information and communication technologies and E-commerce.”
The public lecture themed “Youth and challenges of nationhood in Kenya/Africa” was organised by UoN’s department of political science and public administration.