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Cord and Jubilee leaders cite equal economic opportunities and prosperity for all

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Presidential candidates Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta have the best chance of winning the presidency on Monday when Kenyans decide who will form the government that will drive the national agenda for the next five years. Photo/FILE

Presidential candidates Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta have the best chance of winning the presidency on Monday when Kenyans decide who will form the government that will drive the national agenda for the next five years. Photo/FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JULIUS SIGEI  (email the author)
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Posted  Saturday, March 2  2013 at  20:49

In Summary

  • Presidential candidates Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta have the best chance of winning the presidency on Monday when Kenyans decide who will form the government that will drive the national agenda for the next five years. Sunday Nation’s Julius Sigei asked them why they think they will win the election and what would be their first executive action in office.
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Raila Odinga

Why do you think you are winning this election?

I think there was never any doubt that CORD would win the election, because it is the only alliance with a national appeal. My entire history has been one of working to broaden the rights that all Kenyans should enjoy, rather than compartmentalising people along ethnic lines.

Kenyans want a government which will provide them equal opportunities to address their challenges and achieve prosperity and peace.

There was brief media frenzy over the so-called tyranny of numbers theory which would ensure a Jubilee government, but Kenyans quickly saw that what was being peddled was a tyranny of falsehoods designed to still the debate about who in this election offers them a chance to change their lives for the better.

Joshua Sang’s going public with his views this week has also further punctured the myth of ethnic bloc voting in the Rift Valley. I greatly appreciate his pointing out that blaming me for the tribulations of the ICC accused was a politically-fabricated lie.   

In Western also, all polls point to Jubilee having less support than in any other region of the country. In addition, it is also clear that Luhyas have recognised that voting for Amani at the presidential level is a wasted vote.

What would be your first executive order in office?

As for my first executive order if elected President, I have not thought of that yet! But I do know what my first priority will be: to unite all Kenyans by giving every one of them and their communities a real stake in the future prosperity that a CORD government will give this country.

To fulfil the pledges CORD has made in its manifesto – of creating jobs, of making affordable for all Kenyans access to food as well to housing  and health, and for ending the insecurity that pervades virtually all parts of the country – we will immediately begin implementing our master plan for initiating rapid economic growth.

As President, I will be the leader and the servant of all Kenyans, whether they voted for me or not. I will need every Kenyan’s and every community’s help if I am to succeed in my dream of a united and prosperous nation.

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Uhuru Kenyatta

Why do you think you are winning this election?

The Jubilee message of national unity, reconciliation, economic transformation and generational change has reverberated across the country. The people of Kenya see promise and hope. What is more? Kenyans know presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, running mate Wiliam Ruto and Jubilee principals charity Ngilu and Najib Balala are performers.

They mean what they say and say what they mean. The pledge to tackle unemployment, the greatest challenge of our time among the youth, is clear, concise and doable.

The Jubilee team has said the rural areas must become engines of growth, with cottage industries encouraged in all counties. This way, school and college leavers don’t have to move to Nairobi looking for jobs or trade as opportunities would be plenty in the counties.

Which would be your first executive decision in office?

Free maternity services for women in public hospitals and solar-powered laptops for children entering primary school. The benefits of free maternity services cannot be gainsaid – mother and infant mortality rates will drastically reduce, leading to a healthier nation and hopefully reduced spending on diseases that can be prevented at birth and early childhood.

On solar-driven laptops it is not for nothing that the Jubilee coalition is called digital. The benefits of the digital era must be tapped early and every child must get an early opportunity to be part of the revolution.

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BACKGROUND

Both have vied for presidency before

Mr Raila Odinga’s bid for the presidency began in 1997 when he finished third with 667,886 votes on a National Development Party ticket.

He ran again 10 years later in what became a controversial presidential election against President Mwai Kibaki. The election results were disputed but the Electoral Commission of Kenya announced President Kibaki winner with 4,578,034 ahead of Mr Odinga with 4,352,993.

Mr Uhuru Kenyatta contested the presidency for the first time in 2002 and finished second with 1,836,055 votes behind Narc candidate Mwai Kibaki who garnered 3,647,658.

The two, who have previously run against President Kibaki, now hope to succeed him.