Confident Uhuru bollocks Raila's Kibera record
14 December 2014, 15:15
Nairobi - Raila Odinga, for long the kingpin of Kibera, the tide is slowly turning as president Uhuru Kenyatta and the government take a firm grip on the slum in a charm offensive.
The former Prime Minister, also previously MP for Langata in which Kibera lies, is the undisputed kingpin of the area, which has the unwanted distinction of hosting the biggest slum in the country.
But the government has taken a firm grip on the slum, in an aim to change perceptions about the president and the Jubilee coalition.
With the new projects aimed at changing the face of the slum picking up an a quick pace and the number of visits key government officials have made to the area, there is a growing feeling that the people in the area are slowly taking to the president.
" It is both a political and strategic move to spruce up Kibera," Michael Njenga, a political analyst says.
" The truth is that with improving Kibera, the president gets to discredit Raila and also will have the moral ground to claim in a few years time that he has eyes for the whole country, Jubilee supporters or not," he added.
And it is working.
Speaking to Kibera residents who now have new tarmacked roads, a number of new toilets, better sanitary solutions, well lit streets as well as over ten new police posts, the changes made are striking and they are grateful.
" We thank the president for the job he has done here and we are happy that he has given Kibera a better outlook and remembered us. Previous regimes did not, Oscar Mbuya Otsieno," a youth group leader in the slum says.
Even Kibra MP Kenneth Okoth, who has in previous times not warmed up to the ruling coalition agrees that the government has indeed done a great deal in the area.
" It is impressive. The changes made here are fantastic and as a result we will work with the government as these changes only benefit the people," he says.
And in a statement that will rub Raila the wrong way, president Kenyatta Friday insisted that he must be given credit for trying to transform Kibera unlike Raila who did not when in a position to.
" The time for leaders to politic is over, because some of them have not done anything for the youth, he mocked the former PM.
Only time will tell if the perception of the president will change in the area, but reality is that he has done his fair bit. He really has.
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