Raila Odinga Meets Zero Violence254 Initiative Leaders
Cord Leader Raila Odinga extended his countrywide tour to Meru County to sell himself and his party to the Meru Business community as the preferred Presidential vehicle of choice.The Business Dinner, followed on the heels of a public rally held earlier in the afternoon in Makutano.
50 of the top leaders from the business and investment sectors were invited to the event held at a prestigious Meru hotel.
Raila Odinga Zero Violence254 Initiative
Raila Odinga also met with Executive Director for Access to Justice and Founder of the Zero Violence254 Campaign, Mr John Burke Baidoo; as well as Executive Director for Ripples International, Mrs Mercy Chidi Baidoo.
Mr. Odinga took time to introduce himself to the business leaders, beginning with a historical narrative of the origins of the formation of the Country at a Berlin Conference that led to the establishment of a new independent nation.
The Road To Independent Kenya
Raila then described the process that caused his father, the late Oginga Odinga and the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, father of the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta; to work together in leading the agenda to a newly independent Kenya in 1963.
Mr. Odinga then showed a tremendous grasp of the region’s politics by detailing specific business and trade issues that trace back to Independence and the region’s need for more recognition in State Affairs.
Question-And-Answer Session With The Cord Leader
The question-and-Answer session was a chance for the Meru business community to pose any questions to the former Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister confidently told the crowd that he had a blueprint for dealing with corruption in the country.
The economy came under the spotlight as well as business leaders queried the current business climate in the country.
The economy has suffered a beating over the last two years, with many Multi-Nationals closing shop and opting to migrate their business operations to other countries.
Many business sectors have experienced massive job losses as a result of dwindling profits, FMCG’s, Finance and Investment, Corporate and Trade sectors been the worst affected.
The bank sector has been the most affected with over 10 of the top banks sending home over 250 employees each in the last 12 months.
As one would expect, the questions of violence and corruption came in thick and fast as the leaders sought to know Raila’s stand on the issue.
Raila Odinga was categorical in his response saying that “… if things are done right, there is no need for violence.”
The Zero Violence254 Agenda
Mrs Mercy Chidio Baidoo got a chance to address the crowd and took the moment to agitate for a peaceful election and more importantly a violence-free nation.
Noting that there was a historical connection between violence and electioneering periods in Kenya, Mrs Baidoo revisited the effects of violence on family, business and ethnic harmony.
Mrs Baidoo noted that this is the reason the Zero Violece 254 Initiative was launched at this time, to push for a peaceful agenda to all matters Kenyan.
The repercussions of the last Election are still being felt today.
Thousands of people were left homeless as a result of land clashes, families displaced from their property, mothers and daughters raped and hundreds killed in the violence that lasted over 32 days.
Repercussions of Domestic And Electoral Violence In The Community
Access to Justice, the legal aid program of Ripples International, is still dealing with cases that emerged from domestic and election violence today.
The key aim of the Zero Violence254 Walk, which will officially be launched on 15 March 2017, is to raise funds to assist victims of domestic and election violence regain their rights, property and dignity through legal court processes.
The Walk also aims to champion awareness of the newly enacted, “Protection Against Domestic Violence” Act.
Take A Stand Against Domestic Violence
Mrs Baidoo asked everyone at the dinner, including the former Prime Minister, to stand up and take a pledge against domestic violence, declaring, “I take a stand against domestic and election violence in Kenya.”