Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ngilu joins ODM Pentagon

Narc chairperson Charity Ngilu yesterday joined ODM’s top decision making organ — the Pentagon — as presidential candidate Raila Odinga reached out for women’s votes in the December General Election.

And Mr Odinga told his PNU rival President Kibaki to prepare for a bruising battle following the dissolution of Parliament.

“ODM is ready. The whistle has been blown and the race has began. We are now going to campaign vigorously,” Mr Odinga told hundreds of women during the launch of Women Winning with Raila 2007.

Mr Odinga, who was accompanied by Pentagon members Musalia Mudavadi, William Ruto and Joseph Nyaga, said Mrs Ngilu was admitted because her vision was the same as that of the members, and that she was with him during the fight for the second liberation.

Mrs Ngilu was sacked as Health minister after announcing her support for Mr Odinga’s presidential bid.

Mr Mudavadi, who is also Mr Odinga’s running mate, clarified that the Pentagon was like the US defence headquarters — a strategic planning area — and Mrs Ngilu’s entry to make the number of members six, including Mr Najib Balala, could not change the name.

Mr Odinga promised women equal land and inheritance rights with men and free sanitary towels and maternity treatment if he wins the presidency.

“More water points will be constructed countrywide to ensure women only use their backs to carry babies and not water,” Mr Odinga told the women who had gathered at Moi international sports centre Kasarani in Nairobi.

Mr Odinga’s government would also arrest and jail those involved in child marriages, eradicate illiteracy among women and diseases such as malaria and typhoid.

Women will further enjoy equal number of nomination slots to Parliament with men and more positions in government.

The politician asked women seeking ODM’s civic and parliamentary seats to report male rivals who use violence and abusive language against them, so that they can be disqualified.

Mr Odinga accused current and previous regimes of oppressing and neglecting women.

He reminded the group that change did not come easily.

ODM recognised the rights of women, and without them, no country could develop, said Mr Odinga.
He added that Kenyan women were hungry for development and needed change.
He regretted that despite working long hours on their farms and in homes, women were still the highest affected by poverty and HIV and Aids. They were also marginalised.

Answering President Kibaki, who last Saturday said Mr Odinga did little when he was in government, the ODM leader said it was the Head of State who had been in government for 33 years.

The outgoing Lang’ata MP said at a time when Kenya’s economy recorded five per cent growth, Uganda’s grew by seven, Tanzania nine, Angola 17 and Mozambique 18 per cent.

Mrs Ngilu led the women in declaring their support for Mr Odinga and ODM. They also supported his call for majimbo system for equity in distribution of resources and development.

The meeting was attended by several outgoing MPs in ODM.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where are those sanitary towels for the girls? A PM should be able to deliver at least half, or not?