By Standard Team Presidential hopefuls are free to visit Nyanza at will ahead of the 2012 General Election.
This was Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s message to the people of Nyanza as he made his way to a rally at the historic Masinde Muliro Gardens in Kakamega.
"I am appealing to you to welcome anybody from outside Nyanza who is keen on visiting. Give them tumultuous welcome when they come," said the PM.
Raila said democracy entailed the free will by citizens to express their interests and therefore all the presidential aspirants were free to visit Nyanza. His statement came a day after he claimed some of his opponents are thieves and drunkards.
At a different function in Nyeri County, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta launched an attack on Raila, saying the Prime Minister should understand that leadership is about responsibility.
Reform ship On Friday, Raila’s political ally-turned-critic William Ruto claimed the PM was using insults against those opposed to him.
The statement comes barely a week after his former ally now turned political foe Eldoret MP William Ruto indicated he would visit Nyanza.
"I have nothing against anyone. We can only differ on political ideologies but that does not bar us from talking," he said.
Raila said he had boarded the ‘reform ship’ and hoped the coxswain would sail them safely through the ‘murky waters and turbulence’.
Raila revisited the report of the Waki Commission, which was established to make an inquiry into post-election violence.
He recalled how he unsuccessfully campaigned for the formation of a local tribunal.
He said it is unfortunate that the bigwigs are yet to be charged for their role in the violence.
"Only ordinary Kenyans were arrested and charged. What about the perpetrators?" he posed.
"Those who shot people have not been arrested or charged."
The Prime Minister said those behind the violence should be charged before 2012.
He regretted that some leaders have forgotten what Kenyans went through after the 2007 elections.
"Some leaders are as forgetful as warthogs. It takes a very short period for them to forget," he said.
Raila said those who survived post-election violence have the mandate to implement the new Constitution to the letter.
"After 2012, you will start to reap the benefits of the new Constitution," he said. He noted that the Waki Commission was formed as part of Agenda Four to end impunity.
"We want the truth to be known to prevent a repeat of 2008," said the premier.
Raila said those implicated should step aside to give room for independent investigations.
He said those found guilty should be arrested and prosecuted.
The rally at Kakamega’s Muliro Gardens was disrupted as the public scrambled to safety over a snake scare.
The premier was addressing the gathering when the crowd surged forwards prompting his security detail to rush to the dais.
As confusion reigned, Raila remained on the dais with his security around him. However, Western Deputy PPO Thwere Okello and his officers appealed for calm and the rally went on.