Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga has said there is a need for the country to adopt a common stand on how to proceed with the Affordable Housing Programme.
Amid divided opinion over the current rollout of the programme, the Former Prime Minister has asked President William Ruto to facilitate a national conversation about the matter by providing a platform where Kenyans can share their views about how such a project can be successfully executed
“Let us have a proper dialogue on how this affordable housing programme is going to be rolled out. Let people understand what you want to do and they will own it properly,” said Raila
Odinga gave an example of what happened in government during President Mwai Kibaki’s tenure. He attributes the majority of the successes realized then to constant consultation and the existence of a team of experts that exclusively looked at government programmes.
“When we were making transformation with President Mwai Kibaki, we convened the “Kenya We Want” conference and people dialogued and agreed on what needed to be done in our country. We also set up the National Economic and Social Council a think tank which had local and international experts. This is how we came up with Vision 2030, SGR and other projects,” he said
The opposition leader said President Ruto’s administration was ill-advised to proceed with the project in the manner it has undertaken it, with a section of Kenyans especially voicing their opposition to the housing levy.
“Those who want houses apply. You won’t lack beneficiaries who will agree to voluntarily pay the 10% or 15% deposit. But it’s not that each and every person must pay whether they benefit from the programme or not,”
Raila who graced the 15th anniversary celebrations for the Party of National Unity, further claimed that President William Ruto’s administration was facing backlash from the public because it was operating without a proper think tank to guide the state and its development agenda.
“Kenya Kwanza is operating without a Think Tank, they just say we will do this and this or We wrote this and this in our manifesto, but nobody is thinking. That’s like walking like a blind person. It’s unfortunate,” charged Odinga
“The issue of affordable housing that Kenya Kwanza is struggling with is not a new thing. It is in our Manifesto as Azimio. They (Kenya Kwanza) didn’t have it in their Manifesto. They borrowed it but they don’t know how to implement it. We knew how to implement it,” he added