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Raila Defends Oparanya, claims witch hand

ODM leader Raila Odinga has come to the defence of former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, accusing the Kenya Kwanza administration of a witch-hunt.

Raila claimed that President William Ruto’s administration has resorted to persecuting opposition leaders in an apparent move to silence them.

“They are targeting our people; they want to taint Oparanya with tramped-up corruption charges. Because of his steadfast stand in our party, they are targeting him, Oparanya is clean,” he said.

Raila was speaking in Kakamega when he presided over the launch of the ODM registration drive in the county.

Oparanya is embroiled in a court battle with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission over a Sh89 million house the anti-graft agency claims he bought through corrupt means.

EACC has already obtained orders to freeze assets worth Sh28.9 million belonging to the former governor.

In the orders, Justice Esther Maina prohibited Oparanya, private companies associated with him, their agents, servants or any other persons from withdrawing, transferring, or in any other way dealing with the frozen amount for the next six months.

In court papers file, the EACC is seeking to attach the former governor’s properties. The commission suspects that the prime property Olorua Ridge Development in Karen, was acquired corruptly.

According to the affidavit sworn by lawyer Joram Wambugu for the commission, EACC claimed Oparanya used a company, Tricomp Energy Limited, to purchase the house.

The company is listed as the second respondent in the case.

“Preliminary investigations have revealed that there were procurement irregularities and conflict of interest in the award of tenders by the County government of Kakemega, valued at approximately Sh1.38 billion,” the lawyer said in the papers.

But yesterday, the opposition leader vowed to face the administration head-on, insisting they will not be silenced by targeted prosecution.

The ODM leader also faulted Ruto’s administration of failing to deliver to Kenyans, insisting that Kenya Kwanza administration will not fulfil on its campaign promises even if they are given 100 years in power.

“He (Ruto) has become tax collector, taxes everywhere. They (Kenya Kwanza) came to power without a proper plan. Even if he is given 100 years he cannot deliver,” Raila said.

“They now want to sell KPC and they themselves are ready to buy them, we will block them.”

The former Prime Minister was accompanied by Oparanya, ODM Secretary general Edwin Sifuna, Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa, his deputy Ayub Savula and a host of opposition MPs.

Speaking during leaders’ meeting, Sifuna accused Ruto’s administration of killing political parties through deliberate underfunding.

This year alone, the Nairobi senator said Sh1.5 billion has been removed from the political parties kitty since Kenya Kwanza came into power.

“Ruto is out to kill political parties, this years alone in supplementary budget he has removed Sh900 million,” Sifuna said.

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