ODM leader Raila Odinga has called on Nyanza residents to stop with their complains on marginalization and cut themselves off what he termed as Over dependence on the national government.
Speaking in Ksiumu Mr Odinga said the only sure way out of poverty if for locals to invest in income-generating activities, as opposed to whining about bad politics.
Mr Odinga has previously had run-ins with governments of the day and often claimed Nyanza was poor because of neglect by sitting presidents.
On a tour of Kisumu County on Tuesday, however, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader singled out untapped potential in farming, encouraging the youth to take up fishing and grow avocado, cotton, macadamia nuts and other crops for money.
“The vicious cycle of poverty goes ‘we are poor, and because we are poor we cannot save, and because we cannot save we cannot invest, and because we cannot invest we are poor’. This thing can be reversed so that we move from poverty to prosperity,” he added.
The ODM leader further pointed out that Nyanza has been slow in progress, not because the residents are lazy, but due to the successive political regime that he said has discriminated against the region.
“Our people are hardworking, can save and can invest. If companies like Unaitas offer proper services, our people will buy those services,” claimed the former Prime Minister.
The opposition leader also asked Nyanza counties to position themselves to tap into the opportunities that will be presented by the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Kisumu.
“We must take advantage of the opportunity that the SGR brings to export produce through the railway and maximise on port and marine transport,” he said.
He was in the company of Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathew Owili, Speaker Onyango Oloo and MPs James Nyikal (Seme) Jared Okello (Nyando), Aduma Owuor (Nyakach) and Fred Ouda (Kisumu Central).
Also present were Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Abala Wanga, Kisumu Members of County Assmebly (MCAs), the business community and members of the public.