Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga says he is a Christian with high moral standards and therfore cannot abuse or insult anyone, including his rivals.
The governor had earlier said politicians should not advertise their humble and poor backgrounds when campaigning, but should sell their policies and empower residents.
This was later reported to be an insult aimed at his rival Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda MP).
But Rasanga dismissed reports that he abused Gumbo.
He said he is among the few politicians in Kenya who want to reform politics from a “dirty game” to a policy-based game.
Speaking to journalists in Siaya on Wednesday, the governor said he held peaceful campaigns in 2013 and will continue doing so.
“I am one leader who has stomached all sorts of insults from my opponents since I took over the office in 2013, thanks to my strong Christian faith,” Rasanga said.
He told residents Gumbo and Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo have ‘baptised’ him a thief for the four years he has been governor, but he has never insulted them.
I didn’t abuse gumbo
“As a born-again Christian, I cannot pay back evil with evil. And so, when I hear someone claiming that I abused Gumbo, to me, that is loose propaganda,” the county boss added.
The governor explained that his message of advice to the poor to work hard was taken out of context and is being used to tarnish his campaign.
Work hard, don’t accept handouts
Rasanga said he intended to encourage residents to work hard and reject handouts from leaders who believe in gifting to ascend to power instead of selling their policies.
The county chief added that leaders should be at the forefront in encouraging citizens to work hard rather than enticing them with cheap cash.
“My spirit of empowering the less fortunate in Siaya can be justified through the high number of needy and vulnerable students across the divide to whom I have given bursaries,” Rasanga said.
He said that as a scholar he believes in education to break the bondage of poverty, instead of handouts.
Good leaders must be cautious about the welfare and future of their electorate, instead of concentrating on marshalling numbers just to beat opponents.