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NASA banks on rift in the valley

NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka  dance  during a political rally at 64 Stadium, Eldoret. Photo: Dennis Kavisu

NASA hopes disquiet in Rift Valley, a Jubilee stronghold, will translate into votes for its presidential candidate Raila Odinga who campaigned in the region Wednesday.

The Opposition toured Uasin Gishu County, with a promise to send President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto home on August 8.

Raila said the writing was on the wall for Jubilee, which he said would be voted out for failing to deliver on promises made to Kenyans. He reminded residents that they had not benefited from the Uhuru administration despite voting overwhelmingly for Jubilee in the 2013 General Election.

“We have travelled the same road for the past 54 years. Jubilee promises are like that of laptops which they did not deliver… The wind of change is blowing from the east to the west and from north to south. It will sweep all garbage into the sea on election day,” he told a large crowd at Eldoret’s 64 stadium.

He continued: “It will go down in the annals of history that on that date, Kenyans took a step to change their leadership. Let history not leave you behind. Let everyone tell their children, grandchildren, that you were there when history was being made.”

The NASA brigade threw its weight behind Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago (Jubilee) who will face independent candidate Bundotich Kiprop alias Buzeki, in the race for the county’s top seat.

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Raila’s running mate Kalonzo Musyoka backed the county chief, saying: “If I was voting here, I would have voted for Mandago.” Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula told residents to “pass my greetings to Mandago”.

Raila promised to grow the economy and ensure cheap housing for young couples and a lower cost of living for Kenyans. Kalonzo said Jubilee’s days were numbered.

“Jubilee days are over… choices have obvious consequences. It is clear that Kenyans have decided,” said the former vice president who also warned the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) against bungling the election.

“We will not accept vote rigging,” he added.

With opinion polls showing a tight race between Uhuru and Raila, both camps are leaving nothing to chance.

Raila addressed rallies in Toot in Elgeyo Marakwet County before making his way into Uasin Gishu, where he addressed crowds at Chepkorio and Eldoret 64 stadium.

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Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto were in Nandi County. They traversed Tinderet, Chesumei, Emgwen, Aldai and Nandi Hills constituencies where they sought to wres the region out of Jubilee’s grip. “Jubilee must be ready to hand over the Government to NASA… we have a majority support in six out of eight regions and still enjoy 40 per cent support in the Rift region,” Ruto said.

Today, Raila will take his campaigns to Turkana County, while President Kenyatta will be in Laikipia, West Pokot and Busia.

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