President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto address a crowd in Mwatate, Taita Taveta County. They urged locals to vote back Jubilee so that they can continue with their development projects. [Photo: Charles KimaniDPPS]
President Uhuru Kenyatta took the battle for votes to Opposition’s stronghold in Coast telling voters that the National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principal Raila Odinga was only good at spreading propaganda.
In Taita Taveta, the President who is on a three-day tour of the Coast, asked the crowd to ignore the Opposition leader whom he described as disruptive.
The Opposition particularly ODM party, enjoys a huge following in the region and that is why the President and his deputy are making a spirited attempt to claw back some support with the help of locals like businessman Suleiman Shahbal.
Shahbal will be hosting the Jubilee top guns in Mombasa. The businessman hopes to clinch the Jubilee Party ticket in his quest to unseat Governor Hassan Joho.
Apart from dishing out goodies like title deeds, the President is also engaged in wooing Opposition allied politicians.
The latest catch are Taita Taveta woman representative Joyce Lay and Senator Dan Mwazo.
Pick Raila for NASA and Uhuru will be back
After touring several places in Taita Taveta where he also issued title deeds the President and his Deputy William Ruto received the defectors at Moi Stadium in Voi.
The move is perhaps aimed at settling scores with the Opposition who a few months ago raided Jubilee Party’s bringing on board former Cabinet Minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere who has joined Wiper.
As Uhuru hunts for votes in Coast, the Opposition is also busy marking its territory in the region. Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka (see separate picture page 19) yesterday addressed two rallies at Mariakani and Kilifi town urging residents to vote out Jubilee come August. In Kilifi, Kalonzo said President Kenyatta was talking harshly of late because he had sensed defeat. Speaking in Mariakani town, Kalonzo castigated Jubilee for entertaining corruption and tribalism.
“I agree with President Uhuru that corrupt aspirants should not be allowed to contest the forthcoming elections, but the President should begin with the corrupt top leaders around him,” the Wiper leader said.
He pointed out that NASA’s priority is to end corruption, tribalism and poverty.
Kalonzo claimed Jubilee was starving devolution of funds noting that NASA would allocate the counties more than 45 per cent, if it secures power in August.
Kalonzo was accompanied by the party’s Secretary General Hassan Omar and other leaders.
Separately, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, who is a vocal critic of Jubilee, speaking at a rally at Dr Krapf Primary School, urged residents to reject Jubilee’s enticements.
Kingi likened Jubilee to “an animal walking to the slaughter house” and those defecting to the ruling coalition to parasites.
“It is shocking that some leaders from the Coast are defecting to Jubilee. Those leaving ODM for Jubilee are like ticks clinging to this animal going for slaughter and will die with it because Jubilee’s reign will end on August 8,” Kingi said.
Kingi warned the Coast leaders defecting to Jubilee that they would regret this move come August.
He also accused Uhuru and Ruto of treating national wealth as personal entitlement and inciting Kenyans against governors.
The governor accused the President of creating the impression that opposition governors were derailing or blocking national government in their areas. “The Constitution says the national government retains 85 per cent of the national wealth while county governments share the remaining 15 per cent. So between me and Uhuru who shares responsibility to initiate huge projects?” Kingi asked and accused the head of state of trying to compete with governors yet their functions were different.
Making a case for Jubilee while touring the Coast, the President and his deputy went round talking about the many development projects the party had launched in Coast in the last four years.
“It is wrong for the Opposition leader, who has been a Prime Minister to claim that Jubilee has done nothing. It would be better if he acknowledged the efforts of the Government,” said the President.
But in a swift rejoinder, Raila’s point men lashed at the President for what they termed as demeaning the office the former Premier holds.
ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohamed said his party boss will ‘not stoop this low’ to respond the President’s outburst.
Junet and Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire challenged Jubilee explain to Kenyans how they have implemented their manifesto and how it has transformed the lives of Kenyans.
“Looks like Jubilee manifesto for 2017 is Raila. Their agenda for 2013 was ICC and now they want to change the narrative to Raila. We can’t take that direction as a country. This shows that Jubilee lacks vision, ideas and goodwill to move the country forward,” Mohamed, a close Raila ally said.
He went on: “They cannot hide their failure of last four years by shouting Raila; this is a new low; the bar has been brought down and don’t expect Raila to respond instead he will use to opportunity to explain to Kenyans how he will correct the mess that Jubilee has created.”
Bosire said lately Jubilee leadership is engaging in deliberate provocations which is totally unnecessary especially in the crucial Election year.
“They are in office and should display tolerance and ability to face challenges and criticisms,” the ODM treasurer said.
The ODM officials asked the President to stop criticising the ODM leader given that he is a respected statesman whose contribution in the history of the country is well known.
CORD secretariat head Norman Magaya said: “No one has run a more tribal and divisive government in the history of this country than Uhuru Kenyatta. His government is the most corrupt, he has presided from one scandal to another scandal.”
Meanwhile, President Kenyatta will today commission the Mtongwe ferry crossing channel whose services were suspended ten years ago.
Multi-agencies were working round the clock at the channel on Friday and yesterday to ensure everything was in place before the presidential function.
Speaking from the site, Kenya Ferry Services corporate communication manager Elizabeth Wachira said Mv Likoni will be withdrawn from the Likoni channel to serve passengers at the Mtongwe channel when the service is reinstated on Monday.
—Reports by Renson Mnyamwezi, Patrick Beja and Geoffrey Mosoku