Nasa leaders pitch tent in the Meru region for two days to woo voters in the perceived Jubilee stronghold.
Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga will be in Tharaka-Nithi Friday before moving to Meru on Saturday.
This will be Mr Odinga’s second time to hold rallies in the two counties after he received a warm welcome in February.
According to opposition point men in the region, Nasa is capitalising on Jubilee administration’s development gaps.
Former Central Imenti MP Kirugi M’Mukindia said Nasa will peg their campaign on Jubilee’s failure in delivering Lamu Port South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport corridor projects, mega dams, roads, miraa markets among others.
“Nasa is concerned that the Jubilee government has abandoned Vision 2013 projects that directly touch Meru and Tharaka-Nithi counties. The Nasa leadership is committed to implementing projects along the Lapsset corridor and open up Northern Kenya which will greatly benefit Meru and Tharaka-Nithi counties,” Mr M’Mukindia said.
He added, “The Jubilee government has been promising roads and dams which are yet to be done. We are also assuring the Meru people that a Nasa government will significantly increase devolved funds.”
Addressing the media in Chuka town, Nasa regional campaign coordinator Prof Isaiah Kindiki said the meetings were planned due to ‘public demand and the following that Mr Odinga enjoys in the region’.
He said 6, 000 volunteer youths, ten from each of the 600 polling centers in the county were going round informing people of the visit.
“Mr Odinga will address issues of marginalization Jubilee government and illustrate how Nasa will transform the region. He will address the collapsed Miraa market, coffee and dairy sector under the watch of President Uhuru Kenyatta among other pertinent issues,” Prof Kindiki said.
This comes even as Meru Jubilee gubernatorial candidate Kiraitu Murungi downplayed the Nasa visit saying it wouldn’t affect Jubilee’s popularity.
Mr Murungi said the opposition leader and his team should be treated as tourists when they visit Meru tomorrow in their vote hunting mission.
“Mr Odinga has visited this County many times but he doesn’t get substantial votes here. When he comes, treat him as a tourist. He can visit our rivers, mountains and the miraa farms to chew some twigs. Meru votes are preserved for President Uhuru Kenyatta,” said Mr Murungi.
He said Meru County was one of the strongest Jubilee strongholds which the opposition could not penetrate.
The Senator laughed off the Nasa coalition saying it had no future after the elections.
“You have all seen some top leaders in Wiper like Kitui gubernatorial candidate David Musila and Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze have backed President Uhuru Kenyatta for the job he is doing. Nasa will collapse,” said Mr Murungi.
He spoke during campaign rallies in his South Imenti backyard.
Nasa leaders will address rallies in Chuka town, Chuka University, Marima, Chogoria, Magutuni, Kathwana, Tunyai and Kibunga in Tharaka-Nithi and later Nkubu, Meru Town, Mikinduri, Maua and Laare in Meru County.
Reporting by David Muchui, Isabel Githae and Alex Njeru