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Raila terms as futile efforts by Jubilee leadership to open roads and bridges

The Jubilee leaders, he said, were in a rush to launch projects in the country four months to the elections.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga went to the coast on Saturday hoping to dent the gains made by Jubilee Party two weeks ago.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto pitched camp in the region, spelt out what they have achieved since they came to power and welcomed defectors a fortnight ago.

Mr Ruto is also expected to return to the vote-rich Kilifi on Sunday.

Mr Odinga is to preside over a rally at the Tononoka Ground on Sunday where President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto held a rally two weeks ago.

The rally is a culmination of a visit by the ODM henchmen to the coastal counties to push for Mr Odinga to consolidate the party’s support.

A showdown between ODM and Jubilee supporters was avoided on Saturday after Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa cancelled a parallel rally organised by the latter at Mvita grounds.

Nasa and Jubilee are battling for the control of the 1.73 million votes in the coast which are led by Mombasa with 596,485, followed by Kilifi (510,484), Kwale (282,436), Taita-Taveta (155,904), Tana River (118,189), while Lamu has 70,224.

Addressing rallies in Mombasa town before meeting aspirants, Mr Odinga accused the Jubilee administration of failing Kenyans.

‘PANIC MODE’

He termed as futile the efforts by Jubilee leadership to open roads and bridges.

“It’s only four months to the election. They are now in panic mode because they were sleeping all the time only to wake up now,” he said.

Mr Odinga compared the Jubilee government to a witch who took off his clothes at night to do his trade but went to rest in the process.

“When he woke up and saw the sun high in the sky and he was naked, he was embarrassed and panicked,” he said.

Mr Odinga said the modern stadiums done by the Mombasa county government were a sign that devolution worked.

He said that, if funded properly, counties would change people’s lives.

He praised Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho’s development record.

The opposition leader accused President Kenyatta of using police to prevent Mr Joho from attending a presidential function at Mtongwe ferry.

“Every Kenyan has the freedom to attend such a function. Uhuru Kenyatta should know that the days of “mtukufu rais (your excellency, the President) are gone with the old constitution,” he said.

Mr Odinga was accompanied by lawmakers Agnes Zani, Mishi Mboko, Badi Twalib, among others.

His visit comes at a time when Mr Joho’s altercation with President Kenyatta and the government has heightened.

BOLSTER BID

The sojourn is also meant to bolster the ODM leader’s presidential bid in a region that overwhelmingly voted for him in 2013.

The Tononoka rally was preceded by a tour by Mr Joho, Governors Amason Kingi (Kilifi), and his Taita-Taveta counterpart John Mruttu in the six coastal counties to campaign for ODM.

The ODM brigade’s rallies in Kwale on Thursday were, however, disrupted by police, causing an outcry from the Opposition.

Mr Marwa and President Kenyatta have also criticised Mr Joho for referring to himself as “sultan”.

The ODM deputy party leader has also claimed that six armed men recently went to his Nyali house. He said it was police harassment.

The Kenya Revenue Authority is also investigating his bank accounts and businesses. Mr Joho says this is meant to cripple him financially.

Mr Joho has announced he will vie for the presidency in 2022. He said he fell out with President Kenyatta over the treatment of Waitiki Farm squatters.

Mr Joho asked why the squatters were being asked to pay for their title deeds after the government paid off Mr Evanson Kamau Waitiki and divided the land among the locals.

The allocation of more than 900 acres to squatters ended a decades-long dispute.

Mr Joho said he would only respect Mr Kenyatta if the President respect him.

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