NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga addresses residents of Thika town on Thursday. He was accompanied by co-principal Musalia Mudavadi and Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama among others. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]
Opposition chiefs Thursday called for tolerance as they took their campaigns to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s political bedrock of Murang’a and Kiambu counties.
However, NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga, Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi and Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama had a rough time selling their agenda to the electorate at Kenol in Thika town and in Githurai.
Residents heckled the leaders as they tried to address them in Thika town. The situation almost got out of hand as supporters of NASA and Jubilee Party engaged police in running battles. The police had a hard time separating the two groups.
But the heckling did not prevent Raila from delivering his message in Murang’a, where he said his government would not be against the Kikuyu community.
He said should he form the next government, he would ensure that the owners of Kihiu Mwiri and Kaaga got their title deeds. The 6,000 shareholders of the two parcels of land, Raila said, would also get royalties for the land.
“We have come to Kenol to show that I am not an enemy of the Kikuyu community. I have worked closely with the people of Central and my government will serve all Kenyans without bias,” said Raila.
“When NASA forms the government, the problems of Kihiu Mwiri and Kaaga will be sorted out and they will be given title deeds.”
Raila continued with his campaign promise of free education from nursery school to Form Four. He said his government would also provide uniforms, books, desks and pens.
He said in his administration, doctors, nurses and teachers would be well remunerated to ensure that there were no strikes.
Raila, who also visited the famous ‘Jua Kali’ in Thika, promised a modern workshop and an innovation hub for mechanics should he take over the government.
“My government will build a modern hub here for the ‘Jua Kali’ artisans and provide affordable loans to enable youths and women to start income-generating activities,” said Raila.
He added that the problems experienced by other Kenyans were the same as those affecting Mt Kenya region, which include the shortage of maize flour.
In Githurai, the charged and hostile crowed was forced to flee when security personnel fired in the air to disperse them.
Mr Mudavadi, NASA’s presidential campaign chairman, condemned the political intolerance shown by both Jubilee and NASA supporters in Baringo and Kisumu counties respectively, when Uhuru and Raila toured them.
“We strongly condemn the acts of intolerance witnessed yesterday (Wednesday) in Baringo and Kisumu. Every politician should be allowed to sell their manifesto and allow the electorate to decide who to vote for during the elections,” said Mudavadi.
Mudavadi and Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula wants the electoral commission together with the police to investigate and take action against the planners of heckling at political rallies.
[Report by Rawlings Otieno, Jennifer Anyango and Boniface Gikandi]