Uhuru and Raila in war of words over incitement as JP woos Rift

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto address a rally in Mogogosiek, Bomet County. [Photo: Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William have claimed that NASA leader Raila Odinga is inciting Kenyans to violence.

Speaking as they wound up their two-day campaign tour of the South Rift counties in Bomet Friday, the Jubilee leaders said Raila was treading on the same path he followed before the post-election violence erupted in 2007.

Addressing campaign rallies in Sigor, Mogogosiek, Silibwet and Bomet Green Stadium, Kenyatta said Raila was repeating the statements he used previously and warned this might harm coexistence of different communities in the country.

“Friday, he was talking about “wenye inchi and wenye wanafaa kurudi kwao” (those who own the land and those who should return to where they came from) and that is the same language he used to create conflict the last time,” said the President.

But responding to the claims, Raila said he was deeply disappointed by President Kenyatta’s politics of rumours and scaremongering for survival in the face of stiff challenges arising from the disappointment of Kenyans with the Jubilee administration. “In the latest incident, the President has, out of the blues, accused me of asking communities to return to their ancestral lands. I have not made such utterances. The diversity of my support base alone militate against me making such utterances. The President’s remarks are therefore far-fetched and smacks of desperation,” said Raila. The opposition leader said that under pressure, President Kenyatta was creating imaginary scenarios and enemies and proceeding to respond to them.

“Such gasps of outrage rather hollow and unfortunate particularly coming from the President whose office is supposed to embody unity and certainty in the nation,” said Raila.

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Your interests

He called on the President to desist from scary-sounding pronouncements and instead be a positive and uplifting force by addressing issues hurting Kenyans particularly the high cost of living, the raging famine, rising insecurity and the holding of free and fair elections.

While addressing a rally in Sigor Friday, President Kenyatta told Bomet residents that Governor Isaac Ruto, was dining with individuals who wanted him and the DP jailed by ICC.

Kenyatta urged residents to shun the governor because he had chosen to work with people who do not care about their interests.

Leaders who spoke at the rally vowed to teach the governor a lesson during the August 8 polls. They said Chepalungu constituents are fully behind Kenyatta’s re-election bid contrary to claims by the Bomet Governor.

Chepalungu MP Paul Savimbi said, “the people of Chepalungu are with you contrary to what is going around. If you speak to elders you will know how much support you have here.”

The President urged the residents to stand firm in Jubilee. He said the governor betrayed the cause of the Jubilee team. He said he has no grudge against the governor but warned that he had chosen the wrong path.

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He urged the residents to look to the future and shun politicians out to incite them to cause violence.

“If you want the future look at this young man,” said President Kenyatta while pointing at the Deputy President.

He said governor Ruto rebelled against Jubilee for selfish reasons.

The Deputy President hit out at the governor for neglecting his own village while wasting money launching political party offices.

“He should have been working for own village instead of going round the country launching political parties,” said the DP. Bomet Jubilee gubernatorial candidate Joyce Laboso noted that the residents of the settlement came out in large numbers to send a message to the governor that they are not ready for his type of politics.

“This is the home of Isaac Ruto and the people have come out in large numbers to pass the message that they want change,” she said.

Meanwhile, Jubilee Party now wants the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to take action against Raila for allegedly making inflammatory remarks at a function in Kajiado County.

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Protest letter

JP Secretary General Raphael Tuju has formally written a protest letter to the  Commission asking it to investigate Raila. Mr Tuju who spoke Friday at a press briefing in Nairobi played a video of the opposition leader uttering the alleged inciting remarks.

“With only 52 days to the elections, we consider that Raila’s use of irresponsible and inflammatory language will ignite tension within local communities and can only be regarded as hate-speech,” he said.

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