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Uhuru dares Raila to quit presidential race if he’s scared

 

Deputy President William Ruto’s wife Rachael (centre) prays at Uhuru Park during prayers for the nation organised by Tuombee Kenya in Nairobi yesterday. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has reiterated that his administration has no plans to use the military or security agencies to rig the elections.

The President said the rigging claims by the National Super Alliance (NASA) indicated that the Opposition was not for peace.

“I took an oath to protect all Kenyans. I am God fearing and cannot use any person to cause violence in the country. I urge my opponent to preach peace,” Uhuru told a campaign rally at Kairuri Stadium in Embu County yesterday.

He said the role of the army was to defend the country’s borders and protect the people of Kenya from external aggression.

Uhuru told NASA to concentrate on selling their agenda to Kenyans in a peaceful manner, adding that the NASA manifesto lacked substance hence the frequent attacks on Government institutions to derail the elections.

He told NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga to quit the race if he was scared.

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He was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto and Embu leaders as he enumerated the projects his Government had implemented, those underway and what he will do if he is re-elected.

He listed roads and infrastructure, hospital expansions, free maternity care, electricity installations, establishment of technical training institutes and waiver of national exam fees as some of his achievements.

“I have also listened to the issues raised on coffee and co-operatives. We have already waived the old debts but we will also investigate the co-operative officials so that those who have stolen public money are arrested and the funds recovered. Farmers should get their money because they work for it,” he said in response to residents’ concerns that a local coffee factory had not paid farmers for coffee delivered last year.

Free education

The President promised free secondary school education to ensure that all Kenyan children access education irrespective of their background, and one-year internships for college and university leavers to acquire practical experience for jobs or self-employment.

Mr Ruto said they had laid a firm foundation for industrialisation that will create 6.5 million jobs in the next five years. He accused NASA of lacking a track record and an agenda for the country, saying they were engaging in tricks to lure people to vote for them.

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The two leaders however faced a backlash when they told residents to vote for Jubilee candidates right from MCAs to the governor at county level. Residents in the packed stadium shook their heads in defiance and said “No!”, forcing the President to change tack and tell them to vote for people that the Jubilee government could work with.

Ruto, who steered the rally that lasted less than an hour, had made a similar call and received the same response.

Only a few Jubilee Party candidates, including Governor Martin Wambora, Senate hopeful Njeru Ndwiga and woman representative hopeful Jane Wanjuki were allowed to address the crowd briefly.

Uhuru also addressed a rally at St Mary’s Primary School in Tala, Matungulu constituency, Machakos County, where he donated a school bus he promised when he toured the school last year.

The President also announced a waiver of all debts owed by Machakos coffee societies and pledged to fund the distribution of water from the Ngalalya water project in Matungulu – Kenya’s second largest borehole by capacity.

Created jobs

Ruto defended Jubilee’s development record, saying the Government had created millions of jobs for Kenyans since 2013.

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“The Jubilee administration has attracted investment to the country and more than 6.5 million new jobs have been created for Kenyans,” said the DP.

The Jubilee campaign tour of Machakos comes barely 24 hours after NASA, led by Raila and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, pitched camp in the same county.

Uhuru also campaigned for Jubilee candidates including Machakos Woman Representative Agnes Kavindu, Matungulu parliamentary aspirant Thomas Musau and Machakos governor candidate Lemi Muia.

Others who addressed the rally were MPs Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu) and former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile. 

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