Politicians from Homa Bay have been bickering publicly over the proposed tour by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the county.
While Jubilee Party officials say the President could visit the county in a few weeks’ time to seek votes in his re-election bid, the party’s opponents say he should not be accompanied by his Deputy William Ruto.
Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’ wants Mr Ruto to be barred from visiting the county.
Mr Kajwang’ told a town hall meeting that President Kenyatta is welcome to visit the county but should not come with his deputy.
“I have been informed that the President is soon visiting this county. We are telling him to exclude Ruto in his entourage during the visit,” Senator Kajwang’ said during an ODM youth convention in Homa Bay.
The President is expected to lead a government delegation to launch the Mbita-Rusinga Island Bridge, built by a Chinese contractor at a cost of Sh1.5 billion.
Though the date of the visit has not been confirmed yet, the mention of it has ignited political debate in a region traditionally known to vote to the last man for Nasa Presidential Candidate and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
However, Jubilee Party officials termed Mr Kajwang’s remark as unfortunate and quickly reprimanded the senator.
Karachuonyo MP James Rege and the Jubilee Party coordinator in Homa Bay Odhiambo Makowiti accused Mr Kajwang’ of perpetrating prejudice in Kenya.
“Senator Kajwang’ should stop misleading Kenyans because he is a legislator who should defend the Constitution. What he is saying tantamount to violation of human rights which is envisaged in the Constitution,” said Mr Rege.
RUTO FREE TO VISIT
Mr Rege said that Mr Ruto is the deputy president and he is free to travel to all parts of the country to serve citizens.
“The senator needs to understand his role well because he has no mandate to dictate to the President whom to travel with because Homa Bay is part of Kenya like other regions,” he added.
On his part, Mr Makowiti argued that Senator Kajwang’s comments were detrimental to Nasa presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga’s bid.
He argued that there is need for all presidential candidates and their deputies to campaign in all parts of the country.
Mr Makowiti said that Homa Bay County alone cannot enable Mr Odinga to become president.
“His presidential candidate, Mr Odinga, also needs votes from other counties.
“How will they achieve their objective if a similar rule is also applied on Mr Odinga or his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka in other parts of the country?” Mr Makowiti asked.