President Uhuru Kenyatta and governors Amason Kingi of Kilifi and Hassan Ali Joho of Mombasa exchanged harsh words as they addressed separate rallies in Kilifi and Mombasa yesterday.
Uhuru addressed rallies in Malindi and Kilifi counties and later at Jomvu in Mombasa, where he accused the governors of inciting disaffection against him and sabotaging his development agenda for the Coast.
Joho rallied opposition supporters at Mvita in Mombasa hours after Kingi launched a scathing attack on the President before Uhuru addressed supporters in Kilifi.
At Mvita grounds, Joho claimed that Jubilee was trying to unleash propaganda to persuade upcountry voters to flee the Coast before the August poll. He further alleged that Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa has been ordered to harass political leaders in Lamu in pursuit of Jubilee’s agenda.
Kingi told a teachers’ forum that Uhuru’s main purpose for coming to the Coast is ‘to discuss Kingi and Joho’ while Joho equated the President to ‘”a tourist’ whose presence will not sway Coast voters.
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When he landed in Malindi, Uhuru launched a scathing attack on Kingi, accusing him of spearheading negative propaganda against him and Jubilee.
He claimed that Kingi was inciting Coast residents against Jubilee by linking him (Uhuru) to land scandals and alleged grabbing of Malindi airport.
In Mombasa, Uhuru said his administration has spent Sh50 billion to build and rehabilitate roads in Mombasa and added that he has also solved the squatter problem in Likoni.
He claimed that Jomvu MP Badi Twalib had refused to cooperate with him to solve the squatter problem in the constituency and lashed out at Joho for claiming that the development of an internal port at Naivasha would destroy Mombasa port and the local economy.
“Calling yourself sultan and chest thumping does not put food on the table or solve the problems at the Coast,” Uhuru said in reference to Joho, whom he described as a ‘failed governor’.
But speaking several kilometres away, Joho said: “Coast people should look at Uhuru Kenyatta as a tourist because his visits will not sway our people,” and added that Jubilee was spreading propaganda that there would be violence at the Coast to scare non-local voters to flee.
“Coast is peaceful and there is no cause for alarm. We have called this rally to show the region is peaceful and we will not be divided along tribal or religious lines,” said Joho.
Addressing a rally at the Cleopatra grounds in Malindi town, the President, who was in the company of his deputy, William Ruto, and Kilifi Jubilee leaders led by Gideon Mung’aro, said the people of Kilifi should reject Kingi and NASA, ‘a bunch of losers with no common agenda for the country’.
“The same governor who all the time insults me accompanied me to Malindi hospital last year to receive medical equipment that my government brought and yet he still peddles lies that my government has neglected you.
“During the ‘nusu mkate’ government, it is only Kingi who benefited with a ministerial position but in my government, the whole of Coast region has been covered,” he said.
He enumerated programmes such as issuance of title deeds, free maternity health care, and the construction of roads as major Jubilee development projects in the area.
He called on the electorate to give him a second term so that he can finish the development projects he had started.
“You will all have a chance to decide during the General Election which directional path you want the country to go, whether it is us or them,” he added.
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Uhuru said all pregnant women would benefit from NHIF coverage and that secondary school education would be free.
He said the NASA principals have been in power ‘for a combined 100 years’ and were not agents of change, as they claim.
However, addressing teachers from the county in Malindi in the morning, Kingi said the President was coming to Malindi to discuss him and Joho without telling residents what development they will get from Jubilee.
Speaking at Pine Court Hotel yesterday morning, the governor urged teachers to remain steadfast and shun Jubilee ‘like the plague’ since they had suffered under Jubilee.
He said that due to the importance that the Opposition attached to teachers in Kenya, ODM, through NASA, had factored in their representation in the country’s top decision-making process by listing Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion as among the nominees seconded to the National Assembly.
“In NASA, you are at home as teachers issues will be addressed in Parliament through Sossion,” he told the cheering teachers.
“They forget very fast and they are here asking you for your votes, but I am very glad that you are not that forgetful and you will not vote for them,” he added. [Reports by Nehemiah Okwembah, Benard Sanga and Patrick Beja]
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