President uhuru kenyatta address residents of Kajiado town during his tour of the county on 5th July 2017. photo by PETERSON GITHAIGA
President Uhuru Kenyatta took his re-election campaign to Kajiado yesterday urging voters to reject the Opposition leaders, who he accused of instigating ethnic tensions in the guise of advocating land rights.
Uhuru castigated his NASA opponent Raila Odinga, saying he was keen on inciting residents of the county against other communities living in Kajiado.
He said Raila’s comments were intended to cause ethnic divisions.
Raila came under heavy criticism from the President’s Jubilee Party after he called on Kajiado residents not to sell their land to ‘outsiders’.
The sentiments are at the centre of investigations by law enforcement agencies. Raila has previously denied claims his statements were inciting and accused Jubilee of sensationalising the matter.
When he campaigned in the area yesterday, Uhuru said Kenyans should not listen to leaders who want to divide them. He urged voters to help him send Raila to political oblivion after the August 8 elections.
“When a leader starts talking of flushing out members of other communities, that is a recipe for disaster,” said Uhuru who also dished out goodies to residents, including writing off a Sh500 million debt local pastoralists owe to the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).
“We will not allow politicians to go dividing others on ethnic lines. It shocks me when a leader who wants to lead this country comes here and starts saying those who are not from this area should go. We ask him to go where? Isn’t where you are living where your home is?” posed Uhuru.
Uhuru said similar sentiments made to win political sympathy at the expense of national cohesion had led to ethnic violence in the run-up to the 2007 General Election.
“Our campaigns have always been on a platform of national unity and peaceful co-existence, because we are allowed to live and own property in any part of this country. Wherever you are living, that is your home. We should not allow any leader to shed blood on account of politics,” said Uhuru.
Uhuru accused Raila of pretending to have the interests of the county at heart. He said Raila did not launch any tangible projects in the area when he was Prime Minister and when he served in previous governments.
“Raila gave you nothing. He did not initiate a single development project in this region,” said Uhuru.
Uhuru criticised Raila’s plan to embark on constitutional changes if NASA wins the August polls to accommodate other Opposition leaders in his Government. “This will be a selfish way of wasting public funds.”
“It was Raila who went around the country telling Kenyans the Constitution was good and did not warrant any changes in future.”
Raila said it would cost in excess of Sh20 billion to conduct a referendum to change the law to create positions suggested by NASA.
“Is the priority for him to spend billions on a referendum when they can be used on development. Shall we be changing the Constitution every other five years because we want to create positions for his cronies? This is selfish and must not be allowed,” said Uhuru.