Uhuru, Ruto tear apart NASA manifesto in Kirinyaga campaigns

President Uhuru Kenyatta is received at the Kirinyaga University grounds by gubernatorial candidates Anne Waiguru (left) and Narc-Kenya’s Martha Karua for a campaign rally yesterday. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto yesterday accused the National Super Alliance (NASA) of trying to reverse the gains of the Constitution.

The Jubilee leaders used their re-election campaign in Kirinyaga to poke holes in the NASA manifesto, describing it as a hollow document that would derail the country’s growth.

They also questioned NASA’s resolve in the fight against corruption, mocking the Opposition outfit that it was being funded by “corrupt cartels”.

His backyard

In a hard-hitting message delivered in a Jubilee turf, Uhuru criticised the Opposition for its clamour to introduce a new system of Government.

Terming as retrogressive the intended move to introduce a hybrid executive system of governance to replace the current presidential system, President Kenyatta said Kenyans should be allowed to directly elect their leaders.

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He also dismissed the proposal to scrap the laptop programme for primary school children and in its place put up a scheme to buy books, chiding the Opposition that “while the whole world is going digital and embracing e-books, they want to go back to the old days”.

The Jubilee leaders, who made stops in Kutus, Kerugoya, Kianyaga and Baricho, asked voters to be wary of NASA leader Raila Odinga’s presidency, which they said would roll back the progress they had championed.

At all the stops, the leaders did not spare a moment to chastise NASA and its leaders, whom they said had no agenda for the country.

“They have been hurling accusations and insults around. I thought that if they had an agenda, we would have seen it yesterday but their manifesto shows they have no agenda for this country,” Uhuru said.

He said their manifesto had glaring “inconsistencies and was not built on any foundation”.

For instance, he pointed out, they were bent on scrapping the digital literacy programme where his Government had provided laptops to Class One pupils.

He also questioned why Raila was intent on having learners use donated books.

“The world is moving towards digital and we are extending fibre optic to every location because that is where the country is going but they are now telling us that they will ask for people to donate books,” President Kenyatta said.

Further, he pointed out, despite using the maize flour shortage in their campaigns, the Opposition manifesto did not provide a solution to the flour shortage.

“They did not tell us how they will provide fertilisers and farm inputs but they will build stores. How can you build a store without providing for how food will be produced?” he posed.

The President also accused Raila of hypocrisy on his pledge to recall the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) from Somalia, saying he (Raila) was one of the principals of the coalition government that sent them to the neighbouring country.

At some stops, the duo was forced to digress from their addresses to calm the crowd who were waving banners and chanting Narc Kenya and Jubilee slogans.

Ruto dismissed the Opposition coalition pledge that it would combat runaway corruption in the county as laughable and ironic.

He claimed Raila and team were knee-deep in corruption and their campaign was being funded by the proceeds of grand corruption schemes stretching back to Anglo Leasing.

During the NASA manifesto launch on Tuesday, Raila promised to engineer constitutional changes to shake up the governance structure.

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