Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) chairman John Mbadi (centre), Suna East MP Junet Mohamed flanked by other leaders during a press conference where they defended governors Jesphat Nanok and Hassan Joho. PHOTO: WILLIS AWANDU
Orange Democratic Movement leaders have warned President Uhuru Kenyatta against insulting those opposed to him ahead of the elections.
They accused the President of using foul language on Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Turkana counterpart Josphat Nanok, and demanded an apology on their behalf.
“Intimidation of Opposition leaders and hatred do not suit the holder of the office of the President. Uhuru must stop making inflammatory and derogatory statements,” said ODM chairman John Mbadi.
Mr Mbadi, flanked by MPs Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba), Abdikadir Aden (Balambala), Abdikadir Ore (Wajir West), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay County) and Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) accused the President of using outdated tactics to remain in power.
In a statement read by Mbadi, the MPs challenged Uhuru to declare his interests in Mombasa and Turkana counties, “and tell Kenyans why he is hell-bent on frustrating the governors of the two counties”.
“President Kenyatta must appreciate the fact that the Constitution fundamentally changed Kenya’s political architecture. That the era of imperial and authoritarian presidency was buried deep and forgotten when Kenyans overwhelmingly chose a new constitutional dispensation,” he said.
Go high Mr President. Go high!
“The Head of State is the symbol of national unity and must at all times uphold the integrity of the Presidency and respect the two levels of government and their leaders as provided for in the Constitution.”
Last week, an angry Uhuru used the word ‘stupid’ on Mr Nanok, who accused the national government of a plot to shortchange locals in the sharing of petroleum revenues.
The leaders argued the President’s response to claims by Nanok proved he was unfit for the Presidency as he lacked respect for other leaders.
“The holder of the office of the President must never act in anger. One cannot be a fool for telling another person what he does not want to hear,” said Mbadi.
But what irked the MPs even more was Sunday’s political rally at Tononoka grounds in Mombasa County, which Jubilee leaders turned into a Joho-bashing platform.
“Every speaker used the occasion to insult the governor and our party leader Raila Odinga. And today, when Joho sought to set the record straight, they sent a battalion of armed GSU officers to barricade his residence and his office,” said Mbadi.
“It is hypocritical of the President to keep telling leaders to stop insulting each other when he is the one using unpalatable words such as ‘mjinga’, ‘mshenzi’, ‘shetani’ and ‘muguruki’ (mad man) on other leaders.
“Going to the counties to insult, intimidate and harass governors who have turned down overtures by Jubilee is unacceptable,” Mbadi said.
Mr Junet, who is ODM’s director of campaigns, said the President had sensed defeat and was resorting to intimidation of Opposition leaders.