The National Super Alliance on Thursday pitched camp in the coast, seeking to consolidate support in the region that predominantly voted for its flagbearer, Mr Raila Odinga, in the last elections.
Mr Odinga, who addressed a rally in Rabai in Kilifi, urged the local residents to turn out in large numbers and vote for him on August 8. He said Nasa would form a five-man team in every polling station to be in charge of protecting Nasa votes.
“This time round, they will not steal. They have successfully done that in previous elections but it will not be business as usual this time,” he said.
Mr Odinga further said there would be another team charged with the responsibility of making sure no one remains at home on election day.
“We shall follow up even on patients in hospitals, take them to vote and return them to the hospitals. Our main target is that no vote should remain in your pocket on the material day,” he said.
He promised to revive the ailing coast economy, which he said would be enhanced by devolving 45 per cent of the budgeted funds to counties.
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, who accompanied the Orange Democratic Movement’s presidential candidate, vowed to hold parallel meetings with those of President Uhuru Kenyatta whenever he visits Mombasa.
Mr Joho said he would not be cowed by the move by President Kenyatta to bar him from attending his events.
“If they hold their meeting in Mvita, I will hold mine in Nyali. That is democracy,” he said.
Mr Joho said President Kenyatta should not mislead coast residents that locals had benefited from top government positions.
He chided the President and his Deputy William Ruto for boasting that they had rewarded a Rabai resident, Nelson Nzuya, with the Jubilee Party chairmanship, saying he should have been given a big post like Secretary to the Cabinet.
Mr Joho said only five parties were in Nasa and that candidates from other small parties claiming to back Mr Odinga should be rejected.
In Lamu town, Nasa co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula were accorded a king’s reception as they made their one-day visit to the region to campaign for Mr Odinga. Addressing a rally at the Mkunguni Square on arrival, a tough talking Mudavadi said the Jubilee administration had totally messed up the country following the massive cases of corruption that had been witnessed throughout their four-year leadership.
He also asked President Kenyatta to stop accusing the Nasa coalition of copying their manifesto, especially on the issue of free secondary education, and instead asked him to get himself a copy of the Amani National Congress manifesto.
“The President is the one who is a copycat on the matter of free secondary education. If you find an extract from the defunct United Democratic Front (UDF) manifesto, which bore ANC and now Nasa coalition, then you will see the matter on free education. I had already pledged that, so the President is copying me,” he said.
He said Nasa’s pledge was about comprehensive free basic education, including a compelling rationale for the scrapping of KCPE exams.
Mr Mudavadi called on Lamu residents to vote for Nasa to ensure it forms the next government so that the region can also enjoy the national cake.
He said Nasa was committed to solving youth unemployment and other challenges facing young people through a youth policy aimed at keeping young people in school longer.
“We want to guarantee all Kenyan children fully publicly funded, compulsory ECDE, primary and secondary school education,” said Mr Mudavadi.
He said it was shameful for the President to allege that Nasa were the copycats and urged the Head of State to go through history records before making such allegations.
Mr Mudavadi said the ministry of Education gets the lion’s share of the country’s annual budget and that, by efficiently applying the budget and closing wastage loopholes, the country would only need Sh100 billion of the budget to fund comprehensive free basic education.
Mr Wetang’ula accused Jubilee of failure to implement devolution.
He said the current land tussles in Lamu were as a result of the President’s failure to address the matter.
He called on locals to vote for Nasa since their key objective was to ensure an all-inclusive government.
“Devolution hasn’t worked properly under the Jubilee administration which is focused more on corruption. We have witnessed high levels of tribalism under Jubilee. Jubilee has mishandled the war on terror,” said Mr Wetang’ula.
Lamu Governor Issa Timamy said he would stand with Nasa in ensuring it formed the next government.
He said the Lamu residents’ stand was to ensure the governor comes from ANC, the Senator from ANC, Women Representative from Wiper and the two MPs from ODM. “Lamu people have decided they will elect leaders from the Nasa coalition right from the governor to the MPs,” said Mr Timamy.