ODM: President intimidating governors

ODM yesterday protested against what they termed unnecessary harassment of two Opposition governors by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The party’s top leaders accused President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto of engaging in political intimidation against Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Turkana counterpart Josephat Nanok.

Addressing the press in Nairobi, ODM chairman John Mbadi said the President was becoming “an irritant by engaging in arrogant war of words” with the two governors.

Intimidation of the two ODM leaders who have refused to decamp to the government side, showed the President and his government were unwilling to adhere to the Constitution that recognised their rights, he said.

“Yesterday, during their rally at Tononoka in Mombasa, they all turned the event into a Governor Hassan Ali Joho bashing platform. Every speaker used the occasion to insult the governor and our party leader,” said Mr Mbadi at Orange House.

He was accompanied by several MPs including Junet Mohammed (Suna East), Abdikadir Aden (Balambala), Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba), Opiyo Wandai (Ugunja) and Judy Pareno (East African Legislative Assembly).

Mr Mbadi said the President should use his position to unify the country, adding that the use of unprintable words against other elected leaders was unacceptable.

“Today when governor Joho sought to set the record straight, they sent a battalion of armed GSU (General Service Unit) officers to barricade his residence and his office. He was unlawfully barred from discharging his constitutional mandate because the President could not stomach the truth,” said the Suba MP.

Going to the counties to insult and intimidate governors was unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the ODM leadership, he said.

The leaders also accused the government of misrepresenting facts by claiming Turkana had received over Sh50 billion and Mombasa Sh40 billion through devolution.

The ODM leaders demanded that the President stop making remarks that could demean the seat of power and frustrating elected leaders.

Mr Mohammed said President Kenyatta had sensed defeat and was acting out of frustration.

“He spoke of Joho being a sultan. He should know that this is a title given to a highly respected Muslim leader just like they call him muthamaki (king) in Nyeri,” Mr Mohammed said.

Mr Bosire urged the President to be tolerant and respect other leaders if he expected respect in return.

“The President largely has nothing to tell Kenyans and cannot account for his time in office for the last four years. That is why he is going after brave Opposition leaders,” said Mr Bosire.

Mr Aden urged police to be careful not be used by leaders.

“As policemen, you must know that after the election we will have a new government under Raila Odinga. And by the way, Mr Odinga and the Nasa brigade have a lot in store for you so don’t burn with the outgoing regime,” he said.

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