President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday promised to give a job to the loser among two gubernatorial opponents Ukur Yattani and Mohamud Ali if Marsabit residents voted to re-elect him next month.
The President spoke at a rally in the county where supporters of incumbent Governor Yattani and Mr Ali clashed.
“If you support me and make a choice of who to govern the county, I will ensure the other one gets a job with the government,” said President Kenyatta.
In an apparent bid to avoid getting mired in the county’s ethnic hostilities that have resulted in at least 10 deaths recently, the President said both support him.
On Wednesday, five people were injured when chaos erupted before and after the President and his deputy William Ruto’s arrival as the two rival groups clashed. Three of them were shot and wounded soon after the leaders left for Samburu.
Three Kenya Police Reservists were arrested in connection with the shooting and disarmed.
The two victims had gunshot wounds on their heads and lower limbs and the third had a bullet removed from the leg.
Before the arrival of the leaders, groups of supporters of Jubilee Party and the Frontier Alliance Party threw stones at each other at Moi Girls Secondary School, the venue of the rally. Some people sustained minor head and hand injuries.
Mr Yattani and Mr Ali are facing off for the second time, having been the only contestants for the post in the 2013 elections.
President Kenyatta asked the residents to maintain peace before, during and after the August 8 General Election. He told politicians that they had a duty to conduct peaceful campaigns.
“We want peace, and all of us should continue steering peace in our campaigns,” said Mr Kenyatta,a dding that no one should lose their life over politics.
The President also said his government has set aside Sh2 billion to complete the stalled Badassa Dam project.
The Head of State said the Jubilee administration had changed the face of northern Kenya, unlike previous regimes that did little for the region. He said that his government has genuine concern to solve the problems facing the people of the region, who were neglected in the past.
“Who can tell us that the Jubilee government has not worked for the people of this region?” President Kenyatta asked as he instructed the Ministry of Infrastructure to tarmac all the roads in the town.
The President also launched the Marsabit-Moyale highway and Marsabit Stadium, which is being renovated. He said the next phase of the transformational agenda of Jubilee was to implement an action plan to create more jobs, lower prices and enhance peace and security.
Mr Ruto urged residents to support their re-election, saying the government has delivered on their 2013 pledges. He said: “The government has delivered and deserves a second term.
“The free maternity, free primary school education and now, in the second term, free secondary school education.
“We respect you a lot. We want the people of this county to vote in peace.”
In 2013, President Kenyatta lost to ODM leader Raila Odinga in Marsabit after he garnered 42,407 votes against the opposition leader’s 43,843. However, all the leaders in the region then elected on the ticket of the Odinga-led ODM have since defected to Jubilee.
A local alliance formation known as Regabu – Rendile, Gabbra and Burji – also saw the senatorial, gubernatorial and woman representative positions divided among the three communities.
Elections team says public will be able to get periodic results on its web portal.