President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and his deputy William Ruto address a rally in Amagoro, Teso North, Busia County. [Photo: Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]
President Uhuru Kenyatta exuded confidence that he will beat NASA presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga in the August 8 elections.
Uhuru recalled that in 2013, together with his deputy William Ruto they faced criminal charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC), but still emerged victors against Raila-Kalonzo Musyoka pairing.
“In 2013, we defeated Raila and his team, who were in Government. Today, we are the Government. They should be ready for another defeat. We are sending them into permanent retirement from politics,” said Uhuru, adding it would be a landslide win.
The President made the remarks Wednesday during his tour of Busia County, a region perceived to be an Opposition stronghold. In 2013, Uhuru got 8,186 votes in Busia while Raila garnered 189,161.
The President also asked the Opposition to give the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) room to work.
Ballot papers tender
Internal competition threatens Raila vote
Internal competition threatens Raila vote
This comes at a time when NASA has raised issue with the awarding of a tender to print ballot papers to a Dubai firm, Al Ghurair, that it alleges has links with top Jubilee leaders.
The Opposition has also taken issue with the audit conducted on the voters’ register and is pushing to have the presidential tally announced at the constituency level as the final count during the August 8 polls.
Said Uhuru: “I tell my brother Raila to stop excuses and sell his agenda. Leave IEBC to do its work, because, the commission doesn’t have votes. Jubilee does not need to interfere with IEBC to win.”
The President challenged the Luhya community to start identifying new leaders noting that NASA co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula will be sent to political oblivion after the August polls.
Speaking after inspecting the Sh1.2 billion Sigiri Bridge in Budalang’i, the Head of State said he is sure of a second term in office and asked the community to support his re-election bid.
He promised locals that his government will revive cotton farming in the county to boost the economic growth of the region.
“I promised the bridge when I was in this area in 2014. I have delivered on my promise. We are now focusing on reviving the cotton industry in the country to benefit our people,” he said.
Jubilee tells NASA off over ballot tender
He further announced that the Government plans to write off all debts owed to the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) by the fishermen in the county.
“We will supply free cotton seeds to farmers. We will also start compensating people to pave way for the construction of a Sh10 billion dam to enhance irrigation in this region,” he said.
He also promised to open a border post at Mulwanda in Funyula constituency to link Kenya and Uganda.
Politics of propaganda
“We ask our opponents to compete on ideologies not insults and propaganda. We need all people to focus on an agenda that will transform Kenya not politics based on tribalism,” the Head of State told locals at Funyula market during a stopover rally.
Ruto said it was a new dawn for the community, as it had opted to support development and not rhetoric.
He said Jubilee will work with other leaders like Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba to get a share of the 1.9 million votes in western region.
“We don’t want divisive politics, which the Opposition is advancing. It is possible to have a one united Kenya. The community should ensure it is part of the next Government, which will be formed by Jubilee because it is the winning team,” said Ruto.
He asked the community to back the re-election of President Kenyatta to continue benefiting from several development projects.
“In 2013 we did not get votes in Busia but this time round, we are not going to leave you out. We will ensure we walk with you to form the next Government,” he said.
Mr Ababu who is the Labor Party of Kenya (LPK) leader assured Uhuru that they will get more votes in the county.
“We have found out you are genuine leaders, performers, trustworthy and have fulfilled your pledges. In 2013 you got 400 votes from Budalang’i but this year, be ready for bigger support,” said Ababu.