The National Super Alliance on Wednesday took its campaigns to Deputy President William Ruto’s Uasin Gishu backyard with calls to voters in the perceived Jubilee Party stronghold to endorse Raila Odinga’s presidential bid on August 8 for improved livelihood.
The political group’s leaders focused on maize farmers, who mostly reside in North Rift, saying they will improve the prices of their produce. They accused the Jubilee administration of ignoring the farmers.
Speaking at a rally at 64 Stadium in Eldoret, presidential candidate Raila Odinga, his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka and their co-principals Moses Wetang’ula, Musalia Mudavadi and Isaac Ruto said Jubilee has failed Kenyans.
Mr Odinga said there were all indications that Nasa was headed for a resounding victory in the elections.
“Nimeona dalili ya mvua hapa Eldoret (I’ve seen the signs of rain here in Eldoret,” said Mr Odinga. “Upepo unavuma na utachukua takataka yote ya Jubilee baharini (the wind is blowing and it will sweep all Jubilee garbage to the sea). Kenyans will send a strong message on election day. Please be part of this history. Let’s take another route that will take us to Canaan.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta was on the receiving end for skipping the presidential debate on Monday night with Mr Odinga saying: “It’s the norm worldwide for leading presidential candidates to meet for a debate before elections but our president chickened out. I waited for over 30 minutes to no avail.”
The ODM party leader said he would have taken the President to task over Jubilee’s failures including what he said was inability to address the cost of living.
“Jubilee has failed Kenya,” said Mr Odinga. “Our youth are grappling with high rates of unemployment and runaway corruption. That’s what I would have asked Uhuru. Time has come for Jubilee to go home.”
Mr Odinga pledged to address the high cost of living in his first 100 days in office and set up industrial parks for vocational training, adding that more than 12 million youth were jobless.
“We will empower youth for upward social mobility,” he said. “We will empower single mothers to be self-reliant by setting up a fund for them to engage in income-generating activities.”
The former Prime Minister said his government would set up low-cost housing to rid the country of slums.
“We will also tap into the huge sporting talent in the North Rift region,” said Mr Odinga. “We will set up sports academies in each one of the 47 counties. We will ensure our athletes live a decent life even after retirement.
“We will restore Kenya’s respect in the eyes of the world. We are currently in the corruption super league. Safari yetu ni kama kutoka Misri kwenda Canaan. Tarehe 8 Agosti safari inaanza ikiongonzwa na Joshua na Caleb, (We are travelling from Egypt to Canaan. The journey will start on August 8, led by Joshua and Caleb).”
Nasa addressed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
Said Mr Odinga. “Ezra Chiloba, Kenyans will not forgive you if this election is rigged.”
Mr Musyoka warned: “We want to tell Jubilee and IEBC that you will not steal this election. The high turnout in Eldoret is a clear testimony that Jubilee’s time is over.”
The former Vice-President said President Kenyatta failed 9.6 million Kenyans who watched the presidential debate by not showing up.
Bomet Governor Ruto accused the government of abandoning farmers.
“It’s shameful that we’re importing maize instead of empowering our farmers,” said Mr Ruto as he punned the recent maize imports from Mexico in Kiswahili: “Niliuliza hii Mexico iko wapi wakasema ‘maize iko’.
“Ugali imekuwa mteja haipatikani saa saba.”
Mr Mudavadi said: “We are telling Uhuru Kenyatta to enjoy himself for the next few days.”
Earlier at Chepkorio showground in Keiyo, Mr Odinga accused the Jubilee administration of committing the country to debts amounting to Sh4 trillion.
Additional reporting by Susan Towett and Lillian Jero.
Elections team says public will be able to get periodic results on its web portal.