President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have exerted pressure on Wiper Democratic Movement – Kenya party leader Kalonzo Musyoka to abandon National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga and join the Jubilee Party.
Mr Kenyatta said it was apparent the Nasa coalition could not win the August election against an incumbent government since they were defeated in 2013 when they were in power.
Speaking at a stopover in Matuu after launching the Matuu-Ekalala road, Mr Kenyatta said he had no differences with Mr Musyoka and urged him to dissociate himself from Mr Odinga since their bid was “headed nowhere”.
“I have no differences with Kalonzo Musyoka; he is a gentleman. I again ask him to leave the kitendawili guy alone. He is taking him nowhere,” said the President.
He accused Mr Odinga of ejecting him together with Mr Ruto from the grand coalition government.
He said Mr Odinga was behind the trumped up charges that saw Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto spend time travelling abroad to deal with the cases at the International Criminal Court but still came back to beat Mr Odinga in the 2013 elections.
“If we beat them when we were out of government, will they defeat us now when we are in charge?” asked the President.
He urged Ukambani people to vote to change their lives and not vote for a person simply because he was from their tribe.
Mr Ruto urged the residents to vote for President Kenyatta “and leave me to sort out my differences with Mr Musyoka after the elections”.
“The competition now is between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga. Kalonzo says he has no problem with Mr Kenyatta but has a few issues with me. Let us vote for Uhuru in August and then I can later agree with Kalonzo or we can compete with him in 2022,” pleaded Mr Ruto.
Mr Ruto laughed off Mr Odinga’s ‘Canaan’ promise, saying the Canaan Mr Odinga was talking about was the legalisation of traditional brews such as chang’aa and busaa.
During the tour, the President commissioned the Yatta canal as part of the Jubilee government’s efforts to provide water for irrigation in the arid region.
The President reopened the canal following Sh2.2 billion rehabilitation works, a major facelift for the project which was built during the colonial era.
President Kenyatta said the rehabilitation of the 58.8-kilometre canal was part of his administration’s transformational agenda for the lower eastern Kenya region.
“I am glad that our investment in the rehabilitation of this canal is positively and directly impacting the lives of residents and attracting investors who are creating jobs for the youth,” the President said.
The Head of State said the completion of the water canal’s rehabilitation works had increased acreage under irrigation from 6,000 to 25,000 acres.
He said plans are under way to construct Yatta dam that will increase the acreage under irrigation to 45,000 acres and within two years expand it to become the largest irrigation scheme in the country, surpassing Mwea.
“Our focus is to transform the country and lift the lives of Kenyans through projects in health, water, agriculture, roads and electricity,” said President Kenyatta.
Area MP Francis Mwangangi has been at the forefront lobbying for funds for the rehabilitation of the Yatta canal but skipped Tuesday’s rally in Matuu. He is a member of Chama Cha Uzalendo.
Both the President and his deputy did not mention Mr Mwangangi’s name in their speeches but only appealed to voters to exercise their right in choosing leaders.
Earlier the President launched the Matuu-Ekalakala road and assured the road will be done in a few months.