October 17th 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

President Kenyatta tours Meru this week to counter Raila’s growing support

The county seems a vote hunt for the two as Jubilee is banking on Senator Murungi fighting to deny the incumbent Peter Munya re-election who the Opposition are using to make inroads in the region

By Julliet Mwihakijmwihaki@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 19 Jun 2017 14:06 EAT

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing residents of Witeithie on his way to Thika Stadium of Kiambu yeterday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected in Meru County this week just a few days after his main challenger, NASA Presidential candidate Raila Odinga toured the area.

The county seems a vote hunt for the two with Jubilee banking on Senator Kiraitu Murungi who is fighting to deny the incumbent Peter Munya re-election. The Opposition is seems to rely on Munya to make inroads in the region.

The perception that the county is Jubilee stronghold is dying out after NASA’s latest campaign blitz which saw the residents give the Raila team a befitting welcome compared to three months ago when some youths in Meru County closed the roads and tried to chase him away.

Prof Isaiah Kindiki, brother to Leader of majority in the Senate Prof Kithure Kindiki is the point man of Raila’s entry into Meru and Tharaka Nithi County where both hail from.

The other NASA key point man who commandeered a  big number of those who attended the NASA rallies included Former Central Imenti Member of Parliament Kirungi M’Mukindia who said that NASA coalition is concerned with the Jubilee government move to abandon vision 2030 projects that directly touch on Tharaka Nithi and Meru Counties. He also added that NASA government will ensure they significantly increase devolved funds.

However Kiraitu Murungi has downplayed the NASA party visit in Meru County and said Raila should be treated like a tourist. He added that NASA party has no future after elections and that it will collapse during campaign rallies in his South Imenti backyard. He also said that Mr Raila has visited Meru County many times but he does not have substantial votes there.

In his speech, Odinga talked about free secondary school education from September this year if elected. He also talked of the heavy debt that Kenyans are carrying whereby each Kenyan owes the Ksh. 100,000. He added that in his government 45 per cent of government funds will be used by the counties on roads, schools and health.

Meanwhile, Raila is also expected to return to Western region just two days after President Kenyatta held campaign rallies there. The President and NASA flag bearer are not taking chances and appear determined to catch votes in perceived zones of each other.

During the 2013 General Elections, Meru voters gave President Kenyatta an overwhelming support by garnering 384,290  which was 90.3 percent of the total votes cast compared to Raila’s 32,447  which was 07.6 per cent.

And in Tharaka Nithi a similar trend was witnessed as the President got 128,397 or 93.1 per cent compared to 7,120 of Raila. The situation seems to have changed and the forthcoming elections are expected to give a different outcome with Raila poised to get more votes. 

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