Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Wednesday, 05 Jul 2017 18:05 EATjmwangangi@kenyafreepress.com
President Uhuru Kenyatta today took his campaign to Kajiado County, just a few days after his main challenger and NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga visited the area and addressed mammoth rallies. The President commissioned the construction of Imaroro- Mashuru- Isara road.
He is out to consolidate his support and popularize the Jubilee Party in the County as well as trying to undo Raila’s growing influence in the county. With 411,193 registered voters in Kajiado, the President’s promise is to continue with his transformation agenda that includes putting electricity in each and every house in the country adding that every mother should give birth freely in all government hospitals to increase their health status.
He promised to improve the lives of the elderly people who are above 70 years by adding their monthly payment to Sh1.4 million from KSh700,000 as way of living better lives and ending poverty in Kenya.
The Jubilee Party leader address was about peace and unity and reminded Kenyans that Jubilee stands for unity among all Kenyans despite their tribal affiliations.
He promised free secondary education from next year if re-elected and construction of a Technical Training Institute (TTI). He added that from next year, his government will stand with students who are done with university and secondary education to undergo annual internship so that they can acquire job skills.
The President is keen to have Jubilee capture the gubernatorial seat through Joseph Nkaissery’s predecessor at the Interior Ministry, Joseph ole Lenku.
The Kajiado voters are seen as sway voters who can move either side of the political divide and frequent campaign tours by the two opponents is an indication that no one is taking chances.
However the county has been leaning more to Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). Even after President Kenyatta poached Joseph Nkaissery into the cabinet from ODM, the party reclaimed the Kajiado Central seat through Elijah Memusi.
However, as the campaigns intensify, the emotive land issue has continued eliciting mixed reactions in the country, after Odinga’s appeal to the Maasai community to stop selling their ancestral land cheaply to other communities.
Even though leaders especially from Jubilee accused him of inciting the Maasai, he was supported by a section of Maasais. Mr Odinga clarified that he only cautioned the community against selling their ancestral land, a move he attributed to poverty and lack of awareness.
In Kajiado County, where the remarks were made, local residents agree that their poor economic position is largely to blame for the massive selling of land to other Kenyans, more so now that the cost of living is shooting up..
“Those who have sold their land, 70 per cent is because of poverty but the government can put regulations on land selling,” 56 year-old Ms Agnes Kong said. She also added that “this generation” should not be selfish and not sell the entire land.
“It is our children who will suffer, I have young children, and they will need a place to stay in future,” she asserted. “The government needs to put tight regulations…not every challenge warrants selling of land.”
However others said no person should bar them from selling their land but urge the government to regulate how the business is executed.
“Our community has been marginalised for long and there is no way you will stop us from selling land and yet we need to have a good life like any other person. Some sell it to educate our children while others do it to settle their hospital bills,” Bernard Tima, a resident of Kajiado County said.
Trizza Kimani contributed reporting for this article