Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Tuesday, 11 Jul 2017 12:35 EATlmwihaki@kenyafreepress.com
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto yesterday toured Turkana County perceived as an opposition zone with a message to the voters urging them to change.
Uhuru and Ruto flew to Kakuma refugee camp, whose facilities accommodate refugees from South Sudan. They later visited Lokitaung as well as the oil town of Lokichar, before a rally in Lodwar.
The locals have been critical of the Jubilee government over how they were benefiting from the oil being extracted from the area. NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga said 30 per cent of the proceeds will remain in the county, not the five per cent Jubilee is offering.
However if yesterday’s show of support and the hundreds who attended their rallies, then Jubilee party is making inroads in the county. Hundreds of those who attended the rallies showed up all draped in red colors the symbols of Jubilee Party. Political commentators have however ruled out that the number of people who attend campaign rallies mean votes.
President Kenyatta and Ruto concentrated their speeches on bashing at the NASA leaders accusing them of failing to do any development during the many years they served in the government.
“Let me tell you. The opposition leaders were in government holding various positions for decades. One was even a prime minister, the other vice president, the other finance minister, the other foreign minister. What did Turkana have to show in that time? Don’t be led astray by people who have never had you in their agenda,” the President told the Turkana community.
DP Ruto on his part said the Jubilee administration is an action-oriented government demonstrated by the development projects initiated throughout the county and country in general. Jubilee aspirants for various seats led by John Munyes, who is contesting for gubernatorial seat, thanked the President and the DP for showing their zeal to uplift the lives of Turkana people through the initiation of various development projects.
“Today the people of Turkana don’t have to travel to Kitale or Eldoret for better healthcare, we have installed theatre equipment and radiology equipment in Lodwar and therefore locals can get proper medical help within their county,” said the President.
The President went ahead and told the residents to come up in large numbers in the August polls and vote for Jubilee as it is going to transform the county and the country. “We should be given time to continue with our development projects. Those who are ready to contest and those who are not ready should wait till 2022 to battle it out with Mr Ruto for the presidential seat,” he said.
The President said that he is the one who is supposed to postpone the election as he will be the first president of the republic of Kenya, to have not completed his five years term as its only four and half years to the elections. “They should stop playing with the minds of Kenyans. If they are not ready for the polls, let them step aside and allow those who want to participate to do so instead of trying to sabotage the process. Kenyans are ready to go to the polls on August 8 and no one will deny them that right,” said the President.
Meanwhile, The Jubilee Party yesterday held other campaign rallies in Kabarnet, Kabartonjo, Marigat, and Eldama Ravine in Baringo County. Baringo Senator Gideon Moi attended the rallies which were graced by large turnout as the County is known to be a Jubilee stronghold.
During his speech DP Ruto was however heckled at Tiaty Constituency when he endorsed Baringo’s Jubilee senatorial candidate Simon Chelugui. This was an indication that Gideon Moi still commands strong following in the area. The crowd demanded Ruto addresses the matter of insecurity case in Tiaty area instead of campaigning for Jubilee senatorial candidate. Tiaty constituents said that they should first be addressed by Simon Kiuta, the Jubilee candidate. Outgoing MP Asman Kamama is defending his seat on a Party for Development Reforms ticket.
While addressing the gathering Gideon Moi, the Kanu leader asked the president to create more job opportunities. President Uhuru gave a speech on the Jubilee manifesto in terms of road development, free secondary education, internships and job opportunities for the youth. Uhuru claimed that the opposition party NASA is inconveniencing the election preparations being done by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries following the ruling made in court that stopped printing of Presidential papers by Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing company in Dubai.
Julliet Mwihaki contributed to reporting of this article