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Friday, 07 Jul 2017 13:31 EATjmwihaki@kenyafreepress.com
NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga, his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka and other opposition top leaders yesterday combed Kericho County in hunt for votes in the area perceived to be a Jubilee stronghold. They toured Fort Tenan, Londiani, Moi Garden, Sondu, Kiptere, Sossion, Kapsoit, in two groups before they converged at Kericho town for a main rally.
Emurua Dikir MP Johana Ngeno urged the Kipsigis community to 'forgive' Mr Odinga over his alleged offences against the community when he led the eviction of settlers from the Mau Forest. "We have never seen a more violent eviction from the Mau than that conducted by the Jomo Kenyatta government in 1975. Homes were torched and livestock confiscated from the settlers, then put on public auction for Sh10 per head. But we forgave President Kenyatta and continued to cooperate with the Kikuyu community," he said.
The fiery MP, who is a member of NASA affiliate Chama cha Mashinani, urged the community to forgive Mr Odinga, whom he said had presided over the most humane eviction from the protected water resource. NASA team led by Mr Odinga and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto also included pentagon members FORD Kenya leader Moses Wetangula, ANC’s Musalia Mudavadi and other NASA supporters
In his speech, Mr Odinga claimed that Jubilee was using its allies to steal votes during the elections. This however did not go down well with the attendants. Mr Odinga defended himself over allegations made about him being too old for the presidential job and told the crowd that former President Jomo Kenyatta was too old when he was leading this country.
He also mocked Jubilee of poor leadership skills. Mudavadi said “The SGR train was constructed by China Constructors and the same China people are the SGR train drivers leaving the youth in Kenya jobless.” The NASA coalition party promised Kericho residents to fix the ailing tea and coffee sector and construction of better roads.
Mr Wetangula said “The biggest problem is that Jubilee government has ruined the country which was on a great development trend under Mwai Kibaki and Odinga’s leadership during the grand coalition government. Now it is on its knees”.
NASA coalition also made joined the controversial presidential debate with Mr Odinga saying that it should be between him and President Uhuru. Kalonzo said NASA will not allow Mr Odinga to attend the debate with other candidates such as Mohammed Abduba Dida who cannot be able to gather a large number of people.
However NASA team faced hostility from Jubilee supporters in Kapsoit who disagreed with Mr Odinga on administration in terms of development and economy. Some of the people said that the opposition flag bearer was peddling lies. During the 2013 elections Mr Odinga got slightly over 70,000 votes against President Uhuru who got 238,000 votes. Despite that NASA coalition hopes to get more votes this time to earn them a round one win.