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Uhuru back to Western to seek share of 1.9 million Luhya votes

By Alex Wakhisi and Edwin Nyaragi | Published Sat, June 17th 2017 at 10:24, Updated June 17th 2017 at 10:31 GMT +3
Jubilee candidates from Kakamega County led by Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali (in front), inspect Bukhungu Stadium on Friday ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto’s rally today. [Benjamin Sakwa,Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee Party team will today camp in Kakamega County to woo the Luhya community to support his re-election bid.

His tour comes a few days after his visit of Kakamega and Bungoma counties last week, seeking a share of the 1.9 million votes from the region that is considered an Opposition stronghold.

In 2013, President Kenyatta got 12,469 votes in Kakamega County and a total of 66,185 from the Western region, while CORD presidential candidate Raila Odinga garnered 303,120 in Kakamega and 755,525 from the entire region.

Speaking in Kakamega town yesterday, Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali said the President will have roadside rallies at Malinya and Sigalagala markets in Ikolomani then Khayega market in Shinyalu before the main rally at Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega town.

“We will host the President in this region as we campaign for his re-election. He will address some of the challenges affecting this region, especially the sugar industry. We will put a lot of focus on Bukhungu rally to ensure we get more support,” said Washiali.

Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe said they expect the President to highlight the economic blueprint Jubilee government has for the region for the next five years.

Big expectations

“We expect him to tell us what his government will do for the region. We have big economic expectations from Jubilee and we also want to increase government appointments from this region,” said Wangwe.

He said they want President Kenyatta to assure locals that all projects initiated by the Jubilee government will be completed.

Ikolomani MP Bernard Shinali said the President and his deputy William Ruto will inspect ongoing tarmacking of Sigalagala-Sidindi road.

Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba said Jubilee targets to beat NASA in Western region and exuded confidence that President Kenyatta will get more than 50 per cent of the 1.9 votes.

“Our target is to get more than 50 per cent votes for President Uhuru. We have what it takes to get the votes. Things have changed and this is not Western which used to vote for the Opposition. I am confident the region is experiencing a new dawn and is yearning for development than ever,” said Namwamba.

He said the region’s leaders supporting the National Super Alliance (NASA) are advocating for their personal interests at the expense of the community.

“We supported Raila in 2007 and 2013 but got nothing from it. Now we are supporting the winning team,” he said.

“The notion that Western is a NASA zone is now the past. We have changed our voting patterns and will deliver the region to President Uhur.”

Meanwhile, in Kisii County, Jubilee MCA candidates have urged the Gusii Community to rally behind President Kenyatta.

The 45 candidates thanked the President for giving out Sh830 million for compensation of integrated Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Kisii and Nyamira counties during his recent tour of the region.

Led by MCAs Joash Orora (Masimba) and George Bibao (Bokimonge) and Kisii Central ward aspirant Kepher Mogaka, the candidates dismissed the notion that the Gusii community is a NASA zone. They said Uhuru will get many votes from the region.

“The money the President gave out as compensation to IDPs in which each family is to get Sh50,000 is just the first phase, with more funds expected to be given to the affected individuals after vetting is done to weed out impostors,” said Orora.

Panicking

Bibao said they were ready for the General Election and it did not matter who presides over it. They said NASA leaders are panicking after sensing defeat.

“We do not understand what the NASA leadership wants, they demanded the disbandment of the IEBC led by Issack Hassan and now they are fighting the Wafula Chebukati team. They should tell us who they want to work with,” said Bibao.

Mogaka defended Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i against accusations that he was campaigning for Jubilee in the region.


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