President Uhuru answers Raila, Kalonzo on referendum

President Uhuru Kenyatta greets his host, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua at Katu SA Primary School during the launch of the Last Mile Connectivity Project, Wednesday. [PHOTO: GOVEDI ASUTSA/STANDARD]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has told Opposition leaders to take time off to review why they lost in the last General Election instead of engaging the Government in premature campaigns.

Addressing a public meeting in Machakos County yesterday, two days after Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula addressed a rally in the region to press for a referendum, the President said they should wait for the next General Election to start their campaigns.

Uhuru referred to the Okoa Kenya referendum campaign as 'Okoa Jahazi'.

"After losing in the last General Election, the Opposition leaders should evaluate their political mistakes and think about how they will improve in the next election, rather than engaging in endless, desperate and empty political cat and mouse games," said the President.

In a harsh rebuke, the Head of State told Opposition leaders that differing political views should be expressed in a civilised manner.

"Our friends from the other side should realise that politics is not a contest for hurling insults at each other. They should wait for the right time to come to do a fresh round of campaigns," Uhuru said.

Saying the use of foul language was not warranted, the President said those who expressed themselves in such an abusive manner needed to "go back to school and learn to be civilised human beings".


Speaking while launching the Last Mile electricity connection project, the Head of State caused laughter when he suggested that they should take advantage of the electrification of schools to return to class to gain more knowledge and learn to be respectful.

The President addressed a huge gathering at Katulu Primary school in Matungulu Constituency during the launch of the electrification programme. He warned that the time for "old school type of politics" practised by CORD politicians was long gone, and challenged the coalition's leaders to style up.

He said his government was focusing on uniting Kenyans and delivering services to citizens irrespective of their political inclinations.

Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto were hosted by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who was elected on a Wiper Party ticket but has on several occasions snubbed political meetings convened by the CORD leadership in favour of the ruling coalition.

Raila had accused Dr Mutua of "betrayal" for snubbing Monday's Okoa Kenya rally in Machakos town.

Deputy President William Ruto also warned the Opposition against engaging in 'petty and retrogressive' politics. He called for respect among all elected leaders and urged for political tolerance.

"Let us realise that political competition is not an avenue for hatred and bad blood but a forum for citizens to exercise their democratic right to elect their leaders of choice," said Mr Ruto.

And addressing a rally at Kenyatta Stadium, the President castigated those attacking Governor Mutua.

"I am surprised by people who fight Dr Mutua for doing good. What else do they want him to do for the people of Machakos who elected him? You elected him, not me, and so if he chooses to work with me what is the problem?" Uhuru asked.


Earlier, the President was at Machakos Level Five Hospital where he unveiled a cancer machine and a six-bed intensive care unit. The hospital was upgraded to referral status.

The President said his Government had spent a lot of money to install the machine for residents to receive cancer treatment and save them the expenses involved in travelling to Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.

President Kenyatta told Mutua to soldier on, assuring him of support in every aspect of development.

"Ignore those whose main agenda is to fight development and work without fear to achieve what you promised the people of Machakos. Let those who have chosen to attack others continue, but we shall do what Kenyans sent us to leadership for," he said.

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