By Stephen Makabila
NAIROBI; KENYA: Jubilee allied legislators and other leaders came out strongly in defence of Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto’s joint presidential ticket.
Speaking during the Jubilee rally at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, on Saturday the leaders maintained that Uhuru and Ruto have the right credentials to lead the country.
They dismissed opinion polls as misleading and said accusations of tribalism and the pending International Criminal Court cases would not derail the Jubilee principals.
The leaders included Cabinet ministers Beth Mugo, Katoo ole Metito, Assistant minister Cecily Mbarire, Moses ole Sakuda, Linah Jebii Kilimo, Kareke Mbiuki and MPs Walter Nyambati, Ferdinand Waititu, Joshua Kutuny, Rachel Shebesh (Nominated) and former minister Maina Kamanda.
Other speakers included Cabinet ministers Charity Ngilu, Naomi Shaban and MPs Najib Balala, Kiema Kilonzo and Aden Duale.
Ms Mbarire defended Uhuru and Ruto’s performance when they were Cabinet ministers saying this demonstrated their leadership ability.
“When Uhuru was the Finance minister, we had a budget of Sh1.3 trillion, the biggest ever and when Ruto was the minister for Agriculture, fertiliser prices dropped from Sh4,000 to Sh2,000 per bag,” Mbarire told the congregation.
Mr Kutuny claimed that Jubilee’s opponents always make reference to opinion polls whenever they face challenges as a diversionary gimmick.
Mr Duale who is the Dujis MP also dismissed opinion polls and said voters will decide who they will elect come March 4.
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Mr Metito assured Kenyans that a Jubilee government will create employment opportunities for youth and improve the country’s security.
“We should have peacefully campaigns and peaceful elections for the sake of the country,” he added.
Mr Balala said this is an era of the digital generation and Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, should retire alongside President Kibaki.
Ms Mugo who is the Public Health minister urged Nairobi County residents to vote for Jubilee Alliance and called for peaceful primaries on January 17.
“We should conduct peaceful nominations and avoid being incited to cause violence,” she said.
She took a swipe at the PM, saying he cannot become president when he had failed to address a sanitation problem in Kibera, in his Lang’ata constituency.
“Huko Kibera hakuna vyoo na cholera huanzia hiyo sehemu hapa Nairobi (There are no toilets in Kibera and cholera outbreaks start from there in most cases,” Mugo added.
Ms Kilimo said it was unfortunate opponents of Jubilee were portraying Uhuru and Ruto as tribalists.
“Even those calling them tribalists have their own tribes as well. No one chose to be born in a particular tribe. We know the two have leadership skills and are able to lead this country,” she said.
Ms Shebesh said most women MPs in the 10th Parliament were in Jubilee and more would join the alliance.
“It’s time women demonstrated they are not just flowers. They have to be recognised because they are also ready to lead,” she said.
Mr Kamanda and Ms Shaban accused the media of dwelling on ICC cases facing Uhuru and Ruto.
They exuded confidence the two will win the presidency despite challenges they face.
The Gender minister threatened to ask Jubilee supporters to boycott some media outlets over the negative publicity. Ms Ngilu said Uhuru and Ruto have the ability to make Jubilee a people’s government, where women and youth will have their problems such as famine and unemployment addressed.
Aspirants eyeing elective positions in Nairobi County used the rally to sell their bids.
Makadara MP Gidion Mbuvi Sonko who also served as master of ceremonies assured all that there would be no direct nominations.
Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu has claimed there is a scheme to undermine his candidature for Nairobi County governor Businessman Jimnah Mbaru who is eyeing Nairobi County governorship, also addressed the rally.