Uhuru, Ruto plead with voters for another term
By Wainaina Ndungu and Vincent Mabatuk
| January 22nd 2017
Political rivalry between Meru Governor Peter Munya and his Senator Kiraitu Murungi was laid bare when President Uhuru Kenyatta toured the region yesterday.
Although this political turbulence did not affect the President’s visit, Munya kept off throughout the tour in his own county.
Munya’s Party of National Unity (PNU) billboards had been vandalised before the President’s arrival and after he left, groups of youths could be heard chanting PNU slogans.
In Rift Valley, Deputy President William Ruto sat through a meeting in which some MPs were heckled as they tried to address the crowd. Trouble started when the DP invited Baringo North MP William Cheptumo and County Woman Representative Grace Kiptui to address the gathering.
Ruto, who was accompanied by Rift Valley politicians, Cabinet Secretaries and government officials, watched as the leaders struggled to control the rowdy masses.
In Meru, President Kenyatta urged the youth to register as voters in big numbers to secure him a convincing win in the August General Election.
The tour took him to Nyambene, North Imenti and Buuri, where he said the youthful population formed a bedrock of support likely to determine the outcome of the elections.
The Jubilee Party leader told crowds that he was sure they realised the enormous challenge he was facing from CORD leader Raila Odinga who he referred to as “the guy with a knack of claiming rigging after losing in every election”.
“If our youth register in droves, I am convinced we will clinch such a convincing victory that there will be no room for anyone to cry wolf,” Uhuru said in Maua town.
He told the Miraa-growing Nyambene region that he will next week receive a report by a task force set up last year to establish how to revive the sub-sector after devastating export bans in lucrative markets.
“I count on you not to let me down and in God’s name I trust you will not be the ones that will get us into our waterloo,” the President said.
At every stop, he would break his brief Swahili address and implore the youths in Kikuyu.
“In God's name, I would never want to imagine that youth apathy would cause Jubilee to be defeated in this election,” he said.
He said only through exercising their democratic right of voting would citizens realise the dream of having the right leaders and staying away from voting will defeat the purpose of protesting against bad leadership.
“Don’t take for granted the other five elective seats, whose leaders you will choose because you will determine the type of leaders in the county government that has enormous resources under the new Constitution,” said the President.
Uhuru landed at Maili Tatu in Igembe Central in a military chopper and addressed a crowd for less than five minutes before heading to Maua then to Laare, Kangeta, Mulili, Kianjai and Mikinduri through Miathene. He then headed to Kagaene market before he presided over the launch of the JP Meru chapter at the Kaaga Primary School grounds.
Meanwhile, Ruto took the voter registration campaign to Kanu’s stronghold, Baringo County.
He addressed rallies in Churo, Kipsaraman, Kabartonjo, Kabarnet and Kiboino on his way to Uasin Gishu. He pleaded with residents to register enmasse to avoid being humiliated by the Opposition on August 8.
The DP is facing resistance from the region that supports Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi.
Ruto said it was the responsibility of Kenyans to register as voters and make brave decisions by electing the next Government, saying anybody failing to take part in the country’s important exercise should be encouraged otherwise.
“Do you want an organised Government or that of storytelling? It is heartbreaking that 120,000 people (of legal age) in Baringo have no national ID or voter cards,” he said.
He told the residents that the Jubilee Government was put in place through voting and anyone without such vital documents was doing the nation a disservice.
“In the meantime, I have negotiated and brought people from Coast and Western to Jubilee and it will be unfortunate if you let me down,” he said.
The DP asked the residents to evaluate his development track record for the short period he has been in office.
“You have seen what I have done and you should be ready to expect more when I take over in 2022,” he said.
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