Daily Nation

Wednesday June 21 2017
President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenol, Murang'a on June 21, 2017. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenol, Murang’a on June 21, 2017. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
By GRACE GITAU

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday launched a stinging attack against their closest rival Raila Odinga as they challenged him to state in public if he will accept election results in case he loses.

President Kenyatta said the Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate was bad for business and Kenya would plunge into economic chaos if the Opposition were allowed to have its way.

He challenged Mr Odinga to declare if he will concede defeat if he loses in the August election just like he had done.

In a visit that was marked by infighting among Jubilee and independent candidates in Murang’a, the President also asked residents to turn up in large numbers and vote for the party’s candidates during the August election in what is commonly referred to as six-piece voting.

The Head of State and the Deputy President warned that the military should not be dragged into election rigging claims and assured the uniformed officers of the government’s support in their work regardless of their tribal backgrounds.

Mr Ruto said the meetings being held to ensure peace and stability were being attended by officers from all communities and accused Mr Odinga of politicising the matter.

“We have a professional military. Keep politics out of the military,” he said.

President Kenyatta said by making the claims, Mr Odinga was selectively naming officers from a particular community whereas the security forces are made by all communities in the country.

“Mr Odinga is a specialist in dividing Kenyans. We want a united Kenya unlike what he is advocating. No genuine leader can stand in front of Kenyans and claim that some people should leave a certain area,” said the President.

“Do you want to be the President of Kenya or president of a few tribes of 10 million Kenyans?” asked President Kenyatta while addressing a rally at Kabati market.

SEVERAL STOPS

The President, who made several stops in different constituencies in the county, warned that the government would not take lightly dangerous remarks by Mr Odinga which bordered on incitement.

Such statements, he said, should not be made by a leader of Mr Odinga’s calibre who aspires to be the President.

President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by MPs and different candidates, also delved into the debate surrounding the Sh2.5 billion ballot tender awarded to a Dubai company, saying the firm was used to print ballot papers in the 2013 elections.

Rejecting the tender, the President said, was an indication that Nasa was not ready for elections.

NO CANCELLATION

The electoral agency has said it will not cancel the ballot paper printing contract awarded to a Dubai firm.

The President further said the government had subsidised inputs for coffee farmers the same way it had helped sugarcane growers and also invested a lot of money on reviving New-KCC to serve Kenyans from other regions. “Our opponent is so divisive that he even cites debt waivers for coffee farmers to incite other Kenyans, while ignoring the fact that subsidies for farmers has been done on a national scale,” he said.

The tour was not devoid of local politics with Jubilee nominees and those vying as independent candidates clashing before the President’s arrival.