President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto on Thursday fought back claims they were sidelining the Gusii community, following their tirades against Chief Justice David Maraga.
In their first campaign tour of the region since the Supreme Court annulled their victory, the two leaders chided opposition National Super Alliance, accusing its leadership of lying to Kenyans.
The Jubilee leaders toured Marani Sub-County in Kisii, Ekerenyo and Gesima in Nyamira County; each time reminding locals of how the Jubilee administration had involved the community in running the government.
The President gave the examples of Education CS Fred Matiang’i, also the Acting Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Central Bank of Kenya chairman Mohammed Nyaoga and Kenya Bureau of Standards CEO Charles Ongwae as some of those holding key positions in government.
“The most powerful Cabinet Secretary in the Government who controls the most power after me and my deputy comes from this region. Let them (Nasa) tell us any person from this region who holds a senior position in their ranks,” Mr Kenyatta said.
The two leaders insisted theirs was an administration that stood for and worked for development as opposed to cheap politics.
“Are we going to be misled by politics of deception or are we going to be led by politics of development and agenda that will allow us to make progress?” said the President.
The Gusii region largely remains a swing vote, but the President had made gains in the nullified elections. In Nyamira County, President Kenyatta got 106,729 votes (52 per cent) against Mr Odinga’s 95,201 votes (46 per cent).
The President garnered 174,978 votes (43 per cent) against Mr Odinga’s 224,317 votes (55 per cent) in Kisii.
In 2013, the President got 54,071 (29.8 per cent) votes while Mr Odinga got 121,590 (67.1 per cent) votes in Nyamira.
Mr Odinga had 236,831 (68.8 per cent) votes while President Kenyatta got 95,596 (27.8 per cent) votes in 2013 in Kisii.
Yesterday, the President declared the region his new “stronghold”. He thanked Nyamira residents for voting for Jubilee in the August 8 elections “despite the opposition declaring this county their stronghold.”
Jubilee Party won three MP seats here in – Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba) and Jerusha Momanyi (Woman Rep) and a number of ward representative seats.
“I appeal to you to vote even more for us so that we defeat the Nasa leader with a big margin so that you can get free education, better roads and health services we have promised Kenyans,” the President said.
He promised Nyamira residents that soon the railway line will be extended to the region to spur development and create jobs for locals.
He criticised Nasa leaders for calling for street demonstrations over changes at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission before the October 26 presidential election.
“Such demonstrations are likely to cause civil disobedience, a situation that will not augur well with the economy,” he warned.
He asked Mr Odinga and other Nasa leaders not to use the youth to get leadership.
The President and his deputy criticised opposition leaders for what they said were attempts to sabotage the upcoming election with “unrealistic’’ demands.
Reported by Ruth Mbula, Henry Nyarora and Nyaboga Kiage