President Uhuru Kenyatta’s charm offensive in the coast appears to be paying dividends — at least in Lamu County where leaders have promised him support in next year’s General Election.
“I can confidently tell you Mr President that there is no need for you to come and campaign in Lamu. This region has decided that it is Jubilee and you.
“I will make sure all of us vote for you in 2017 because of the hard work you have portrayed,” Lamu Governor Issa Timamy of UDF told him on Thursday in Lamu Town and Faza Island where the president announced a basketful of goodies for the county.
The governor said: “We are happy with what the President has done for us in the two days you have been in our county”.
The goodies included 4,073 title deeds.
The president announced several multibillion-shilling projects for the county and opened a Vumbe Water Project in Faza.
President Kenyatta witnessed the signing of a memorandum between Lamu Governor Timamy, his Tana River counterpart Hussein Dado and Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu for the two counties to upgrade health facilities.
He promised that his government would construct the Witu-Mokowe road in two months’ time.
“Our target as Jubilee is to ensure Kenyans are united. We need to speak with one voice in order to attain developments with ease” Mr Kenyatta said.
Senator Abu Chiaba of TNA promised to bring other leaders on board to campaign for Jubilee for the 2017 General Election.
“We will walk with you, President Uhuru, in 2017. I will ensure these people vote for you. You have done a recommendable job in your first term of tenure. We have no doubt that you can,” he said.
MPs Julius Ndegwa, Athman Sharif and Abbas Famau, Nominated MCAs Monica Njambi and Muthoni Marubu of TNA asked residents to remain united with Jubilee.
“In the past, if mwananchi was in need of a title deed, he or she would be required to travel to Nairobi or other places outside Lamu.
“Now the President has made it possible for us to get them in our door step. If someone does you good, then there is no reason for you not to follow such an individual so as to benefit forever,” Mr Sharif said.
On Tuesday, the President met a delegation of more than 150 people from Lamu at State House in Mombasa before touring the region.
In Mombasa, the President’s key achievement was yesterday’s issuance of ownership documents to occupiers of the controversial Waitiki Farm.
Likoni MP Masoud Mwahima of ODM is now urging his people “to look at Mr Kenyatta with both eyes in 2017”.
As part of the charm offensive, Deputy William Ruto has visited Malindi and held meetings with leaders ahead of the Kilifi North by-election which has so far attracted 16 aspirants.
Fireworks are expected in the coming weeks if the direction the campaigns for the Malindi parliamentary by-election is taking is anything to go by and indications are that Jubilee may not have it easy.
Already, the Kilifi ODM branch has warned rebel MPs from the region who are now working with Jubilee that action would be taken against them should they support a different candidate for the seat left vacant after the party’s Dan Kazungu was appointed Mining Cabinet Secretary.
“[The] Political Parties Act is very clear,” Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi said.
“You cannot take to the podium to promote the values of another political party and those ODM members and MPs who think they will go to Malindi to support a candidate from another party, let them be warned; next we will be at their doorsteps campaigning for their seat, because they will lose.”
The rebels are led by Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro, who is widely seen as President Kenyatta’s pointman in the area. Together with his Kilifi South counterpart Mustapha Idd, they have more or less ditched ODM and have been working with Jubilee, a move that has caused discomfort in Cord.
Mr Mung’aro and Mr Idd have promised to lead a massive campaign in Malindi to make sure that a candidate of their choice wins the by-election.
Cord’s bigwigs in the coast have stated that the party will retain the seat despite Jubilee efforts.
Deputy party leader Hassan Joho says ODM will recapture the seat in a landslide victory.