Ukambani leaders fault Uhuru on vote remarks

Saturday August 5 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta greets the crowd

President Uhuru Kenyatta greets the crowd as he arrives at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on August 5, 2017. He urged them to vote for him. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KITAVI MUTUA
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Kamba leaders have criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta over his comments that he will win the elections regardless of whether the region votes for him or not.

The President made the remarks earlier this week while campaigning in Makueni where he also allegedly threatened chiefs with unspecified action after next week’s elections for being sympathetic to the Opposition Nasa.

VOTES

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr and Kitui Rural MP Charles Nyamai said the President’s comments were proof of the frustration his campaign experienced in Ukambani.

The leaders wondered why the President was campaigning in the region if the Kamba vote wasn’t significant in his bid for a second term.

“We will do them a favour by sending all their candidates to early political retirement,” Senator Mutula wrote on his Facebook page in apparent reference to President Kenyatta and his Jubilee Party candidates in the region.

KAMBAS FOR RAILA
The senator said the President’s remarks only served to further annoy Lower Eastern voters and spoil the slim chances some Jubilee parliamentary candidates had.

Mr Nyamai said the President’s comments only served to confirm their fears that Jubilee government had a poor and discourteous regard for the Akamba.

“The whole community and even those running for various elective seats on a Jubilee ticket now know that President Kenyatta doesn’t need our votes,” Mr Nyamai said, adding Kambas will rally to the last man behind Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

CHIEFS
Mr Kenyatta was also heckled by residents while addressing a campaign rally at Wote town in Makueni County after he threatened to take unspecified action against chiefs who do not support his government.

“We have come to ask for your votes but we are not forcing you to vote for us. You may vote for whoever you want but, I assure you, we will beat Raila,” he told a gathering at Wote town.

THREAT

He warned: “Don’t think we don’t know what is happening in this area. We know what you are doing and we will deal with you after elections.

"You think it is the Opposition who is your employer, you have to understand that the motorcycles you are using were provided by Jubilee.”

He was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu, Makueni Jubilee governor candidate Gideon Ndambuki among other aspirants on a Jubilee ticket. 

KALONZO
On Thursday, the Jubilee leaders were heckled in Makueni County when they said they will serve all regions fairly and without bias.

Mr Kenyatta changed tune, saying the Kamba vote is crucial to his victory and is keen to ensure the community is part of Jubilee government by inviting Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka to join him.

“I have always maintained that my friend Kalonzo should abandon the Opposition and join me in working together to take the country to the next level,” he said at campaign rallies in Migwani and Kitui town.

“Kalonzo Musyoka is not on the ballot, it is Uhuru and Raila, so don’t be hoodwinked to deny the President because your own son is not running,” Mr Ruto said.