President Kenyatta has chided the Opposition, accusing it of copying his plan to implement free secondary education next year, and then pledging to do it a few months earlier.
The President and his deputy William Ruto also pitched for a peaceful election as they dismissed their opposition rival Raila Odinga as a copycat who cannot originate any agenda for the country.
“You have to think. Then you have to plan. You cannot just copy, and then pledge to do it earlier,” President Kenyatta said on a campaign stop in Gilgil, as he wrapped up a three-day campaign blitz through Nyandarua, Laikipia and Nakuru counties.
The President unveiled key planks of his re-election bid that included free secondary education, scaling up the cash transfer programme for the elderly, increase and expansion of technical training institutes and health cover for mothers after maternity as the next steps in his transformation agenda.
“Politicians should not just wake up in the morning and tell Kenyans that they will do this and that and within a given period after they win elections without thinking or planning on how to go about such issues,” he said.
He went on: “We’ve set aside Sh5 billion to expand infrastructure in schools to provide for the implementation of free secondary education. One cannot claim he can provide free education overnight without budgeting for it.”
At Free Area on their way out of Nakuru town, the President hit out at Mr Odinga, saying his only expertise was at insulting him and his deputy.
“When we promise, we know where there are gaps. But if you want to be record player so that it goes on record that Raila said then there is a problem, I tell him as my elder brother relax, sit down with your people and plan yourselves. Let’s compete on policy and agenda of where we want this country to go,” he said.
And in Gilgil, the two Jubilee principals encountered dissenting voices from the recent party nominations as supporters of incumbent MP Ndiritu Mathenge openly protested the candidature of Nominated Senator Martha Wangari who was handed the Jubilee Party ticket after disputed results.
Addressing worshippers at Kingdom Seekers Fellowship in Nakuru Town, as they wound up their tour of the region, the President sent a strong message of peace to the region that he said had borne the greatest brunt of election violence in the county. He said the county was instrumental in the country’s peace.
PEACE IN NAKURU
“This is the heartbeat of Kenya. If we have peace in Nakuru, we know we shall have peace in the whole of Kenya,” he said. “We don’t want people threatening our peaceful coexistence.”
The President and his deputy, accompanied by a host of Jubilee leaders, listened to a sermon delivered by the General Overseer Apostle John Kimani William, who urged them to steer Kenya to its destiny.
The cleric asked Christians to pray for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to deliver a free, fair and credible election.
Later on, however, the President took on Mr Odinga, calling him a copycat who cannot originate any agenda and only thrived on name-calling and insults.
In Naivasha, where the two principals received a rousing welcome, the President said he was not going to engage in a war of words with his political rivals.
The President and his deputy have been in Nakuru County from Friday evening, visiting Subukia, Bahati, Kuresoi, Molo, Elburgon, Njoro, Gilgil and Naivasha, where he appealed for votes in the August 8 General Election. He addressed a rally in Nakuru town on Saturday evening.
The two principals were met by a section of residents who waved placards bearing the name of the incumbent MP.
The protesting supporters of the MP attempted to interrupt the Deputy President’s speech when he mentioned Ms Wangari, who was handed the Jubilee certificate after disputed results.
They were chanting slogans of ‘haki yetu’ and ‘tunataka General Mathenge’ (Our right, we want General Mathenge).
The President, however, told Gilgil voters that they were free to vote for whoever they deemed the best leader between Senator Wangari and Mr Mathenge.
He said it was possible for Mr Mathenge to step down in favour of the nominated senator, citing Governor Kinuthia Mbugua as an example.
He said the governor had dropped his bid to defend his seat in favour of his rival, Lee Kinyanjui, who won the Jubilee Party ticket.
Mr Mathenge had claimed he won the polls, but Ms Wangari protested the outcome and filed a petition, citing anomalies in the party polls.
It was the second time the two Jubilee principals were coming face to face with supporters of aspirants, who lost in the Jubilee nominees.
In Nyahururu, supporters of former Industrialisation assistant minister Ndiritu Muriithi on Friday carried placards and posters of his pictures in a silent show of their discontent with the Jubilee nominations.
Mr Muriithi, who is eyeing the Laikipia governor seat, will be contesting as an independent candidate against the incumbent, Mr Joshua Irungu.
In Nyandarua, supporters of Woman Representative Wanjiku Muhia also waved placards and her posters, compelling the DP to intervene and ask them to put down the material.
The Jubilee principals spent three days in Nakuru.
And for the second time this year, the two stopped at Kahatia butchery at Kikopey for a nyama choma treat.
STANDARD GAUGE RAILWAY
Addressing Kikopey residents, the President said he would ensure the standard gauge railway passes through the area to promote local business.
At the same time, the President said the proposed construction of the second phase of the SGR would spur economic growth in Naivasha.
He assured residents of Maai Mahiu and Longonot, where he made stopovers, of job opportunities when the project commences.
“We have set this country on a development path that includes the construction of the new railway line that will pass through here,” he said.
Additional reporting by Macharia Mwangi.