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Uhuru banks on endorsements to win re-election

Saturday August 5 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses Suswa residents

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses Suswa residents during his tour of Narok County on August 4, 2017. He asked them to ensure all registered voters, including the sick and the elderly, vote. PHOTO | SAMUEL MIRING'U 

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President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy, Mr William Ruto, conducted marathon campaigns in Kiambu, Narok and Nairobi counties in a last minute call for votes during Tuesday’s General Election.

During the rallies in Kiambu town, Suswa in Narok and at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park, President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto sought to consolidate their votes by encouraging supporters to come out in large numbers and vote to enable him win with a margin of up to five million votes against his Opposition rival, Mr Raila Odinga of ODM, an affiliate of the National Super Alliance (Nasa).

At Suswa in Narok, which is considered a shrine by the Maasai community and is on the boundary of three counties that they occupy, the Jubilee duo received the endorsement and blessing of the elders and leaders, led by Governor Samuel Tunai.

The rally was attended by former Tanzania Prime Minister and now opposition leader Edward Lowassa.

Mr Lowassa is considered the senior most leader from the community in the region.

“I am happy for the endorsement of Uhuru Kenyatta by the community. We agreed with the late Nkaissery and the late Ntimama to bring this community together and in one path,” Mr Lowassa said.


He described President Kenyatta as having the right qualities for a leader.

Mr Odinga and other Nasa leaders were endorsed by a group of elders at the same venue on Thursday.

Narok is considered one of the battleground counties and both the President and Mr Odinga have been there several times during this campaign period.

In 2013, President Kenyatta garnered 109,000 votes in Narok against Mr Odinga 118,000.

President Kenyatta thanked the community for the endorsement.

Speaking at the Kirigiti Stadium in his Kiambu backyard earlier in the day, the President pleaded with his supporters, especially in his strongholds, not to fail him.

He asked them to ensure all registered voters, including the sick and the elderly, vote. Kiambu has 1.18 million voters.

He was confident that he would beat the Nasa flagbearer for a second time to retain the seat.

“The other time (2013), we beat him with a difference of 800,000 votes only. Next week, we want to defeat him with a margin of five million votes.

"Therefore, let’s turn out in large numbers. Promise me that you will not fail me,” he said.

Before the Kiambu campaigns, the President held interviews with radio stations, among them Kikuyu language stations, asking supporters to get out and vote.

He criticised Mr Odinga and his group, saying they were not ready for elections but were hell-bent on creating barriers that would eventually lead to a coalition government.

“They want to create confusion in order to take us back to 2007 by claiming that the election was not free and fair so that we can share the government, and that’s why I am telling our people that there is a game being played, and so we should turn out in large numbers so that we can beat him squarely so that his mission can fail,” he said.

Mr Kenyatta said the claims Nasa leaders advance about Jubilee planning to use the army to rig the election was an indication that they are unprepared.

The President also pointed out some of Jubilee’s signature achievements such as issuance of at least 3.5 million title deeds, increased subscription to the National Hospital Insurance Fund, creation of more than 2.5 million jobs for the youth, the scrapping of examination fees, increase of electricity connections and the connections of Coastal areas to the national electricity grid ending years of dependence on diesel generated power.

At Uhuru Park, the venue of their final rally in Nairobi, President Kenyatta said his tours around the country had given him an opportunity to talk to the people directly, telling and showing them what the Jubilee administration has done over the last four and half years they have been in power.

Mr Ruto asked Jubilee supporters to come out to give Nasa a resounding defeat.

Reported by Eric Wainaina, George Sayagie and John Ngirachu