President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto on Sunday intensified efforts to wrestle Coast votes from the opposition by urging Kilifi and Mombasa residents to re-elect them due to development initiated in the region.
The President exuded confidence of beating Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga with a wider margin on August 8 than in 2013 “due to what we have done for Kenyans in the last four years”.
Describing Mr Odinga’s politics as backward, President Kenyatta listed his achievements such as waiving of examination fees for Standard 8 and Form IV candidates.
He added that maternity charges had been waived in public hospitals.
He reiterated Jubilee promise for free secondary education from January.
Singling out former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and former Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Musavadi as failures, President Kenyatta said Nasa leaders had nothing to show for the years they were in government.
“What new thing could they do that they didn’t for a total of 100 years that they were in government?” President Kenyatta said during a rally at Malindi Municipal Stadium.
Coast residents overwhelmingly voted for ODM in the 2013 elections but Jubilee leaders have made attempts to reverse the trend by dishing out goodies and initiating various projects.
President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto were emboldened by the defection of various politicians from ODM and Wiper to Jubilee.
At the same time, the President criticised Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho for “engaging in ignorance” with claims that the government wants to relocate the port of Mombasa to Naivasha.
He said the port of Mombasa would expand and more ships would use it following the launch of the standard gauge railway, contrary to false allegations by some local leaders.
Deputy President William Ruto said Naivasha would become an industrial city and the dry port would serve the factories that will be set up in the Special Economic Zone.
“There is a difference between a port and an industrial town and anyone who does not understand that should know that education is now free. They can go back to school and learn,” the DP said.
President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto paraded Jubilee candidates and urged the locals to vote for them.
President Kenyatta said: “I plead with Kilifi residents to vote for us this time.”
He cited various roads initiated in the county, equipment in hospitals and erection of street lights as efforts by the government to develop the region.
He said Kilifi residents had also received title deeds to end land problems in the county.
In Mombasa, he said, Waitiki squatters had been given title deeds, saying Kilifi residents would also be considered.
“You should choose between development and mere propaganda,” he said, adding that his opponents had resorted to mudslinging him because they had no development agenda.
He added: “Kindly Kilifi residents let us join hands ...please vote for us.”
He dismissed claims that he was out to grab land from locals, including the earmarked for airport expansion.
He said people who will be displaced following expansion of Malindi airport would be compensated.
“We have an agenda to make lives of our people better and prosper.. Our agenda is not to divide Kenyans on tribal lines,” he said.
Meanwhile, DP Ruto accused the opposition of trying to use courts to stop the August elections after sensing defeat.
He urged locals to vote for Jubilee due to development initiated in Kilifi.
Mr Ruto said: “You should not play with your votes.”
President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto were accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Dan Kazungu and Najib Balala.
Kilifi Jubilee gubernatorial candidate Gideon Mung’aro said his priority if elected governor would be to revive tourism.
He accused Governor Amason Kingi of poor use of money allocated to the county.
He also promised to help resettle squatters.
Reports by Lucas Barasa, Charles Lwanga and Kazungu Samuel