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Uhuru woos voters in three counties in final lap

Friday August 4 2017

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President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto on Thursday traversed three counties — Kitui, Tharaka-Nithi and Meru — in the last round of seeking votes ahead of the Tuesday General Election.

In Migwani and Kitui Town, Kitui County, where he addressed residents, President Kenyatta had a similar message he delivered in Makueni County — that voters should leave polling stations soon after voting and return home, saying violence would not be tolerated.

Mr Kenyatta asked the Kitui residents to vote for him and his Jubilee Party.

He said he is confident of beating his main rival, National Super Alliance’s flagbearer Raila Odinga, by more than three million votes.

“In 2013, we won fair and square, beating our competitors by almost 800,000 votes.

"Persistent claims that the elections were rigged will not stop us from beating them again by more than three million votes,” he said.


He said every Kenyan has a duty to ensure the country remains calm by acting responsibly on August 8.

The President urged the youth to avoid being used to cause chaos on election day under the guise of protecting politicians’ votes or guarding against rigging.

This was in reference to the adopt-a-polling station strategy being propagated by opposition leaders.

“Our duty as voters ends the moment we cast our votes. We should, therefore, go home peacefully and wait for the results there, instead of milling around polling stations,” the President said at the Kitui Municipal Stadium.

Mr Kenyatta urged Ukambani residents to endorse his development record by rallying behind his bid for a second term to conclude ongoing projects in the region.

He said the Kamba vote was crucial to his victory and was keen to ensure the community was part of the Jubilee government by inviting Nasa presidential running-mate Kalonzo Musyoka, who is also the Wiper leader, to join him.

“I have always maintained that my friend Kalonzo should abandon the opposition bandwagon and join me in working together to take the country to the next level,” he said.

Mr Ruto told the residents that the present contest is between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga and not between him and Mr Musyoka.

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

In Meru, President Kenyatta prevailed upon Buuri MP Gatobu Kinoti to shelve his bid for governorship to back Jubilee’s candidate Kiraitu Murungi, who is facing stiff competition from Governor Peter Munya.

The MP was vying for the governor seat as an independent and his exit five days to the election is a major boost for Senator Murungi.

The President promised to offer the MP a good job in his next government, should he be re-elected.

Mr Kinoti accepted the President’s request, saying he could not resist it since the Jubilee government had initiated several development projects in his constituency.

“I thank the President because he has just given us a new sub-county in Buuri,” Mr Kanoti said.

At Mikinduri, Mr Kenyatta drummed up support for Jubilee Party candidates, including MP Mithika Linturi, who is seeking a Senate seat, and Mr Murungi.

The President and Mr Ruto also addressed rallies at Athiru-Ruujine, Mikinduri and Chaaria.

They called on miraa traders who have blocked spending of Sh1.2 billion in the implementation of the miraa taskforce report to withdraw the court case and engage in dialogue with the Executive.

In Tharaka-Nithi, the Jubilee leadership did not endorse the party’s candidates, save for Senator Kithure Kindiki, who is seeking re-election, and even gave a chance to those from friendly parties to address their campaign meetings.

They also had a rally at Marimanti Market in Tharaka-Nithi.

Reported by Kitavi Mutua, Alex Njeru, David Muchui, Ken Bett and Isabel Githae