We'll beat Raila's new alliance

December 12, 2016 13:05
By DAVE OPIYO

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President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto on Thursday dismissed attempts by opposition politicians to unite against them ahead of the 2017 election.

They criticised the proposed National Super Alliance (NASA) — fronted by ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and supported by ODM leader Raila Odinga — saying they would readily defeat them in an election.

Speaking in Nandi, President Kenyatta laughed off the initiative and said the Jubilee Party will defeat whatever line-up the Opposition comes up with.

Addressing several roadside rallies in the county, the President described the opposition politicians as “self-seekers” only interested in distributing key leadership positions among themselves.

“This is their main agenda. They really do not have the interests of the public at heart,” he said. “I hear some of them want to take my job. Others have already been promised the deputy president and prime minister’s positions, amongst others. Let them go on with their plans. We will face them in 2017. Kenyans are with us. They are happy with our work.”

OPPOSITION 'DIVIDED'

The President’s salvo came hardly three days after Mr Odinga and Mr Mudavadi announced in Laikipia that they were planning a united front to face Jubilee in next year’s elections.

They said they were consulting and will have a formidable super alliance by February.

On Thursday, President Kenyatta laughed off the idea, saying that Jubilee Party was not as divided as the Opposition.

“We have one President and [one] Deputy President … one manifesto, one party and one vision which is to end poverty and improve the lives of Kenyans,” he said and predicted that he will be re-elected and pass the baton to Mr Ruto.

“We will then be able to continue with the development projects we have started. Once I complete my term, my able deputy William Ruto will take over in 2022. He will be in office for another 10 years,” Mr Kenyatta said.

PROMISES 'FULFILLED'

The President said Kenyans should reject leaders who kept spreading propaganda and peddling falsehoods that the Jubilee government had failed to deliver on its promises.

“We have, for instance, already built or are in the process of constructing more than 6,000 kilometres of roads. Nandi alone will have more than 200 kilometres of roads.

“Homes that did not have electricity have now been connected to the national grid ... then some people keep on telling us that we are doing nothing.

“Let’s stick with Jubilee because we are committed to improving the lives of Kenyans. We will develop this country equally without discrimination,” he told one gathering.

In Tinderet, Mr Ruto told Mr Odinga to understand that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is an independent body that does not take commands from anyone.

ELECTORAL AGENCY

The Deputy President said Mr Odinga seems to act as if he does not know that the IEBC is independent. He was responding to Cord leaders' demand that the commission be disbanded and reconstituted within two weeks.

Mr Ruto said every Kenyan must respect and submit to the IEBC, the same way all Kenyans respect and submit to the Constitution.

“He should know that IEBC is not an extension of Cord. IEBC is an independent body that does not take instructions from anybody and it will fulfil its mandate according to the law,” he told a rally at Maraba.

Mr Ruto and President Kenyatta are on a three-day tour of the Rift Valley region.

Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said Cord had all the time to contribute positively when Parliament was dealing with the law on the IEBC.

He said Mr Odinga should give space to the electoral commission so that it can continue preparing for the elections.

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December 12, 2016