Tag Archives: raila Odinga

Kenya – Uhuru wants Raila to say he’ll accept election results

Daily Nation

Wednesday June 21 2017
President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenol, Murang'a on June 21, 2017. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenol, Murang’a on June 21, 2017. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
By GRACE GITAU

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday launched a stinging attack against their closest rival Raila Odinga as they challenged him to state in public if he will accept election results in case he loses.

President Kenyatta said the Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate was bad for business and Kenya would plunge into economic chaos if the Opposition were allowed to have its way.

He challenged Mr Odinga to declare if he will concede defeat if he loses in the August election just like he had done.

In a visit that was marked by infighting among Jubilee and independent candidates in Murang’a, the President also asked residents to turn up in large numbers and vote for the party’s candidates during the August election in what is commonly referred to as six-piece voting.

The Head of State and the Deputy President warned that the military should not be dragged into election rigging claims and assured the uniformed officers of the government’s support in their work regardless of their tribal backgrounds.

Mr Ruto said the meetings being held to ensure peace and stability were being attended by officers from all communities and accused Mr Odinga of politicising the matter.

“We have a professional military. Keep politics out of the military,” he said.

President Kenyatta said by making the claims, Mr Odinga was selectively naming officers from a particular community whereas the security forces are made by all communities in the country.

“Mr Odinga is a specialist in dividing Kenyans. We want a united Kenya unlike what he is advocating. No genuine leader can stand in front of Kenyans and claim that some people should leave a certain area,” said the President.

“Do you want to be the President of Kenya or president of a few tribes of 10 million Kenyans?” asked President Kenyatta while addressing a rally at Kabati market.

SEVERAL STOPS

The President, who made several stops in different constituencies in the county, warned that the government would not take lightly dangerous remarks by Mr Odinga which bordered on incitement.

Such statements, he said, should not be made by a leader of Mr Odinga’s calibre who aspires to be the President.

President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by MPs and different candidates, also delved into the debate surrounding the Sh2.5 billion ballot tender awarded to a Dubai company, saying the firm was used to print ballot papers in the 2013 elections.

Rejecting the tender, the President said, was an indication that Nasa was not ready for elections.

NO CANCELLATION

The electoral agency has said it will not cancel the ballot paper printing contract awarded to a Dubai firm.

The President further said the government had subsidised inputs for coffee farmers the same way it had helped sugarcane growers and also invested a lot of money on reviving New-KCC to serve Kenyans from other regions. “Our opponent is so divisive that he even cites debt waivers for coffee farmers to incite other Kenyans, while ignoring the fact that subsidies for farmers has been done on a national scale,” he said.

The tour was not devoid of local politics with Jubilee nominees and those vying as independent candidates clashing before the President’s arrival.

Kenya – Raila accusation of poll rigging and police/army being prepared for this

Daily Nation

Wednesday June 21 2017

By NATION TEAM

A fresh battle front between the National Super Alliance and Jubilee Party was opened on Tuesday after the main opposition flag bearer, Raila Odinga, dragged the military into an alleged government plot to rig the August elections.

Mr Odinga claimed the Kenya Defence Forces, National Police Service, regional coordinators and county commanders have been mobilised and are being trained at Nairobi’s Embakasi Barracks to help tilt the elections outcome in favour of the Jubilee Party.

But Deputy President William Ruto quickly hit back at the opposition, accusing Nasa leaders of  engaging in “unnecessary noise” over elections to scare Kenyans from turning out on August 8.

MAINTAIN PEACE

The KDF and the police also denied the claims, saying they were in training to prepare to maintain peace and ward off any threats during the elections.

Mr Odinga alleged that there was an ongoing training of KDF, police, county commanders and regional coordinators at the Embakasi Barracks to give them skills on how to influence the elections.

“They (the trainings) have every semblance with what was done at the same venue in the lead up to the 2007 General Election in which APs were later dispersed as election officials and poll agents for the Party of National Unity (then President Mwai Kibaki’s party),” Mr Odinga told journalists at his Capitol Hill offices on Tuesday.

RETAIN POWER

He went on: “A series of meetings of officers from the National Intelligence Service have taken place with the sole purpose of coming up with a plan to help Jubilee retain power at all costs, particularly in the event that the courts maintain that results declared at the constituency level are final.”

The claims rekindle the 2007 presidential race in which Mr Odinga lost to President Kibaki when ODM leaders claimed APs and the military were used to not only “guard President Kibaki’s votes” but also to influence the counting of votes and the elections process in the opposition strongholds.

In his testimony before Justice Phillip Waki commission which investigated the cause of the violence that ensued after the elections, Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o said “there were massive transfers of Police and APs to ODM strongholds and selected people from central Kenya to assist in affecting the vote manipulations and to violently suppress the attendant protests.”

LOST LIVES

About 1,133 Kenyans lost their lives and more than 650,000 others were displaced in the violence that resulted after Mr Kibaki was declared the winner.

Mr Odinga alleged that a similar plot was being developed after a High Court ruling — which the electoral agency has appealed against — that presidential election results announced at the constituency level will be final.

He alleged that the meetings are being held in Naivasha, followed by what he said were “frequent consultations under the chairmanship of former Chief of General Staff Julius Waweru Karangi to actualise the plan developed by the National Intelligence Service.”

“Jubilee appears to be putting all its hopes on the old centralised tallying at the Bomas of Kenya that enabled them to doctor and change results.

SECURITY OFFICERS

It is now turning to using Intelligence and security officers to influence the elections,” Mr Odinga, who was accompanied by his chief campaign manager and Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, said.

He went on: ‘We are inclined to believe that the above activities are meant to subvert the will of the people in the upcoming elections.”

But campaigning in Embakasi, Mr Ruto accused the Opposition of creating “unnecessary noise” around elections to scare people from taking part.

“I hear them claim we want to rig. I want them to be ready, as everyone else is, for elections,” he told a rally at Tassia Grounds.

ALWAYS COMPLAIN

“They always complain. They complained about (IEBC) commissioners.

They complained about the Biometric Voter Registration system.

They complained about ballot papers and now they are saying the military is helping us to rig,” he said.

“They have no agenda to sell. They have no track record and they know they cannot win an election so they keep creating excuses.”

Mr Ruto said the opposition was afraid to compete fairly.

POWER STRUGGLES

“They should leave our military out of this. We have a professional military and the people who are known to drag the military into their power struggles are well known. They should not drag the rest of us into it.”

Interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka clarified that the multi-agency coordination committee was created to ensure that government activities are harmonised.

“In case of crisis we do it very well by ensuring the different units works seamlessly and in a coordinated manner,” Mr Njoka said.

Also taking part in the training are officers of Nairobi Fire brigade, National Disaster Operations Centre and other non-governmental organisations such as St John Ambulance, because they are involved in emergency services.

NOTHING TO HIDE

“Now that the media was invited at Embakasi on Monday shows there is nothing to hide.

The idea was inspired by past experience in 2007 and 2013.

In the former there was the post-election violence and in the latter there was the Westgate terrorist attack where the military and police were uncoordinated,” said Mr Njoka.

He added that the media would be invited to field questions when the training ends on Friday.

FACILITATE RIGGING

In Kakamega, County Commissioner Kang’ethe Thuku dismissed Mr Odinga’s claims that more than 100 military officers had been deployed to the region to facilitate rigging.

“There is nothing like a military camp in Kakamega. I’m shocked by the allegations and Mr Odinga should get his facts right before rushing to make such allegations in the media,” said Mr Thuku.

Kenya – Uhuru and Raila battle for swing votes

Star (Kenya)

Jun. 19, 2017, 1:00 am

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy Willliam Ruto greet residents of Kiambu during a meet-the-people tour of the area on Sunday. /REBECCA NDUKU/DPPS
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy Willliam Ruto greet residents of Kiambu during a meet-the-people tour of the area on Sunday. /REBECCA NDUKU/DPPS

Both President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM candidate Raila Odinga are focussing their attention on swing votes as they consolidate their strongholds, five weeks to the election.

The plan by both candidates is to ensure that their strongholds turn out, almost to the last man and woman, to vote for them as they seek swing votes from regions their strategists describe as battlegrounds.

Bomet, Narok, Kisii, Meru and Tharaka Nithi are among the 13 counties that have become the epicentre of a ferocious political battle between Kenyatta and Odinga. Of the 13 swing counties, Odinga won seven counties at the last election, while Uhuru ran away with six.

Kenyatta beat Odinga in Isiolo, garnering 26,401 against Raila’s 14,108, in Mandera he got 94,433 against Raila’s 4,366, while in Kajiado Uhuru led by 138, 851 against Raila’s 117,856.

Kenyatta also beat Odinga in West Pokot, garnering 79,772 against 24,952.

However, Odinga beat Kenyatta in Nairobi by 691,156 against 659,490, Turkana 68,402 against Uhuru’s 30,285, Samburu 31,086 against 22,085, Trans Nzoia 92,035 against 74,466, Wajir 49,712 against 38,927, and Narok 118,623 against 109,413. In total, Odinga won in 27 of the 47 counties. An internal NASA document claims that the counties where Odinga won in 2013 had a total of 8,373,840 voters, compared to 5,977,056 in the 20 counties won by Uhuru. According to the strategy document seen by the Star, Odinga was disadvantaged by turnout.

The counties won by Odinga averaged a turnout rate of about 83 per cent compared to counties won by Uhuru that averaged 89.7 per cent.

At the same time, where Uhuru won, he won big, averaging 86 per cent of the votes.

Odinga’s average vote share in the 27 counties was a mere 70 per cent.

In what has given birth to the controversial slogan “10 Million Strong”, NASA says if the 2013 voting patterns are maintained, the counties won by Raila currently have 10,547,913 registered voters, compared to 7,556,609 in the counties where Uhuru prevailed.

This means Odinga’s chances of unseating Kenyatta are hinged on turnout.

Raila, who concluded a two-days campaign blitz in Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties on Saturday, the fourth such visit in six months, is convinced that he will get maximum turnout.

“The overwhelming reception we got from those two areas leaves no doubt that the ground has shifted in our favour,” said Raila yesterday. After visiting his home county of Kiambu yesterday, Uhuru will head to Meru to try and undo any gains Raila may have made. Raila is also heading to Western Kenya this week to seek to do the same in the wake of UhuRuto’s campaign tour of last week.

Although latest opinion polls have suggested a runoff, both NASA and Jubilee are pushing for round one victory.

Both sides are going flat out to get the majority votes in the counties of Nairobi, Narok, Kajiado, Turkana, West Pokot, Samburu, Trans Nzoia, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Turkana and Samburu.

Once considered to be under lock and key by Jubilee, Meru is becoming restive and recent events in the area have alarmed the ruling party to the possibility that Raila could be penetrating the region.

In his last two visits, including last weekend, Raila drew large, enthusiastic crowds that have made NASA buoyant.

“If President Uhuru Kenyatta will not change the team in Meru, it will cost him a great deal in this election,” Meru Governor Peter Munya warned recently.

Jubilee’s Meru campaign team is led by Senator Kiraitu Murungi and Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi, but Munya said the two have “lost touch with the voters” and have no clout to deliver votes to Jubilee.

At a recent Jubilee function in Igembe North constituency, Kiraitu, once seen as the region’s political supremo, was shouted down, when he tried to dissuade locals against the former Prime Minister.

In a video recording that has gone viral, the people of Igembe North shouted “NASA!” in what appears to have surprised Kiraitu, who stood beside Igembe North parliamentary aspirant Maoka Maore.

In an interview with the Star, Jubilee Mount Kenya Youth Chairman Linford Mutembei said Uhuru should visit Meru “as things are getting out of hand”.

“He should come in person and camp in Meru for about three days. The President should also form a new campaign team with a youthful face if he wants to win in Meru. Otherwise the majority of the Meru electorates will vote for NASA,” Mutembei warned.

The NASA Coordinator in Tharaka Nithi, Prof Isaiah Kindiki, brother of Senate Minority leader Kithure Kindiki, said the region is tired of Jubilee’s empty rhetoric when the people are wallowing in poverty.

“NASA has not penetrated Meru, it has grown from within,” Prof Isiah Kindiki emphatically told the Star.

However, a recent opinion poll by Ipsos paints a different picture. Released on May 30, the poll indicates that Uhuru would win the Eastern region, that also includes NASA running mate Kalonzo Musyoka’s Ukambani turf, by 51 per cent.

Raila would secure only 36 per cent of the vote, the poll showed.

Last week, Uhuru gave Sh828 million to IDPs displaced 10 years ago in a gesture that has triggered jitters in opposition circles to the effect that Jubilee is bankrolling its reelection bid using State coffers.

But that is not all.

Since their election in 2013, Ruto has visited Kisii more than 20 times. In a deliberate campaign message, Uhuru and Ruto claim to have given high profile jobs to Gusii leaders, among them Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Chief Justice David Maraga.

The latter move however backfired, after the Judicial Service Commission rebuffed the President, saying any implication “that the appointment of the CJ was part of a political scheme is a grave distortion of law and fact”.

In an interview with the Star, Mutembei said the rivalry between Kiraitu and Munya for the county’s top is hurting Uhuru’s reelection prospects in the region.

He urged Uhuru not take sides in the war.

But Kiraitu, through his director of communication Patrick Muriungi, said the perception that NASA is gaining ground in Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties is a fallacy.

He said Raila should not be cheated by psyched-up crowds that he will actually get their votes.

“These crowds will not translate into votes as the two counties will vote for President Kenyatta in the August polls, according to all the voting patterns,” Muriungi said.

He accused ODM coordinator Mike Mutembei of hiring people to shout down Jubilee leaders and attend Raila rallies when he visits to please the ODM supremo in order to get handouts.

Kenya – Jubilee calls for probe over alleged Odinga hate speech

Star (Kenya)

Probe Raila over ‘hate’ remarks, Jubilee asks NCIC

Jun. 16, 2017, 3:00 pm
Opposition leader Raila Odinga receives Kajiado politician Tarayia ole Kores to ODM Party in Maili 46, Kajiado West on Thursday, June 15, 2017. /FILE
Jubilee Party has written to NCIC chair Francis Kaparo asking him to investigate opposition leader Raila Odinga over hate speech.

This followed comments by the NASA presidential flag bearer during his tour of Kajiado County on Thursday.

Raila asked the residents to protect their lands and not sell them to ‘outsiders’.

“…until now there is no land because of poverty…we want to change that so that people don’t sell their parcels.”

“Keep your land with you so that you don’t cry foul later on…let the buyers remain at their places of origin,” Raila said.

Jubilee views the comments as amounting to hate speech and want the opposition chief probed over the utterances.

In a letter seen by the Star on Friday, Secretary General Raphael Tuju said the comments are likely to spark violence.

“We all know that it only requires a very small match to start a very large and dangerous fire. With these comments, Raila has struck that match.”

“…the use of irresponsible and inflammatory language will ignite tensions within local communities and can only be regarded as hate speech,” Tuju said.

He asked the commission to review the utterances and establish whether NASA contravened the law with respect to hate speech.

“Raila’s language must be challenged today in the most robust terms. Kenya must move forward as a united nation and not be allowed to fall back into the hands of the abyss of violence.”

He said anyone, regardless of their position in the country, should not be allowed to incite such tensions and violence ahead of the August elections.

“They must face the full force of the law and this must be demonstrated publicly so that Kenyans and the whole world can see that such behavior will not be condoned,” he said.

Tuju demanded that the NCIC and other investigating agencies rein in Raila to put a stop to “the dangerous comments.”

The letter was copied to the Law Society of Kenya, IEBC, heads of diplomatic missions, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and religious organisations.

“It is the responsibility of all good people of Kenya never to be silent when we recognise that some among us seek to take us down a dangerous path that could destroy this country,” he said.

This came after President Uhuru Kenyatta told off Raila for inciting Kenyans to violence.

He said Raila is treading the same path that led to the 2007/2008 post election violence.

“Yesterday he was talking about ‘wenye inchi‘ and ‘wenye wanafaa kurudi kwao‘ (those who belong and those who should return to where they came from) … and that is the same language he used to create conflict last time,” the President said in Bomet.

Nominated MP and JP Nairobi senator aspirant Johnson Sakaja said Raila has “crossed the red line and should be tamed now.”

“We all have the experience. People have lost their loved ones. People have been maimed. People have been injured. Scars still exist.”

“Even within the context of a power struggle that we are in right now, there is a line that we cannot allow any politician to pass,” Sakaja said.

Kenya – four presidential candidates criticise choice of Dubai firm for election

Star (Kenya)

Jun. 16, 2017, 12:30 am

NASA Coalition principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi and Raila Odinga during their rally at the Masinde Muliro Grounds in Huruma on March 24, 2017. Photo/Jack Owuor
NASA Coalition principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi and Raila Odinga during their rally at the Masinde Muliro Grounds in Huruma on March 24, 2017. Photo/Jack Owuor

The country is facing an electoral crisis.

Four presidential candidates yesterday rejected the Dubai-based firm awarded the Sh2.5 billion ballot printing tender over its alleged improper links to Jubilee and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Jubilee yesterday hit back. It accused the NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga of improper contacts with a South African printing company that he was promoting for the tender. Majority leader Aden Duale alleged Paarl Media Limited ad promised Sh1 billion to Raila’s election campaign in exchange for the tender.

The IEBC says the tender has already been awarded and will not be cancelled.

Election Day is 52 days off.

The four — Raila, independent Joe Nyagah, Ekuru Aukot of the Thirdway Alliance and Professor Michael Wainaina of the Federal Party of Kenya all said reports Kenyatta had met the printers had compromised credibility of the ballot printing process.

NASA says the Dubai firm was selected to help rig the election.

“There was general consensus among presidential candidates during our meeting that the IEBC [should] cancel the tender to Al Ghurair, whom media reports suggest has links with the highest office in the land — and award it to a firm not associated with any of the political formations,” Aukot said after meeting IEBC commissioners.

Jubilee, meanwhile, made fresh allegations against Raila, whom it says has sensed defeat and wants to spoil the polls on August 8. It said Raila met officials of South African printer Paarl Media (Pty) Limited three times last year and wanted IEBC to award it the tender.

“We know representatives of the firm met the NASA candidate three times,” JP secretary general Raphael Tuju said. He added that the party did not mind the tender being awarded to that firm.

“We have said give the tender to any firm. For us, it is not the ballot papers that will vote, it is the people of Kenya.”

Aukot called for the disqualification of both Uhuru and Raila form the racer over what he called attempts to influence the tender.

“Jubilee has been accused of improper contact with Al Ghurair. It has not denied. It has gone ahead to accuse NASA of trying to pitch another firm. I say disqualify both these people because of the likelihood of bias they have already admitted,” Aukot said

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati yesterday said the contract still stands.

“If you look at our timelines, actually today (yesterday) we should be doing the artwork for the ballot. So, we do not have time to go into procurement of the ballot tender again,” he said after meeting presidential candidates at the Hotel Intercontinental.

He said any commission employee would be fired for trying to influence the tender. “As it stands, these are mere allegations,” Chebukati said.

While the four candidates demanded scrapping the tender, Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto yesterday accused the opposition of plotting to delay the polls.

“Enough is enough. We will not accept their attempts to postpone elections. We know their game but we will not allow Kenyans to be denied their democratic right to choose the leaders they want on the date stipulated by the Constitution,” the President told supporters in Kericho.

Uhuru questioned the ethical correctness of the involvement of Hamida Kibwana in the NASA campaign, although she figures in the ChickenGate printing bribery case. She was a procurement officer with the former poll body and is part of the NASA legal team. She is accused of collecting Sh2.3 million on behalf of the former electoral body from the agent of UK printer Smith & Ouzman. The case comes up on June 30.

NASA says IEBC should sack Immaculate Kasait, director of Elections Operations and Voter Registration, “for facilitating Jubilee’s interests”. She has not commented.

Tuju also disputed claims Kenyatta met at State House with the Al Ghurair boss, the head of the firm that won the Sh2.5 billion tender.

“The man the President met just shares a name with Al Ghurair, the head of the firm that won the ballot paper tender.

“They just share a name and we have done due diligence that the man the President met was an Al Ghurair that deals with cement, not the one of the printing firm,” Tuju said.

NASA’s team led by its head of Legal Affairs yesterday told the IEBC they will not go to Dubai on the printing monitoring mission and will not attend other meetings to discuss printing ballot papers, unless IEBC addresses issues raised.

They complained that not even the officers mentioned — Ezra Chiloba and Immaculate Kasait — had been asked to give written explanations of their alleged connections with Jubilee.

Instead, the two were still supervising critical activities, NASA said.

“Our position as the opposition is we will not accompanying anyone to Al Ghurair Dubai or participate in any meeting on ballot papers until the IEBC accepts that the existing contract was not proper — and puts in place a good new contract,” Raila’s lawyer Paul Mwangi said.

Tuju alleged that Ben Sachs and Dr Patel Shailesh, whom he said was associated with Paarl Media, are close friends of Raila.

(Pty) Ltd are great friends of Raila

“I want to state clearly we don’t care who gets this contract,” Tuju said.

But Otiende Amolo and Mwangi, representing Raila, denied the claims.

“It is unfortunate Tuju employed diversionary tactics and allegations regarding some companies, which are not known to us and did not even tender.

“Our position as stated earlier is that the importance and legitimacy of any election require the person that arbitrates the elections as the IEBC, the entity that prints the ballot papers, should not have any association with any political players.

“IEBC has failed to address the main issue that Al Ghurair is associated with Jubilee,” Mwangi said.

Independent presidential candidate Joe Nyagah called on the IEBC to be open and work with all stakeholders to avoid suspicion.

Wainaina urged the IEBC to be independent in light of allegations NASA had a preferred firm.

“We are appalled by the developing story casting doubt on the tender award. If these reports are true, the credibility of the poll is already compromised,” he said

Last night NASA issued another statement, insisting the entire ballot procurement process had been skewed.

“The first time the company was awarded the contract, the commission had irregularly disqualified all other bidders and passed Al Ghurair as the only qualified bidder passing technical evaluation. IEBC then concluded that only one company, Al Ghurair, met evaluation criteria to supply ballot papers and election Forms,” Suna East Junet Mohamed said on behalf of the campaign team.

Majority Leader Aden Duale, flanked by more than seven JP lawmakers, told reporters at Parliament Buildings that the South Africans Raila allegedly met had promised the opposition a billion shillings.

“ He (Raila) met them in a deal where they agreed to contribute Sh1 billion to his campaign after assisting them secure the printing tender. This never happened and the NASA chief has been bitter for having lost a trusted campaign financier,” he said.

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Kenya – outcry as Raila stopped from speaking at Madaraka Day fete, but Ruto speaks

Star (Kenya)

Jun. 01, 2017, 12:00 pm

Opposition chief Raila Odinga arrives at Kabiruini grounds in Nyeri for the 54th Madaraka Day celebrations, June 1, 2017. /COURTESY
Opposition chief Raila Odinga arrives at Kabiruini grounds in Nyeri for the 54th Madaraka Day celebrations, June 1, 2017. /COURTESY

Social media users are displeased that Opposition chief Raila Odinga was denied the opportunity to speak at the Madaraka Day fete in Nyeri.

The NASA principal Raila reached Kabiruini grounds at about 10am shortly before President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Nyeri Governor Samuel Wamathai did not invite Raila to speak and called DP William Ruto instead.

Ruto spoke about peaceful campaigns and then invited the President who was last to speak at the 54th celebrations.

Read Uhuru’s speech at 54th Madaraka Day celebrations

Kenyans on social media said Ruto should have allowed Raila to speak.

“So Raila Odinga took his valuable time to go to Nyeri to listen yet his attendance was not recognised by anyone,” User Allan Gaya said.

“You go to an event held deep in the enemy’s stronghold and expect to be treated with decorum?”

Facebook user Kitu Kuruka wondered whether Jubilee Party leaders knew the ODM chief was there.

But Juma Moha wrote: “Some people are all over complaining that Raila was not recognised in Nyeri but my question is, ‘as who? Raila is just an Opposition leader…I mean…a normal Kenyan.”

Ken Winda said the NASA flag bearer played his part by attending the function.

“Had he not attended he would have been branded unpatriotic but he beat them to it,” Winda said.

Nyar Joram said she was glad Raila did not speak since the ideal is to “tenda wema nenda zako (do good and leave) whether invited or not”.

Joram noted Raila would have demonstrated cowardice by giving the occasion a wide berth.

Richard Cole asked: “Isn’t it amazing thatRaila trends even without delivering a speech after being ignored?”

Hundreds of Kenyans arrived as early as 6am at Kabiruini ASK showground despite the chilly weather.

Guests walked into the venue as directed by police officers manning the gates.

Read: Uhuru, Raila arrive in Nyeri for 54th Madaraka Day celebrations

On Madaraka Day, Kenyans celebrate the moment in history when the country was granted internal self-rule by the British colonialists.

More on this: It is time for Kenyans to stop celebrating Madaraka Day

Business boomed in the town ahead of the celebrations at which at least 30,000 people were expected.

After the event, the President will hosted to lunch at the county commissioner’s residence near Nyeri town.

Uhuru’s speech at 54th Madaraka Day celebrations

Jun. 01, 2017, 12:00 pm

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 54th Madaraka Day celebrations at Kabiruni grounds in Nyeri county, June 1, 2017. /WAMBUGU KANYI
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 54th Madaraka Day celebrations at Kabiruni grounds in Nyeri county, June 1, 2017. /WAMBUGU KANYI

Today, we celebrate our right to govern ourselves. That right was not given to us; we fought for it. Nyeri, this county of heroes, gave us some of our most valiant warriors.

Our monumental victory in the war of liberation from the colonial government was achieved because we had men and women who, on their own volition, sacrificed their lives so that we would be free to govern ourselves. Today, Mukami Kimathi joins us.

On behalf of the people of Kenya, I pay tribute to her, and to every other veteran of the Mau Mau war. And, indeed, to all other patriots from all corners of this country, who fought so that we could be free.

Our elders won that bitter war because they were united in a common goal, to liberate our nation. We have built on their legacy, building a country that has been an island of peace and stability in this region and, indeed, in the continent of Africa.

There have been challenges on our journey so far. We have suffered attempts to take political power by force, resulting in the loss of life and property of great value. These actions were not just criminal; they betrayed our freedom fighters’ sacrifice and sinned against our sacred nationhood.

Fellow Kenyans,

I call upon you to always be careful and not allow those who would wish to destroy our peaceful nation.

We must distinguish between a genuine and legitimate desire for change from its exploitation by short-sighted and cynical leaders who use us for their own selfish ends.

A peaceful and prosperous nation needs to be nurtured and protected by a united people. We must learn from our past, and shun those who would divide us on ethnic or religious lines.

Fellow Kenyans,

Our forefathers knew that political independence, though necessary, was insufficient to guarantee our prosperity and peace. Equally vital, they knew, was economic independence.

We, their sons and daughters, have sought to build the social and economic institutions under which our people will prosper.

In the decades since we attained self-rule, there is real progress to show for our efforts. Our welfare and livelihoods have improved sharply since June 1963. We live almost twice as long; far more of our children are in school; far fewer of our mothers die in childbirth. But we have a lot more to do to fulfill the dreams of the independence generation.

LAYING FOUNDATION FOR PROSPERITY

When I took office four-and-half-years ago, my task was to sustain and speed up the momentum of our development journey; mine has been to lay the foundation for a prosperous Kenya; prosperity accessible to each and every Kenyan willing to work.

That is why we have improved our roads and built new ones; that’s why we have modernized our hospitals by installing modern diagnosis equipment; that’s why we have connected thousands to electricity; and that’s why we have the Madaraka Express, which I had the honour of riding into Nairobiyesterday.

Madaraka Express, Ladies and Gentlemen, is a true living symbol of the journey we are undertaking together. It is the foundation for better incomes for our farmers, manufacturers and other businesses. On it rests our dominance as a regional hub, opening up opportunities for new markets for our goods and services, and letting us compete against other ambitious countries for the manufacturing investments that will bring jobs for our sons and daughters.

As an alternative to our roads, the Madaraka Express will greatly reduce the incidences of disability and death from accidents involving public service vehicles; and will move goods across East Africa quicker, cutting delivery times, and cutting corruption, that has dogged users of roads for transportation along the northern corridor.

Our investors will profit from the hotels and lodges, the shops and kiosks, and the smallholder farms, schools and dispensaries targeted at newly migrating workers and settlers.

You can now get from Mombasa to Nairobi in four hours, half the time it took as recently as Tuesday. That’s the work of an Administration that has the courage and ambition to cut by half the time taken to achieve an industrialized, job-rich and secure Kenya.

Our expanded and modernized ports and airports will be the logistical centres for the region, and hundreds of thousands of jobs in logistics and services will arise from them, and the companies that they serve.

For those who live between Nairobi and Nyeri, and those travelling north, our plan is to extend the Thika highway.

We will also push for the development of agri-business and value addition along that transport corridor, to transform your hard work into higher incomes and jobs.

Taken together, these investments mean that the 60 major global corporations, which make Kenya their regional and continental headquarters, will be joined by hundreds more of their counterparts.

Young Kenyans will move into the professional ranks in their thousands, effectively competing with the best from around the world.

These initiatives are giving birth to a new Kenya; that Kenya which our founding fathers yearned for. A country in which the basics of a decent life are securely within the reach of our people.

A nation whose children will find the jobs and livelihoods their achievements deserve, without waiting in line for years or requiring ethnic or family connections. A Kenya whose people won’t have to attend weekly harambees, or spend family savings, to send relatives and friends abroad for modern health services.

Wazalendo Wenzangu,

We will be citizens of a country that can feed itself and the region, without regard to the weather. That is why we have worked to escape the persistent problems of rain-fed agriculture. We have developed irrigation schemes that will free us, once and for all, from the life-threatening risks of climate change and adverse weather.

Our continuing vulnerability is felt in every home as drought ravages crops and livestock. The cost of food has risen here in Kenya; our neighbours, facing full-blown emergencies, are obliged to call for humanitarian intervention.

I am well aware the lives and livelihoods of many of our people are threatened by this drought. We have quickly responded taking a number of measures, including subsidizing unga until the next harvest season. We have waived import duty so that milk and other foods remain affordable.

We will protect our people, both consumers and producers as well. My Administration, with the support by the World Bank, has put in place livestock insurance, therefore protecting our pastoralist communities from losses to drought. We are taking steps to link livestock farming to markets to make it a more profitable business.

We dared not rest content with measures to meet the immediate drought; we had to look at every possible means of raising the production of every farmer and herder in Kenya. That is why – to choose just a few examples – we have subsidized fertilizer for some; we have waived debts for others; and we approved the recommendations of the Coffee Sector Implementation Committee.

I asked the Committee to make a plan for the revival of our coffee sector. It was an urgent matter: we needed to think again about the rules that govern the coffee industry, and we had to think afresh about our production, our marketing and our value addition.

The Committee wasted no time: we quickly agreed a debt waiver for coffee-farmers’ SACCOs and unions amounting to KSh 478 million, and KSh 1.7 billion on STABEX funds, through the Cooperative Bank of Kenya.

Consequently, title deeds once held as collateral by the Bank have been returned to cooperative societies and individual farmers.

Currently, the Committee, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, and the Council of Governors (COG) have together earmarked the upgrading of the Nairobi Coffee Exchange and the rehabilitation of 500 coffee factories in 31 coffee-growing counties.

ECONOMY GROWING

Fellow Kenyans,

The state of our Nation is strong. We have transformed our government and politics to give the greatest voice to the people: our democracy today is stronger than it has ever been. We have become the biggest economy in our region, and one of the largest in Africa.

Our people compete with the best in the world in many fields of endeavour. Our country anchors the region’s peace and security, and we are a necessary partner in regional and global decision-making.

Our achievements have raised our appetite for greater success in the war against poverty, ignorance and disease. Our desire has been sharpened, aiming for the day when every Kenyan has a decent job, a full education and security in his person and property.

Our economy is growing; services are being delivered to Kenyans better than ever before. But there is more to do if we are to lift every Kenyan out of poverty into prosperity.

We must find jobs for all our sons and daughters who have met their part of the bargain by diligently going to school.

Fellow Kenyans,

For over 50 years after independence, a majority of us lived in darkness, because of lack of planning, and the arrogant perception that “stima sio ya watu wanaishi nyumba za nyasi”!

My Government understands that every corner of Kenya matters; every Kenyan deserves basic services. I am proud today to report that in the last four years, we have added more than 2 million homes to the electricity grid.

Our streets have been made safer by the street-lighting programme. Traders now sell their wares far into the night without fear, benefiting from extended business hours. Connection by connection, we are developing into a 24-hour economy.

Yes, we have worked to connect every home to electricity, so that our children learn better and more equally, no matter what part of the country they are in. It is a matter of basic fairness and equality.

Our efforts have ensured that 23,000 primary schools across the country have electricity. We did it because we strongly believed that our education system should not leave some of our children behind based on the incomes of their parents, or their being born in distant rural areas as opposed to a large city. And that’s why we have also fully committed to free secondary education and full transition from primary to secondary school.

That is why we have scrapped exam fees, and will ensure that secondary school is free from January 2018. Future generations will get the education they need to continue transforming our great nation.

We want every part of Kenya, and every Kenyan, to be fairly included in development. That’s why we have ensured that 60,000 public facilities – just under 70% of the total, most in rural areas – are connected to electricity.

My promise to you is that every remaining area will be connected in the next 3 years.

In the off-grid Counties of Wajir, Turkana, Garissa, Mandera and Marsabit, we are installing 25 solar hybrid stations. Once complete, these stations will open up opportunities in these regions, while improving security and protecting the environment.

In the last four years, my Administration has raised the ratio of our people with access to clean water to 60%. That means, Ladies and Gentlemen, that 5.7 million Kenyans who did not have clean water in 2013 have it today.

Notable progress has been made in providing clean water. New water schemes have been constructed in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nakuru.

In addition, medium sized water supplies have been developed in Narok, Maua, Homa Bay, Kitui, Lamu and Nyahururu.

We have also increased access to sanitation: an additional 1.75 million Kenyans are now covered. Better sanitation and clean water prevent diseases; raise our productivity, and more importantly they mean dignified lives for our people.

To improve access to clean water, my Government has laid plans for the construction of the Northern Collector Tunnel, which will supply water to Nairobi and its metropolitan area; the Mzima II Pipeline for additional water to Mombasa; the Siaya-Bondo Water Project; and the Thwake Dam to provide water to Ukambani. Chemususu Dam, I am glad to say, is also in progress.

OIL EXPORTS

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Kenya will soon become an oil-exporting country. Even before a single barrel has been sold, the spending by investors is transforming Turkana and neighbouring counties.

We will see oil pipelines, new roads and new railways that will criss-cross our country, carrying the products that will raise the incomes of every Kenyan.

Oil revenues will be joined by earnings from the rising numbers of manufacturers taking advantage of our new and improved infrastructure. Already, car manufacturers, the iconic emblem of an industrialising economy, are re-establishing themselves in Kenya. Diverse manufacturing investors, all excited to play a part in a vibrant and developing country, will follow them.

As we grow the industries of the future, we are also reviving sectors that have suffered neglect. Our measures have saved jobs in companies like Pan Paper, and are creating others, as businesses establish themselves in regions that once felt left out of development.

We will need healthy workers and families to ensure that these investments find a productive workforce. For years, Kenyans had only 3 referral hospitals, all built in colonial times.

Now, after the efforts of the past 4 years, we have 92 referral hospitals across the country.

The welfare of the people should be the first priority of every President. I am proud that under my Administration, my Government has unveiled programmes such as “Linda Mama”, saving thousands of young lives every year, and protecting women in childbirth.

Just as we have brought modern medical equipment to hospitals nationwide, we have also expanded NHIF to cover catastrophic illness, so that those already facing tough personal battles can focus on recovery free from financial fear.

We have expanded access to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Kenyans – the orphaned, the elderly and the disabled – so that we can lighten burdens none of us would ever wish upon another.

If a grandmother in Busia lacks care in her final years, the nation has abandoned its parents. We will not. We will honour our mothers and fathers by making sure that they live in comfort and dignity. That’s why, from January 2018, my Administration will expand the monthly stipend programme to cover all our mothers and fathers, of 70 years and above.

At this point, I would like to express my personal gratitude and that of the Kenyan people to the government of Hungary for providing funds to construct a cancer hospital in Nyeri. This Hospital will serve the people of Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Muranga, Meru, Laikipia, Isiolo and other parts of our country. Alongside this, we will expand and upgrade the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital and Othaya District Hospital.

My Fellow Kenyans,

Our nation remains at risk. Our people must be secured against the threats from terrorists, politicians seeking to spark confrontation, and criminals. We have made far-reaching investments in our security system, increasing the numbers of personnel, adding sophisticated technology and stepping up our training and coordination.

We are also working to ensure that citizen engagement, and innovative tools to disengage, rehabilitate and reintegrate criminals and extremists, will complement our security system.

The world has learnt from the catastrophes in the Middle East and parts of North Africa that the terrorists who seek the destruction of democracies like Kenya can quickly exploit vacuums in governance and government.

That is why we will continue with our stabilisation mission in Somalia, keeping to the commitments we have made, alongside our neighbours and the international community, to support Somalia for the sake of its security and ours.

HOLDING LEADERS TO ACCOUNT

My Fellow Kenyans,

The most vital element in all our efforts to transform our country is to ensure that we are governed well.

Here too, there are successes to mention. In establishing devolution, we embraced the most effective way of managing our diversity, and of holding our leaders to account.

Devolution, and the democracy on which it rests, have freed our peoples’ energies and enabled robust citizen participation in decision-making.

Since you entrusted my government with the responsibility of forging our new constitutional order, we have continuously ensured the effective implementation of devolution.

We have kept to the timelines agreed, providing the needed administrative support, and going far beyond the constitutional threshold in financing counties. This is a historic achievement that all Kenyans should be very proud of.

My Brothers and Sisters,

A New Kenya is here. We must continue to dream big, and boldly implement our vision, so that every Kenyan can share in this country’s bounty.

The work my Administration has undertaken is a foundation for that transformative change, which will benefit Kenyans for generations to come.

A transformed Kenya calls for a new politics. We need politics that look forward not back; we need to leave behind leaders obsessed with using the conflicts of the past to divide us, rather than leading us forward in unity.

Let every Kenyan remember the history of our country, and what it has taught us of the dangers of divide and rule – of breaking the people apart, all for the gain of the few.

We should commit to redouble our efforts to instill in our youth a deep sense of patriotism and an appreciation of the gift to be a Kenyan. We must use every tool at our disposal to banish ethnicity and discrimination in any form.

I know that there is far more to be done, but I have immense faith in the greatness of our people. After all, we have already overcome challenges greater than any that lie before us.

I am proud to be a Kenyan in 2017. How privileged I feel to be your President in this period of promise; how blessed to be a Kenyan as our nation rises to the heights our forefathers foretold.

Remember that Kenya is a young nation, with great potential and opportunity for all of us. This is a moment for boldness: henceforth, our politics must be shaped by a desire to take Kenya forward to prosperity for all.

Brothers and Sisters,

On Monday, I submitted my application to serve you for another term, in preparation for that day in August when the future of your motherland will lie in your hands.

Many things have been said; you have heard many promises. I urge you to listen carefully, and choose wisely.

As government, we will protect your right to exercise that choice. Our security apparatus will remain vigilant, ready to deal with acts of lawlessness and disorder. All I ask of you is that you reject the politics of division and conflict; that you vote in peace. That way, no matter the outcome, we will all win.

We are 45 million strong, united as one Kenyan family. Elections will come and go; we must remain one. Protect the house we have built and are building.

Keep faith that we will renew this nation, for we are a people of faith, and we believe that justice will prevail; that peace will prevail; and that the people of Kenya will prevail.

Thank you and God Bless Kenya.

Kenya – NASA and Raila closing the gap on Jubilee and Uhuru

Daily Nation

Tuesday May 30 2017

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) Deputy President William Ruto. They lead in levels of public confidence in them, with 40 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively. FILE PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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If elections were held today, 47 per cent of Kenyans would vote for Jubilee as 42 per cent choose the National Super Alliance (Nasa), the latest Ipsos opinion poll shows.

But compared with another study released by Ipsos in January, Nasa leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka have gained numbers over Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto of the Jubilee Party.

CONFIDENCE

Nasa has gained more than 10 percentage points, from 30 per cent in January to the 42 in May as Jubilee maintained its 47 per cent rating.

On the level of public confidence in presidential candidates, President Uhuru Kenyatta leads with 40 per cent, William Ruto second at 31 per cent, Raila Odinga 25 per cent and Kalonzo Musyoka 12 per cent.

But if you consider the question of which presidential candidate enjoys the least public confidence, Mr Musyoka leads with 39 per cent.

On the state of the nation, 71 per cent of Kenyans interviewed by Ipsos in their second-quarter survey say Kenya is headed in the wrong direction.

91PC

Nasa supporters paint an even bleaker picture, as 91 per cent of them think the country is heading in the wrong direction, while 52 per cent of Jubilee supporters also say all is not well with Kenya.

Of those who say the country is headed in wrong direction, 68 per cent mention the cost of living as a reason.

This study was commissioned by Ipsos and conducted between May 11 and 23.

There were 2,026 completed interviews with a contact number of 5,484 done in 46 counties.

The study also had a margin of error of +/- 2.18 with a 95 per cent confidence level.