Tag Archives: Uhuru Kenyatta

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 – 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 – 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 – Uhuru says SGR vandals should be executed

The Star (Kenya)

Jun. 01, 2017, 12:15 am

President UHuru Kenyatta launching the SGR Cargo train at the port of Mombasa.PHoto/MOnicah Mwangi
President Uhuru Kenyatta launching the SGR Cargo train at the port of Mombasa.PHoto/Monicah Mwangi

“God forgive me, but I will not hesitate to sign the death warrant of anyone found guilty of vandalising the SGR to sabotage our economy.”

That was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s grim warning yesterday as he flagged off the first passenger train on the Sh327 billion Chinese-built and Chinese-financed Nairobi-Mombasa line.

He also kicked off his reelection campaign.

“This is a historic day and a day everyone of us should feel proud to be a Kenyan,” Uhuru said, adding the SGR will be a cornerstone of development.

“Despite criticism and opposition, we have launched the Madaraka Express to reshape the story of Kenya for the next 100 years,” he said.

The 427-km single-track standard gauge railway is Uhuru’s flagship project and central campaign promise essential to realising Vision 2030.

The President warned that vandals will be tried as economic saboteurs and will face the harshest punishment of hanging.

No one has been executed in Kenya since the attempted coup in 1982. God-fearing Presidents have refused to sign execution orders.

Uhuru spoke as four people are held in police custody over damage to sections of the new railway at Kibanda Hasara in Kwale. Scrap metal they allegedly stole was recovered from yards in the town.

“We will not allow them to sabotage our economy and the welfare of the future generations of our country,” Kenyatta said.

The President spoke when he commissioned the passenger line at the Mombasa Terminus at Miritini in Mombasa county. Freight service was commissioned on Tuesday.

Then Uhuru, Deputy President William Ruto and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta stepped aboard for the historic first passenger train ride to Nairobi.

The train drivers are Chinese, at least for the first year.

The passenger express takes four to five hours between Mombasa and Nairobi. That’s 12 hours shorter than the old train ride, once called the Lunatic Express.

The bus takes nine to 10 hours.

Transport costs are reduced as freight rains take only five hours.

There will be one return trip between Nairobi and Mombasa daily.

Uhuru ordered construction of a matatu terminus at the SGR Mombasa Terminus.

He said one-way economy fare is Sh700.

First class is Sh3,000.

Bus fare is more than Sh1,200.

Uhuru said it will cost no more than Sh50,000 to move a container by rail from Mombasa to Nairobi. It costs at least Sh100,000 to move a container of goods by road.

Kenyatta promised a new railway when he was elected in 2013. Groundbreaking was on November 28, 2013. Completion was to be in five years but this first phase was completed 18 months ahead of schedule.

The President directed the Transport ministry to build the road leading to Miritini station, for easy access to the terminus.

“I know Kenyans like complaining but today we should shed those differences and celebrate this achievement,” the head of state said.
He also expressed gratitude to Chinese President Xi Jinping for the collaboration and support that made it possible to complete the project in half the projected time and on budget.

Xi sent a high-level delegation, led by a special envoy State Councillor Wang Yong, to congratulate Kenyatta and the Kenyan people.

The Chinese too got aboard.

Ruto called the SGR is one of Kenya’s greatest milestones, a result of government commitment.

Speaking in Voi during a stop, Kenyatta said the government will build a dry port in Voi to reduce congestion at the Mombasa port.

“They say we will not build a dry port and a special economic zone here. I want to announce here we shall build the dry port in Voi so business people can collect their goods here and reduce congestion at Mombasa port. This will create jobs for Taita Taveta people,” he said.

Also on board were Cabinet Secretaries Najib Balala (Tourism), Dan Kazungu (Mining, Joseph Nkaissery (Internal Security), Taita Taveta Senator Dan Mwazo, Women representative Joyce Lay and Taveta MP Naomi Shaban .

Passengers included 47 students representing the 47 counties.

Uhuru addressed residents at Mariakani, Voi and Mtito Andei and Syokimau on his way to Nairobi.

He said the SGR will reduce travel costs and create jobs.

“In our first term, we focussed on building the foundation for take-off and transformation. That is why we said despite all circumstances we have to build the SGR and the Voi Taveta road,” Uhuru said.

He bashed the opposition, saying it has no economic development agenda.

“Instead of giving us solutions, they are criticising what we have implemented. They have been in power but failed to construct the Mwatate Wundanyi road, which was last done by my father’s regime. All the years they have been in power they did nothing to uplift your livelihoods. Ignore their lies and propaganda,” Uhuru said.

He said the state will build the Sh30 billion Mzima 2 water project.

“We shall come here to launch the water project. We shall make sure that you drink the water first before it is taken to Mombasa,” the President said.

As for unga and the maize shortage, the President said the means to ensure Kenyans get the commodity.

“My brothers and sisters, vote for actions. Don’t vote for propaganda. This will create job opportunities to our people,” he said.

Taita Taveta Senator Mwazo said the opposition will drive the country off the rails.

“They speak and criticize a lot at the expense of development. We want our people to get job opportunities at the new railway station,” he said amid cheers.

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

Daily Nation

Tuesday May 30 2017

Kenya election.png

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.

Kenya -President launches election campaign amid fears about violence

Reuters

By George Obulutsa | NAIROBI

NAIROBI Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta kicked off his official campaign for reelection with a rally in Nairobi on Monday, echoing a call by main challenger Raila Odinga to avoid the violence that followed voting a decade ago.

Kenyatta led a lively procession of luxury sports utility vehicles around the city to reach the rally held after the electoral board cleared his candidacy for the August poll.

“We are determined to ensure that we conduct our elections peacefully,” the president told the crowd. “We have no intention to insult, obstruct, abuse our opponents … Peace now, peace during and peace after the election.”

Odinga, the veteran opposition leader who held a similar rally on Sunday after his fourth run for the presidency was officially approved, also said in a talk with journalists that the campaign and voting would be orderly.

“The campaigns are going to be very peaceful, and at the end of the day we expect it is going to be a fair contest,” he said. “In any contest there will be winners and there will be losers.”

Many Kenyans are concerned about possible election-linked violence. More than 1,200 people were killed in 2007 after Odinga called for protests following the vote that year and later degenerated into ethnic based violence.

Electoral authorities had abruptly stopped tallying votes and announced the incumbent president Mwai Kibaki the winner.

Odinga narrowly lost the 2013 elections to Kenyatta and challenged the result in court. He did not call for protests that time and a judge upheld the result, handing Kenyatta a five-year term.

Kenyatta, the wealthy 55-year-old son of the country’s first president, is running on what he presents as his record of aggressive economic development drive, citing new roads, expansion of the electricity grid and a new Chinese-built railway linking the port of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi.

The head of the Jubilee party says he has strengthened the judiciary, reformed the electoral commission and overseen the devolution of power.

But his government has also been rocked by scandals and strikes by doctors and university lecturers, and has not convicted any senior officials of corruption.

Odinga, 72, also comes from a powerful political family – his father was Kenya’s first vice-president. He has pledged to lower rocketing food prices, tackle corruption, reform the public sector and strengthen local government.

Jailed for eight years in 1982 after a failed coup, the self-declared leftist was one of Kenya’s longest serving political prisoners. He ran for president in 1997 but lost. After the violence following the 2007 vote, he served as prime minister from 2008-2013 in a power-sharing government.

The opposition National Super Alliance, known by its acronym NASA, nominated him as its candidate in April.

Seven other presidential candidates have been cleared to run for president.

(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Katharine Houreld and Tom Heneghan)

 

 

Kenya – Raila says he will not evict Mau Forest settlers if he wins election

Star (Kenya)

May. 29, 2017, 9:00 am

People evicted from Mau Forest gather to receive a donation of blankets in Kapkembu, November 18, 2009. /REUTERS
People evicted from Mau Forest gather to receive a donation of blankets in Kapkembu, November 18, 2009. /REUTERS

Raila Odinga has said claims he plans to evict Mau Forest settlers are “pure propaganda” and noted he will not punish Rift Valley residents.

There have been fears that NASA will kick settlers out of the forest should Raila and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka win the August 8 general election.

But the ODM leader told a Kalenjin radio station on Monday morning that his government will not interfere with people living on gazetted land.

While responding to questions by callers, the Opposition chief accused President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration of neglecting evictees as they are still in IDP camps.

“They neglected them when they took over power yet they had claimed during campaigns that they would resettle them within 100 days,” he said.

Raila said the 2008 eviction resulted from a cabinet decision aimed at protecting resources and resettling the evictees.

He added locals should not be allowed to carry out illegal logging in the water catchment area but noted they deserve proper resettlement.

Mau evictees have asked NASA leader Raila Odinga to address their plight following their displacement from the forest in 2015.

They accused the Jubilee administration of failing to resettle them and adding they were “tired of false promises since the inhumane evictions”.

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled on Friday that Kenya has violated the forest-dwelling Ogiek people’s rights to land, religion, culture, development and non-discrimination.

The Ogiek live in the Mau Forest – Kenya’s largest water catchment area – in the Rift Valley. But along with other hunter gatherer communities they have faced repeated evictions from the land since colonial times.

Noting his work is to keep the government in check, Raila said he did not oppose the Sh38 billion Itare dam in Kuresoi North for no reason.

He said elders approached him and filed a petition at the Nakuru High Court asking him to get them a lawyer.

On Standard Gauge Railway, Raila said Jubilee only implemented existing plans.

Thank you for participating in discussions on The Star, Kenya. Note that:

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