The Kenya Kwanza team has urged residents of West Pokot to vote for candidates from their political parties in the August 9 General Election, saying their “bottom-up” economic model would help improve their lives.
They castigated President Uhuru Kenyatta, accusing him of plunging the country into an economic crisis and sidelining his Deputy William Ruto in his leadership.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, who spoke on Tuesday at the Kishaunet showground in Kapenguria during an economic forum, promised that the model would enable pastoralists to attain economic prosperity.
Mr Muturi, who represented DP Ruto, expressed confidence that the latter could clinch the Presidency in the August polls.
"DP Ruto has signed the charters with every county and his government will implement them", he said.
He slammed Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga over his remarks that second-hand clothes sold in Kenya were once worn by dead people.
"These are people who don't know the problems Kenyans are facing. They have never slept hungry. We need to uplift hustlers,” Mr Muturi said.
He drummed up support for former West Pokot governor Simon Kachapin, asking residents to elect him.
"Kachapin has been tested and proven. We need good cooperation between the national and county government to enhance development and good service delivery to Kenyans," he said.
He called on Kenyans to elect Kenya Kwanza candidates from ward reps to President.
Speaker Muturi slammed President Kenyatta for supporting Azimio, adding that their campaigns are held in offices rather than getting the views of ordinary Kenyans.
He said President Kenyatta should spell out what DP Ruto had done wrong.
"He needs to tell us Ruto's mistakes before he retires. They were elected on one ticket and if there is a mistake, he needs to tell us," he said.
He added: "If the handshake brought a problem, he has to be bold enough and tell us. Kenyans will decide for themselves whom they will vote for."
Senator Murkomen said the Azimio team was after changing the Constitution but Kenya Kwanza wants to change the lives of locals and empower them economically.
He noted that conflicts among pastoralist communities had hampered development.
"The Azimio team have no agenda but are after spreading false propaganda.… They should stop fooling us," he said.
He said Azimio had failed to initiate development in their regions.
"Vote for UDA leaders so that we can empower women and other small-scale traders. We need numbers in the Senate. We want to get 30 senators …," he said.
Mr Murkomen said a plan is needed to develop the Kerio Valley region so as to end insecurity.
"We have bandits from all warring communities. We need to open up schools and churches", he said.
He hit out at West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo and Pokot South MP David Pkosing for supporting Raila Odinga despite benefiting from DP Ruto
"They are [deceiving] residents that Raila is better than Ruto. The Azimio manifesto didn't involve Wanjiku,” he said.
Mr Kachapin, the former West Pokot governor, noted that the county is a hidden treasure where many resources have not been exploited.
He said that the county has many livestock and produces a lot of milk.
He said DP Ruto is the only presidential candidate who has incorporated mwananchi’s views in his manifesto.
He pointed out that DP Ruto would take Kenya to greater heights if he clinches the presidency.
"We hope that our country will be like Singapore. Ruto has the capability to alleviate Kenyans from the yoke of poverty," he said.
"We suffer while migrating with our livestock which die."
Other leaders present were MPs Samuel Moroto (Kapenguria), Peter Lochakapong (Sigor) and Lillian Tomitom (West Pokot woman representative) and candidates for various seats.
Kacheliba MP Mark Lomunokol noted that West Pokot was a UDA zone, adding that President Kenyatta and Mr Pkosing, the Pokot South MP, are traitors.
He said cartels would run the Azimio government if Mr Odinga is elected.
"Martha Karua and Raila Odinga are old and they don't have the energy to run the country. They will be in deep slumber while the country will be looted," he said.
He added: “Martha Karua sacrificed for nothing. Junet will run the government because Raila will be sleeping,” he said.
Mr Lomunokol said the government must address insecurity in pastoralist counties to boost economic activities in Kenya.