Kenya Kwanza Alliance presidential candidate William Ruto and his Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition counterpart Raila Odinga stormed various corners of the country, telling voters what they plan to do for them if elected in the August 9 General Election.
Meanwhile, Igembe North MP Maore Maoka wants the “foolish” fight between Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya to end immediately.
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, Kenya Kwanza’s running mate, explained why he believes his party will win the elections by more than 60 percent.
Here is all you need to know about Kenya’s politics as of June 27.
We will reopen Kenya-Somalia border, Raila pledges
Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua yesterday promised to reopen the Kenya-Somalia border to enable cross-border business to flow if they are elected.
Mr Odinga said the border would be reopened to allow free flow of goods and people.
With the North Eastern region facing attacks from Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants, Mr Odinga vowed to improve the region’s security. This came barely three days after armed militants stopped a bus coming heading to Mandera and lectured passengers for at least two hours last Thursday.
Mr Odinga said infrastructure would also be improved, citing the ongoing construction of the Horn of Africa gateway project that cuts through Isiolo and Wajir and ends in Mandera through Elwak.
“We shall ensure the infrastructure project is completed within the next year so that people from Mandera can get to Nairobi with ease,” he said.
He used the platform to pledge again that he would give destitute families at least Sh6,000 monthly under social protection programmes.
DP Ruto tours Kilifi, promises to grow small businesses
The Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate, Deputy President William Ruto yesterday took his political campaigns to Kilifi County.
Speaking at the Mtomondoni Grounds in Mtwapa, Kilifi, DP Ruto said if elected, his government would provide a favourable environment for small businesses to grow.
He was with several Kenya Kwanza leaders, including ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, Malindi Town MP Aisha Jumwa, Nyali MP Mohamed Ali, Kilifi North MP Owen Baya and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro,
“We value every hustle. It is our responsibility as government to grow small businesses into big enterprises. That is our commitment to the Hustler Nation as the Kenya Kwanza administration,” he said.
Munya, Kiraitu feud fuelled by greed and foolishness – MP Maoka Maore
National Assembly Deputy Majority Whip Maore Maoka wants a ceasefire between Meru political bigwigs Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Agriculture CS Peter Munya, saying their supremacy battles could derail Azimio campaigns in the county.
Failure by Mr Munya to support Mr Murungi, the outfit’s governor candidate, could divide votes “and lead to losses that could affect various seats”, Mr Maore said.
Speaking in Laare after meeting Jubilee women and youth supporters yesterday, Mr Maore said the disunity had led to the coalition party holding separate campaigns.
“The friction you see is a power struggle between a few people and is not in the interest of Azimio to have conflict. It is greed and it borders on foolishness because if Azimio loses the Senate, governor, MP and other seats, how will you get the positions you are looking for?” he posed.
Mr Murungi has repeatedly pleaded with Mr Munya to support his bid, accusing the CS of quietly throwing his weight behind Woman Rep Kawira Mwangaza, an independent candidate.
Last week, Est African Legislative Assembly member Mpuru Aburi, a close ally of Mr Munya, appeared to tell Azimio supporters in Kariene, Imenti Central, that they were free to vote for Ms Mwangaza as long as they voted for Mr Odinga.
Mr Munya and Mr Murungi have been engaged in a war of words over the miraa regulations among other things.
Uhuru, Raila handshake to blame for high cost of living - DP Ruto
The Kenya Kwanza brigade on Saturday campaigned in Kwale and Mombasa counties, where they blamed the March 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga for derailing the Jubilee agenda and leading to the current high cost of living.
Led by DP Ruto, they urged residents to elect Kenya Kwanza candidates so that he can have enough supporters to revolutionise the economy.
He said there was a need for immediate interventions to reduce the cost of living and promised that his government would invest in agriculture to ensure there's food security.
"Before the handshake, a packet of maize flour was retailing at Sh80 but now it is at more than Sh200 because after the political deal, they suspended fertiliser and other farm input subsidies, which has resulted in high prices of food," said Mr Ruto.
The DP and his team criticised the Kenyatta administration’s decision to transfer port operations to Nairobi and Naivasha.
"Those who are making Mombasa people become poorer are Mombasa businesspeople who are working in the sector. When I am elected as President on August 9, I will issue an executive order to restore port operations in Mombasa so as to benefit residents, not individuals," said DP.
Raila, Ruto issue new demands to IEBC over ballot papers
DP Ruto and Mr Odinga have listed new demands touching on the printing of ballot papers and the voter register ahead of a meeting with the electoral agency.
Azimio wants the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to provide details on the printing of the more than 120 million ballot papers.
The coalition wants the IEBC to provide details on plans to take representatives of election stakeholders to Greece – where the printer is based – to monitor printing of the papers.
It has also demanded to be told the physical location of the company and the security features to be included on the ballots.
The IEBC contracted Greek firm Inform P Lykos SA to supply ballot papers and election declaration forms, among other items.
Separately, Dr Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza alliance wants the Wafula Chebukati-led commission to make public the steps it has taken to prevent “another illegal transfer of voters”.
But a split has emerged in the Ruto-led alliance over the phasing out of the physical register for voter identification.
Some DP allies told the Nation that the coalition is for exclusive use of the digital register as the physical one is prone to manipulation.
Others, however, want the physical roll to be used so that voters who cannot be identified with their biometrics cannot be locked out of the elections.
The IEBC has invited four presidential candidates – Dr Ruto, Mr Odinga, Prof George Wajackoyah of Roots Party and Agano Party’s David Mwaure Waihiga – to a meeting on Wednesday.
Sonko’s bid for Mombasa governor now depends on CJ Koome-appointed bench
Chief Justice Martha Koome is expected to empanel a bench of judges to hear former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko’s case that seeks to obtain orders barring the IEBC from gazetting candidates for the Mombasa governor’s seat.
This came on Friday evening after Justice Olga Sewe, while declining to issue the orders, ruled that they would have far-reaching implications and the court did not want to make a decision without hearing the respondents.
He then directed that the case file be forwarded to Chief Justice Martha Koome to form a bench of judges to hear it as it “raises substantial issues of law”.
“Justice requires the application and the petition be canvassed expeditiously … I decline to issue the orders pending a response by the respondents,” ruled Justice Sewe.
Mr Sonko wanted the court to bar the IEBC from printing ballot papers in respect to candidates for the governor’s position in Mombasa. He also wanted the Wiper party restrained from nominating any other candidate for the seat.
Justice Sewe also ordered the respondents to file their responses to Mr Sonko’s application by tomorrow (Tuesday).
At least 20 pioneer governors back in race to reclaim seats
At least 20 pioneer governors who lost their seats after serving one term are seeking to reclaim the positions after a five-year hiatus and some have won tickets from major political formations in their regions.
Others are running on fringe parties or as independents.
They are scheming to sweep themselves back to power by riding on the failures of current county bosses and using the political networks they created between 2013 and 2017.
Some who have good chances of recapturing their seats are Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka (Bungoma), Julius Malombe (Kitui), David Nkedianye (Kajiado) and Benjamin Cheboi (Baringo). The four secured tickets from popular parties in their regions, placing them a step away from recapturing the seats.
Mr Lusaka is running under Senator Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya. The outfit sponsored incumbent Governor Wycliffe Wangamati in 2017. Mr Wangamati fell out with Mr Wetang’ula and is now seeking to defend his seat under the Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K), a new party associated with Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.
In Baringo, Mr Cheboi defeated incumbent Governor Stanley Kiptis to win a ticket from DP Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA), while in Kitui, Mr Malombe secured the Wiper ticket. Mr Malombe’s chances were further boosted by the surprise decision by incumbent Governor Charity Ngilu to quit the race.
Other races involve former Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Isaac Ruto (Bomet), Evans Kidero (Homa Bay), Moses Akaranga (Vihiga), Godana Doyo (Isiolo), Jackson Ranguma (Kisumu), Joshua Irungu (Laikipia), Daniel Waithaka (Nyandarua), Issa Timamy (Lamu), Ahmed Abdullahi (Wajir) and Simon Kachapin (West Pokot).
The others on the ballot are John Mrutu (Taita Taveta), Hussein Dado (Tana River), William Kabogo (Kiambu), Cleophas Lagat (Nandi), Joseph Ndathi (Kirinyaga) and Nathif Jama (Garissa).
Murathe: Uhuru would have fired DP Ruto a long time ago
President Uhuru Kenyatta would have fired his deputy, Mr Ruto had he not been protected by the Constitution, Jubilee Party vice-chairperson David Murathe said.
“Remember in our current dispensation, it’s only the Deputy President who is anchored in the Constitution who can’t be fired. So, you can make Kalonzo today the Chief Minister and fire him tomorrow. It’s only the Deputy President, otherwise the President would have fired Ruto a long time ago,” Mr Murathe said.
He also said the reason the President is in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition as chairperson of its council is to ensure that there is trust among party partners.
“It is the distrust and mistrust in the political class and he comes in as a guarantor,” he said.
Mr Murathe’s remarks come in the context of several changes that were witnessed in Mr Kenyatta’s administration in his two terms.
In his second term, the President embraced opposition chief Raila Odinga through the March 2018 Handshake, a move that did not go down well with his deputy.
DP Ruto’s stand angered the President, prompting him to come up with a strategy to control both the National Assembly and the Senate by working closely with opposition parties.
The President also made changes in his Cabinet, firing Dr Ruto’s close allies and removing others from National Assembly committees.
Kenya Kwanza will win the elections by 60 percent of the votes cast - Gachagua
The Kenya Kwanza presidential running mate, Mr Gachagua has told the Sunday Nation that his outfit will win by over 60 per cent of votes cast in the August elections. Here are excerpts from the interview.
You accuse the media of overstating Raila Odinga lead in polls. What does your polling show?
Kenya Kwanza will win the presidency by about 60 per cent of votes cast. Nothing has changed over the last few months except the fake opinion polls the media is pushing. We live with the people every day.
When you say Raila Odinga has support of more than 20 percent in Mt Kenya region, I wonder, which mountain? I live there and I talk to people and nothing has changed. We are going to win this election by over 60 percent.
That is the reality and I want to ask our people to ignore opinion polls. These polls are not new. In 2007, they were saying that Raila was winning. In 2013, polls were putting Raila at 50 percent while Uhuru was in 30s. When results came, they were the exact opposite.
Kenya Kwanza is preparing to launch its manifesto next week. Could you share the highlights of what is contained in that document?
It would be good if you waited. I assure you that it will be about the economy. The focus will be the economy and the people of Kenya. Our manifesto will be informed, not by what professors, economists, statisticians and leaders think but by the views of the people we have collected across the country.
We have held so many economic forums and we are remaining with five or six counties, which we are going to do before the date of the manifesto launch. The views we have collected from the people are the economic changes that they desire in their lives.