President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday accused his deputy William Ruto, the Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate, of lying to Nakuru residents over the construction of the inland port in Naivasha.
DP Ruto, campaigning in Mt Kenya, chided his Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition counterpart Raila Odinga for skipping the presidential debate on Tuesday night.
What good is a general without his foot soldiers? That is how a UDA governor candidate in Nyanza is feeling after 30 MCA aspirants from his political outfit jumped ship and vowed to support his ODM rival’s bid for the seat.
Here is all you need to know about Kenyan elections as of July 28.
Ruto is a liar, Uhuru says
President Kenyatta yesterday said DP Ruto was insincere and has been lying to Nakuru and Mombasa residents and that the DP had politicised the standard gauge railway (SGR) administrative decisions for selfish political reasons.
DP Ruto has often said the Kenyatta administration replaced the initial plan of building an industrial city in Naivasha with an inland container depot, a move that he believes led to loss of jobs at the port of Mombasa.
The Naivasha Inland Container Depot is a storage and clearance point for cargo destined for neighbouring countries such as Uganda and Rwanda.
President Kenyatta said Dr Ruto was part of the executive team that approved the building of the SGR, and even laid out operation protocols.
Dr Ruto, who has campaigned in Nakuru and Mombasa counties several times, has often referred to SGR politics, promising to reverse the legal and administrative changes that he says came after some people took the project hostage with selfish ambitions.
Ruto blasts Raila for skipping presidential debate
DP Ruto yesterday criticised Mr Odinga for boycotting the much publicised presidential debate and asked Kenyans to reject him in the August 9 polls.
Dr Ruto reiterated that Mr Odinga skipped the debate because he lacked a development agenda and that he had nothing to tell Kenyans.
"Mr Odinga knew he could not defeat me in such a debate and that is why he disappeared into the bush. He lacks plans and [an] agenda for Kenyans," he said.
Dr Ruto said that by showing up for the Tuesday night debate, he had demonstrated he was a competent leader who should be elected to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Waihiga Mwaure: I have the remedy for corruption
Agano Party presidential candidate David Mwaure Waihiga pledged to wage an anti-corruption war if he becomes President on August 9, committing to ensure that Kenya would no longer be a “begging nation” under his leadership.
He spoke during the Tuesday night presidential debate.
Hogging the limelight after Roots Party presidential candidate Prof George Wajackoyah snubbed the debate, Mr Waihiga tore into his opponents, saying they were part of the problems bedevilling the country.
Mr Waihiga and Prof Wajackoyah were paired in the debate involving presidential candidates who had garnered support of below five per cent in at least three most recent opinion polls.
Mr Waihiga, who claims to be an ordained church minister and came to the debate dressed in a lavender clergy shirt, said it was time to elect new leaders, accusing Dr Ruto of Kenya Kwanza, Mr Odinga of Azimio and Prof Wajackoyah of being part of the problems Kenya is grappling with.
“I am different from them. I believe that the only thing that can move us forward is a complete change from the top to the bottom,” he said.
Calling himself the “real deal”, Mr Waihiga said he is the only presidential candidate who can transform Kenya to the level of its former peers in Singapore and South Korea.
Ruto, Raila grope for Mt Kenya votes a day after presidential debate
Mr Odinga and DP Ruto yesterday camped in Mt Kenya for a titanic battle for the region’s votes.
While Dr Ruto started his campaigns in the Kirinyaga turf of Mr Odinga’s running mate, Ms Karua, a day after stealing the show in the presidential debate, the Azimio brigade’s drive started in Rumuruti, Laikipia County.
Mr Odinga, who skipped the debate claiming Dr Ruto had integrity issues, addressed a rally in Nanyuki before storming Nyeri for a rally at Ruringu stadium. Nyeri is home to Dr Ruto’s proposed deputy, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.
For his part, Dr Ruto, who enjoyed a massive following in Mt Kenya before Mr Odinga slowly started to ‘climb’ the mountain, addressed rallies in Mwea and Kianyaga in Kirinyaga before heading to Endarasha in Kieni. Kieni is home to Azimio diehard Kanini Kega.
Azimio to hold final campaign rally in Kasarani
The Azimio coalition will hold its final campaign rally on August 6 at the Kasarani stadium in Nairobi.
Last week, the coalition party’s secretary-general Junet Mohamed announced that the outfit led by Mr Odinga would close its campaigns with a mega rally at Nyayo National Stadium on August 6.
Releasing the leaders’ 14-day itinerary, Azimio indicated that its team will tour Nakuru on Thursday, Machakos on Friday, Suswa in Narok County and Eldoret before heading to Mombasa and finally in Nairobi at the Kasarani stadium on August 6.
Azimio and Kenya Kwanza had laid claim to the Nyayo stadium for their respective Nairobi final rallies but the government, through Sports Kenya, indicated that the venue had been booked for a prayer meeting.
Kenya Kwanza still insists that it will hold its final rally at the stadium, saying it had paid Sh1.5 million to Sports Kenya to book the venue.
Sports Kenya has denied the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) permission to use the stadium for its final rallies on August 5-6, saying the venue was booked for a peace concert.
UDA to field 280,000 election agents across the country
DP Ruto's UDA party has instructed its candidates to start recruiting their own agents ahead of the August 9 elections after getting the green light from the electoral agency.
Responding to UDA's request for each candidate to have their own agent, as opposed to one party agent at every polling station, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati said he had no objection to candidates recruiting their own agents as long as they liaise with returning officers.
This means that UDA will have at least 277,374 agents in all the 46,229 polling stations across the country for the six elective seats.
Mr Chebukati cited Section 30 of the Elections Act. “A political party may appoint one agent for its candidates at each polling station,” he told the UDA secretary-general on July 23.
“Where a political party does not nominate an agent under subsection (1), a candidate nominated by a political party may appoint an agent of the candidate's choice. An independent candidate may appoint his own agent."
Government withdrew police from North Rift because they support me - Ruto
DP Ruto on Tuesday night claimed that the government is punishing his supporters in the North Rift because of their political stand.
He claimed that insecurity in the Kerio Valley was sparked by the government’s decision to withdraw police reservists, leaving locals unprotected.
“The withdrawal of the reservists was a political agenda meant to punish Ruto. We had over 5,000 police reservists who were relieved of their duties, leaving the communities exposed,” DP Ruto said.
“There was a false narrative after the ‘Handshake’ and the government said police reservists in the area were Ruto’s militia and they were withdrawn and the situation went south.”
He said Elgeyo Marakwet and the Kerio Valley, which are prone to bandit attacks, were the most affected.
“I have deployed my personal resources to deal with that situation because I know it was a political agenda. The withdrawal of the National Police Reserve was really an unfortunate act intended to punish William Ruto,” the DP said.
Boost for Arati in Kisii governor’s bid as Kenya Kwanza MCA aspirants pledge to support him
Kisii UDA governor candidate Ezekiel Machogu yesterday suffered a setback after over 30 Kenya Kwanza MCA candidates publicly declared their support for his ODM opponent Simba Arati in the upcoming elections.
The MCAs vowed to throw their weight behind the Azimio candidate against their alliance, stating that they want to support someone who will foster unity and development.
Mr Charles Lwanga Ongwae, the chairman of the Kenya Kwanza alliance in Kisii County, Mr Alex Oyaro of Birongo ward in Nyaribari Chache, who presented himself as the secretary-general of the alliance in the county, and Mr Dismas Ondara, a candidate for the Bokimonge ward seat, led the group.
They accused their party leadership of deception and opaqueness when dealing with their issues associated with the ongoing campaigns.
“Last week, we issued an ultimatum that unless issues affecting wananchi who support the Kenya Kwanza movement are not taken seriously and addressed promptly, we will take a different direction. As chairman has stated, Kenya Kwanza leadership is full of opaqueness with highly avaricious individuals,” said Mr Oyaro.