NAIROBI, Kenya, May 1 –President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday veered away from matters labour to tell off opposition leader Raila Odinga over his incessant criticism of his government.
President Kenyatta enumerated the accomplishments, as he sees them, of his government over the last two years before demanding that the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader and others in the opposition to show some deference for office he holds.
“It is the Kenyan people who put me here with God’s permission. Respect their decision,” he told his critics who have lately intensified calls for fresh polls, accusing President Kenyatta of ineptitude over insecurity and corruption.
But securing the nation against Jihadists, President Kenyatta hit back, would require more than empty rhetoric.
“It is easy to criticize. It is much harder to do,” he said, “we must unite against our common foe. When the time comes for electioneering, we will campaign. But until then, let us focus on development and have respect for leaders in office.”
“If you want to be respected when you are elected, you must respect those already elected to serve,” he said in an apparent reference to Odinga’s persistent criticism of his administration.
He also came to the defence of Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero whose Labour Day address was followed by chants of, “Kidero must go.”
“I know you support Sonko but like it or not, it is Kidero who is in office today and until the next general election. You must respect him because you are the ones who elected him,” he admonished.
President Kenyatta echoed the sentiments of his Deputy William Ruto who had earlier told off the opposition for their constant criticism and dismissed their calls for fresh elections saying the Jubilee government was addressing the challenges the country is facing.
“You had your chance to lead. Now it’s our turn. Let us do our jobs. Help us, but give us room to do what we were elected to do. In a few years there’ll be another election,” Ruto had told Odinga last week.
Odinga is spearheading a national referendum campaign launched last week when the opposition tore into the jubilee administration, accusing its leaders of failing to steer the country.