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Uhuru, Ruto dismiss Opposition 2017 poll unity bid

Speaking during the launch of Jubilee Party’s membership drive Friday, President Kenyatta defended his administration’s track record since taking over power/MOSES MUOKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13- President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have dismissed Opposition leaders’ unity bid ahead of the August elections, saying their campaign is full of rhetoric with no clear-cut agenda for the country.

Speaking during the launch of Jubilee Party’s membership drive Friday, President Kenyatta defended his administration’s track record since taking over power and asked Kenyans to re-elect him, while urging everyone to register as a voter.

He accused the Opposition leaders of turning a blind eye to Jubilee’s achievements which have benefited Kenyans, including health, infrastructure and education among others.

“I can go on and on to enumerate what Jubilee Government has done in a mere three and a half years,” President Kenyatta said. “Our opponents have been in government, with some more than 20 years with nothing to show.”

He urged leaders affiliated to the Jubilee Party to desist from engaging the Opposition and instead focus on implementing the Jubilee Government’s agenda.

“I was angered when I saw them insulting me, but I came to understand that they don’t have anything to show and that’s when I decided to ask God to just forgive them,” he said amid cheers from the hundreds of aspirants who had attended the launch of the Jubilee membership smart card.

“We need to come out of this place united as we head to the grassroots to urge Kenyans to register as voters.”

He assured the aspirants that there will be no favouritism during the nomination exercise saying they were all equal- whether one is in office or seeking to be elected.

“I assure you all that we shall hold a free, fair and transparent nomination exercise,” he assured sentiments that were echoed by Deputy President Ruto.

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Ruto urged the aspirants to focus largely on mobilising their supporters to register as voters once the exercise kicks off on Monday.

He expressed optimism of the Jubilee Party winning during the 2017 General Election while dismissing the National Super Alliance (NASA) as an outfit that cannot stand the test of time.

He said the 2013 politics were largely anchored on tribal and regional lines, but Kenyans now want to know what “you want to do for them. Want you have delivered. We are very proud that even the opposition are beginning to talk about roads, water…all along, they have been talking about this is from a certain tribe…”

He said dynamics had changed and that the presidential aspirants must be willing to face Kenyans with real issues.

The Deputy President further dismissed the opposition as, “a clueless, rudderless, leaderless, disorganized opposition. That is why I want Kenyans to believe in Jubilee.”

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale was also categorical that CORD leader Raila Odinga, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi are just interested with power as opposed to developing the country.

“We are about to achieve the dream you (the President) set for Kenya… Mr. President while you were away, our competitors were at Bomas and we expected them to discuss the agenda of the country but instead they discussed Hon Duale…” he said, in a statement full of satire.

While you were away, the people of Kenya saw our competitors in Bomas and what they stand for. Today they have the opportunity to hear what your party stand for…it is like day and night. We don’t believe in politics of insults and planting seeds of hatred.

We want a country where those who live in the coast, Rift Valley, Mountains, Lake and those of who live in the desert like me can have an opportunity to be proud of this country.”

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Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria said he has no doubt Jubilee will win against the Opposition in the August General Election.

“The work we are starting today doesn’t belong to Uhuru Kenyatta or William Ruto. We must start the initiative of registering voters,” he said.

The outspoken legislator insists that CORD leader Raila Odinga has no chances in this year’s election because he has lost previous elections.

On his part, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko cautioned against interference during the nomination exercise, saying that they wanted a free, fair and transparent exercise.

Politics of Kiambu County were almost dragged to the function after Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu expressed optimism of winning the gubernatorial nomination ticket.

“I am ready…I do not fear anyone,” he said.

But Governor William Kabogo, in a thinly veiled attack said, “there is need for people to be educated” while making it clear that he would not speak about Kiambu politics at a national function.

“This is a national party and I thank Hon Murkomen for talking about degrees,” he pointed out.

Kabogo referred to Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen’s earlier speech in which he talked of the need for leaders to have academic degrees.

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