KISII, Kenya Mar 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has opened up fresh controversy with CORD leader Raila Odinga after linking him to the 2008 post-election violence in which more than 1,000 people were killed and thousands more displaced.
Speaking Wednesday in Kisii County during a series of rallies, President Kenyatta said “it is Raila who ignited the violence”.
“He has started it all over again…it is 40 against 2 (tribes) this time. What kind of politics is this?”
President Kenyatta and William Ruto – now his deputy – were charged at The Hague-based International Criminal Court, ICC with financing and planning the violence but were later acquitted due to lack of evidence.
President Kenyatta cited the 2013 election where the Abagusii voted for the Opposition because they thought the former Prime Minister and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka would win the election.
“Last time, you looked at the other side and you saw a Prime Minister and a Vice-President. On our side, you saw two young men headed to a white man’s court and you went with the old men,” said President Kenyatta.
He added: “If we defeated them then when we were in the wilderness, do you think they can pose any challenge to us today with the unparalleled development record as a government?”
“Kwa hivyo mtu akija hapa awaambie msichague hawa watu, mnakumbuka yale yalitendeka, kwani yeye alikuwa wapi? Na alikuwa kati kati ya hiyo vita halafu anakuja kulaumu ndugu yangu na mimi… yeye aliwasha vita.”
President Kenyatta’s remarks angered Odinga ’s side which quickly dispatched a statement dismissing the remarks as “a strategy to hang on to and re-energise his depressed 2013 voting bloc”.
The statement said: “We remind the President that the Gusii land he is visiting is littered with post-election violence victims who are yet to be compensated, including a widow who had only her husband’s skull to burry. We hope the President has had time to ask whether she has been at his rallies and if she believes his story.”
President Kenyatta, who spoke at Gusii Stadium and several other rallies in Kisii County, said the Opposition is known for issuing insults instead of engaging in discussions that can benefit Kenyans.
He said he was certain that the Opposition, as has become their tradition, will come to Kisii and Nyamira to respond to him with their ”usual insults.”
But he called on the residents to ”listen and laugh” at the insults the Opposition leaders will utter. He urged them to use their intelligence to decide who to support.
“Vote for the right people,” he said when he addressed a series of rallies and launched development projects in Kisii earlier in the day.
Among the roads whose construction the President launched are the Kebuku- Nyangusu-Nyamache-Nyachoki road at a cost of Sh1.1 billion.
Kisii Senator Chris Obure who is vying for the Kisii Governor’s post said he has defected to Jubilee because he had found that the opposition does not care about the interest of the people.
Obure said the people of Kisii do not want to be left outside government.
Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi said he has decided to back Obure for the Governor’s post to ensure Jubilee clinches the position.
The President wrapped up his visit with the rally at Gusii Stadium.