, MIKINDURI, Kenya, Aug 3 – Independent Meru gubernatorial candidate Boniface Gatobu today quit the race in favour of Jubilee Party’s aspirant Kiraitu Murungi.
Speaking during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s campaign rally in Mikinduri, Mr Gatobu said he has decided to shelve his ambitions so as to boost the Jubilee’s strength to clinch the governorship.
“I will be happy to work with you so as to take this county far in terms of development,” Gatobu assured the President.
The President – who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto – urged Kenyans to support development by voting for Jubilee instead of the opposition which has nothing to offer apart from empty rhetoric and propaganda.
He cited several infrastructure and social development projects undertaken by his administration as a testimony of his commitment to improving the lives of all Kenyans.
Before addressing the excited rally at Mikinduri, President Kenyatta commissioned the upgrading to bitumen standards of the 22 km Mikinduri-Kinoti-Katithine road.
The project which will cost Sh1 billion, will be completed in 18 months.
“Here in Meru County we are constructing 250 km of roads at a cost of Sh16 billion. That is why we asking you to give us your votes to continue with what we have begun,” said President Kenyatta.
The President said the Government has also expanded electricity and provided other essential services required for economic empowerment of all Kenyans.
To further empower the youth, President Kenyatta said his administration will from next year provide free secondary education from form one to form four as well as graduates from technical training colleges and universities a one-year paid internship.
“The major challenge facing this country is unemployment. That is why we have, in the last four-and-a-half years, we laid a strong foundation to provide quality jobs for our young people. We are also putting up technical training institutes throughout the country to provide the youth with the required skills,” said the President.
In Meru County, President Kenyatta said the Jubilee administration decided to categorise miraa as a cash crop to ensure the locals reap maximum benefit from the crop.
“We are the first Government to categorise miraa as a cash crop and set aside funds to enable farmers to get the same benefits as those of coffee, tea and sugarcane,” said the President.
He advised local leaders against rushing to the courts to address issues affecting the miraa crop, saying they should instead embrace dialogue so that farmers can readily access the funds allocated for promotion of the crop.
Deputy President Ruto said the Government has already received equipment worth Sh50 million to be installed at the Mikinduri Technical Training Institute.
Other speakers included Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi and Meru Women Representative Florence Kajuju who urged Mikinduri residents to come out in large numbers to vote for Jubilee so as to continue with the development projects that are transforming the country.