KITUI, Kenya, Oct 16 – Deputy President William Ruto has asked Opposition leader Raila Odinga to wait for 2022 if he is not ready for the October 26 fresh election.
Speaking on Monday at Zombe Trading Centre in Kitui County where he accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta on the campaign trail, Ruto said those who have withdrawn from the race should not prevent those who are willing to participate in the October 26 poll from doing so.
“If you decided you are not interested in the October 26 fresh election and withdrew from the race, we are appealing to you to allow us to elect our President in peace,” the Deputy President said.
“Since you withdrew from the fresh poll, why are you demonstrating and causing commotion? Allow us to elect President Kenyatta on October 26 and prepare to meet me at the ballot in 2022 if by then you will be ready,” the DP told Odinga.
President Kenyatta said the Opposition leader’s fear of defeat should not be allowed to deny Kenyans their right to express their will through the ballot box in line with the Constitution.
The President said the Opposition is free not to participate in the October 26 fresh election but they should not prevent those who want to exercise their democratic right from doing so.
“Whereas we appreciate the constitutional right of every Kenyan to demonstrate and picket peacefully, we also as a government understand our obligation to secure the lives and property of Kenyans who do not wish to participate in the demonstrations,” President Kenyatta said.
He added: “And we shall take action against anyone who chooses, under the guise of demonstration to loot, to vandalise, to rob or to injure innocent Kenyans.”
President Kenyatta termed the opposition “a group of self-seekers” who have no agenda to transform the country.
He urged Kenyans to turn out in large numbers and vote for him as they did on August 8, so that the country can continue on the path of growth and transformation.
The President assured Kenyans that his focus will remain trained on implementing policies and projects that will continue lifting the lives of all Kenyans.
He cited construction of new roads, expansion of electricity connection to households, improving health and education provision as key planks of his development agenda that would be interfered with if the opposition had their way.
National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale said anybody who tries to block Kenyans from voting on October 26 will be engaging in crime and will be punished according to the law.
Kitui leaders including MPs Nimrod Mbithuka Mbai (Kitui East) Rachael Kaki Nyamai (Kitui South) and former senator David Musila who has since joined Jubilee vowed to rally residents and consolidate support for the President in the coming October 26 fresh poll.
“There is nothing to show in terms of development for all those years we have been in the opposition. We want development and we know we cannot get that from the opposition and their demonstrations,” Musila said.
Others speakers include Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko, former Mwingi Central MP Joe Mutambu and former Mwingi North MP John Munuve among others.