By Martin Munene for eDaily.
A section of Opposition officials from Nyeri and Embu Counties have faulted the Jubilee leadership, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, for “failing to acknowledge the presence of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga” during Madaraka Day celebrations held at Kabiru-ini Stadium in Nyeri.
Speaking to the press in Nyeri town after the event had ended Thursday, ODM/NASA coordinator in the Mt. Kenya region, Gitonga Wathanga, said they were shocked to learn that Odinga was not going to address the gathering let alone receive recognition from the presidency.
Odinga had arrived in the stadium midmorning and was received by cheering crowds outside the stadium.
Wathanga claimed the Jubilee administration is not keen on integrating the country’s citizenry, adding that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech did not portray elements of national interest.
“A large part of the celebration, including entertainment catered to an audience from the Kikuyu ethnic group,” said Wathanga.
Beatrice Wamuya, an Opposition official from Nyeri County, said the 54th Madaraka Day celebrations should have been dedicated to Mau Mau fighters who sacrificed their lives and resources in ensuring Kenya got independence from the colonial government.
President Kenyatta, in his speech, outlined his administration’s achievements, citing the completion of Standard Gauge Railway, free maternity, electrification of schools and modernisation of hospitals as some of the achievements of his administration.
President Kenyatta urged Kenyans to re-elect him and his deputy, William Ruto, saying they deserve another term to complete development projects his government has initiated.
The Head of State directed Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi to ensure that residents living in Nyeri colonial villages get titles within three weeks.
Nyeri Governor Samuel Wamathai had, during his speech, told the President that he had been sent by the affected families to make the request to him (Uhuru).
President Kenyatta also called for peaceful elections on August 8, saying either outcome – a win or loss – should be embraced by elective seat candidates.
Meanwhile, Deputy President William Ruto said the government would continue to hold national day celebrations in various counties across the country.