President Uhuru Kenyatta thinks the National Super Alliance (NASA) Presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, flopped in the Presidential Debate, which took place Monday evening (July 24) at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi.
President Kenyatta, who had been pitted against Raila Odinga in the second part of the debate, failed to show up; and now claims: “there was no concrete reason to debate someone who lacks an agenda for Kenyans”, alluding to Raila Odinga.
Speaking at Othaya town in Nyeri County on Tuesday, July 25, Uhuru said he deliberately snubbed the debate because his administration’s track record speaks for itself and there was no need to justify – in a televised debate –, whatsoever.
“Yesterday (Monday, July 24), I heard Raila say that there was grand corruption in Government when he was the Prime Minister; and that there was nothing he could do to curb the runaway graft because he was ‘only a coordinator of government functions’ (laughs). Which kind of a person is that? After watching and listening to him, I looked at the heavens and thanked God that I did not debate such a person,” said Uhuru.
“I have been in Government for slightly over four years now; and our track record speaks for itself. There was no way I was going to debate someone who does not know where we are coming from and where we are headed. I didn’t have time for exchanges with such a person,” insisted the Head of State.
President Kenyatta also took a swipe at the debate organisers, insinuating that the event was organised by media houses to “pin him down”.
The Head of State further alleged that the media has never supported him in his bid for the country’s top job.
“Wenzetu wa magazeti (the press) think they can intimidate people. In 2013, they did not support my bid for Presidency. Today, just like in 2013, they have refused to throw their support behind me as I seek re-election. That is up to them. I know 45 million Kenyans would propel me to victory. I will continue to work for, and with, the Kenyan citizenry. We will continue with our development agenda; we will construct more roads as we have done in the past four years; we will connect households to the power grid; we will continue to launch water projects as we’ve done in Othaya town,” said President Kenyatta.
“If our competitor (Raila) was good at his work; if he did not engage Kibaki in back and forth conversations, the projects we are launching today would have been commissioned a long time ago. Had he done that, he could have had the bragging rights,” added President Kenyatta.
Raila Odinga said his first mission, should he be elected into office on August 8, will be to bring down the cost of living, address food shortage, create employment and also control rent.
“It’s my fourth time I am running for the Presidency. I represent change. The coalition that nominated me wants to bring change. We want to address mismanagement of the economy,” he said.
Raila accused President Kenyatta’s administration of over-borrowing only to steal the same.
“Every shilling spent, another is stolen. As NASA, we will address the issue of fiscal discipline and create employment,” said Odinga.
Raila Odinga was also asked to clarify claims that NASA is allegedly setting up a parallel tallying centre in Tanzania ahead of the August 8 polls.
The NASA chief said: “Some things exist in some people’s imagination. Why would someone be worried about a tallying centre even if it is in Germany, the United States or in the moon? Why should it be a matter of concern unless they are planning to rig? Yes we have a tallying centre in Kenya and in Kenya and in the clouds. The law does not stop anyone from having their own tallying centre.”
When asked to justify his claim that the Government is planning to use the military to rig the August 8 general election, Raila insisted that the experience of 2007 and 2013 general elections and classified information in his possession reveal so, insisting he can substantiate his claims.
Raila Odinga characteristically took a swipe at President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying, should he be elected into office, he will prioritise Kenyans’ needs, beginning with matters security, saying he “won’t watch Formula One as Kenyans die of hunger”.
“If I was a President I will not be watching Formula One in Dubai as Kenyans died under the hands of Al shabaab. I will lead the war from the front,” Raila said.
The former Premier rubbished claims that the Opposition was responsible for recent terrorist attacks, notably the early July incident, where Public Works Principal Secretary Mariam El-Maawy was among six people abducted by al Shabaab militants in Lamu.
“It is unfortunate that the President should play politics with Kenyans on matters security,” said Raila.
UHURU MESSAGE TO NYERI RESIDENTS
In his message to Nyeri residents Tuesday, President Kenyatta urged his supporters to turn out in large numbers on August 8 to vote for him and other Jubilee candidates.
The President made the call as he returned to Nyeri and Murang’a counties to drum up support for the Jubilee Party. He said the achievements of the government over the last four years are commendable and are the result of the harmony that has existed within his administration.
“Over the last four years we have had a Government that has been united and had no infighting. This has enabled us to lay down the foundation for progress. We have increased access to electricity and built roads,” said the President.
The Head of State, who addressed supporters in Mukurweini in Mukurweini Constituency and Kiandu in Tetu Constituency, called on the residents to remain peaceful and “ignore opposition attempts to create ethnic tensions”.
Within the next two weeks, the President is expected to visit at least 30 counties, most of them for the second time since the beginning of June.