Uhuru receives Opposition leaders to Jubilee as scramble for coast intensifies
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party has taken over the coast, deputy president William Ruto said on Sunday.
Speaking during a rally at Tononoka Grounds, Mr Ruto said that the region is now a Jubilee stronghold saying JP was on the track to unite all Kenyans.
“We have come here to ascertain Coast no longer needs politics of division and tribalism as we are all daughters and sons of one God,” he said.
He said Jubilee affiliate parties were dissolved to unite Kenyans and that he was happy Coast residents had resolved to join JP.
In a show of might that JP was gaining ground at the Coast, Mr Ruto paraded some of the region’s leaders who have defected to Jubilee and who were received by JP party leader, President Kenyatta.
The new defectors who were paraded on Sunday include Tana River Governor Hussein Dado, Ali Bule (Senator) and Woman rep Halima Ware — all from Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Party.
Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) lost Ganze MP Peter Shehe.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, MPs Gideon Mung’aro, Mustafa Iddi and deputy governors Hazel Katana and Kennedy Kamto who earlier shifted from ODM were also paraded.
Others are Senator Dan Mwazo and Woman Rep Joyce Lay.
Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko said President Kenyatta’s government had developed all parts of the country, a thing that would boost his re-election.
Mr Mung’aro who is eyeing the Kilifi governor’s seat said Coast residents helped form JP and that is why its chairman Nelson Dzuya is from the region.
“We are not visitors in JP,” he said
He cited construction of roads and water provision as some of Jubilee administration’s achievement in the coast.
Mombasa JP gubernatorial aspirant Suleiman Shahbal said the county government had wasted billions of shillings from the equitable share and only boasts of inviting musicians to the county.
He said he will oppose relocation of people from houses in a Sh200 billion plan to construct new ones.
“In the first 100 days of my election as governor, we will flush out drug dealers from our roads and streets,” he said.
He said locals will vote for JP due to its development record.
Ms Katana said she will vie for the Mombasa senatorial seat on JP ticket.
Likoni MP Mwasoud Mwahima who defected from ODM asked Coast residents to join JP for development. He termed the allocation of Waitiki land to locals and provision of water as some of the government achievements in the region.
Mr Mwahima said locals will ensure Governor Hassan Joho “goes home” in August.
Mr Shahbal’s running mate Anania Mwaboza said they will form an all inclusive government of all communities in the county.
Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa spelt out Jubilee government’s projects at the Coast and dismissed reports that the government had done nothing for locals.
Mr Wamalwa vouched for President Kenyatta to get a second term.
Governor Dado said he moved to JP following delays by Nasa to name its flagbearer.
He said Coast residents have a right to join a party of their choice and called for peaceful campaigns.
“Bye bye my former Cord colleagues. I am now in Jubilee,” Mr Dado said.
Taita Taveta Senator Dan Mwazo said Mombasa residents had not achieved anything following devolution and urged locals to elect leaders as per their development record.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya said Coast residents’ main agenda was to get title deeds, better infrastructure and economy and that is why residents would back JP.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala who campaigned for President Kenyatta to win in August said the JP leader was committed to transforming the country.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said Kanu, Chama Cha Mashinani, and Maendeleo Chap Chap were not JP.
He accused the Opposition of planning to rig the August polls through hacking Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) systems.
He demanded IEBC to state what mechanisms that have been put in place to hinder hacking by Kenyans or foreigners.
ODM PARALLEL RALLY
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho who is ODM deputy party leader is a bitter critic of the Jubilee administration at the Coast and is leading the opposition brigade in fighting to consolidate its support and ward off JP’s overtures.
On Sunday, ODM also announced it had cancelled the parallel rally.
Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir said the party received a letter from Makupa OCS instructing them not to hold the meeting.
“We have cancelled it not because of fear but because we love peace. We have learnt that some people wanted to disrupt our rally and harm our supporters,” he said on Sunday outside his CDF office.
President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto started a three day tour of the Coast in Taita Taveta on Saturday by fishing into the opposition waters through the defection of Senator Dan Mwazo and woman representative Joyce Lay from ODM to JP.
The JP stalwarts were in Lamu on Thursday where Governor Issa Timamy and his Tana River counterpart Hussein Dado vouched for their re-election.
Mr Timamy was elected on a UDF ticket and despite pressure by the leaders to defect to JP, he was non-committal.
Mr Dado who romped into office on a Wiper Party ticket was among the leaders from Tana River who are set to be paraded during the Tononoka rally.
There is tight security at the venue with police and National Youth Service (NYS) personnel keeping vigil.
The six Coast counties which overwhelmingly voted for ODM in 2013 polls have a total of 1.5 million registered voters.
The Head of State and his deputy have however been dishing out goodies including land title deeds and launched a number of projects to woo locals to back them in the August vote.
President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto’s frequent visits to the Coast to market JP have left tongues wagging.
The determination by Jubilee to win Coast votes heightened soon after the ruling coalition lost the Malindi parliamentary by-election in March last year.
ODM’s Willy Mtengo won with 15,582 votes trouncing JP’s Philip Charo who got 9,243 votes.
Kilifi South MP Mustafa Iddi, Kilifi North’s Gideon Mung’aro and Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya have welcomed President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto’s forays in the region saying residents will back JP in August polls due to its development.
They said the area had achieved much during Jubilee tenure than in previous regimes and dismissed the Opposition of lacking a development plan.
Reported by Lucas Barasa, Mohamed Ahmed, Mwakera Mwajefa, Gitonga Marete and Daniel Nyassy.