12 January 2013

Kenya: Uhuru - Keep ICC Matters Out of Campaigns

Nairobi — Presidential campaigns went a notch higher this weekend with major coalition's vote-hunting missions in various parts of the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta who is vying for the Presidency under the Jubilee Alliance ticket was in Nairobi's Uhuru Park where he hit out at his rivals for using the ICC case to discredit him.

Kenyatta challenged his rivals to instead tell Kenyans what they intend to do to transform the country--as opposed to dwelling on side-shows.

"Those who always want to remind us that we have cases should know that we have been going round the country trying to unite Kenyans. I am telling them to sell their policies and leave Uhuru and Ruto alone, Kenyans will decide their leader," he said amid cheers from the crowd.

Kenyatta is running for the Presidency under the Jubilee alliance with Eldoret North Member of Parliament William Ruto as his running mate.

Speaking to thousands of his supporters who turned out in large numbers, Kenyatta pledged to transform the country to achieve a better economic growth, create employment and better infrastructure if elected.

He prevailed upon the youth to reject leaders who are out to incite them to violence during the election period.

"Tell those who incite you to violence to put their families on the front line. If we shun violence we will ensure that so many things come our way, including growing our economy to double digits," he said

Ruto on his part pledged that theirs will be an all inclusive government which will cater for both the rich and the poor.

"We are saying no to lip service in the fight against poverty, we have to face poverty head-on and give real and practical opportunities for our young men and women to contribute their expertise in transforming this economy and crating wealth," he said.

Water Minister Charity Ngilu of Narc urged Kenyans to bank their hope on the Jubilee alliance under Uhuru's leadership, saying that it was best placed to solve matters affecting youths and women

Pollster Infotrak also came under fire with many speakers at the rally saying that their recent findings were flawed to favor their opponents. The poll which showed that Jubilee would come second to CORD in elections was highly criticized.

The Jubilee rally at Uhuru Park brought together over 40 members of parliament who vowed to campaign vigorously for Kenyatta.

While Jubilee painted the city red and yellow, Prime Minister Raila Odinga of CORD was also in Kitale where he received the Labour Party of Kenya into his fold.

Odinga insisted that the CORD was an alliance that stood for all Kenyans irrespective of their ethnic or religious affiliations.

"We have developed an economic blueprint that will industrialize our economy as we break from our past retrogressive tradition of business as usual that saw our development prospects dwindle in the post-colonial era" he said.

Odinga announced plans to put up processing plants in the region to create more job opportunities and ensure that value was added on local produce before they are sold to increase the income margin of farmers in the region.

"We need to put up milling factories to process the grains harvested in Trans Nzoia as we explore avenues of extending the rail line up to Juba for new market outlets for the local produce," he said.

The premier also emphasized on the urgency to put a fertilizer plant in the area instead of depending on imports whose prices he said were exorbitant.

His running mate Kalonzo Musyoka said that CORD strongly for national healing and reconciliation as a means to the realization of cohesive, prosperous and a united nation.

AMANI coalition's Musalia Mudavadi took his campaigns to his Western backyard, in Kakamega where he wooed supporters to vote for him to achieve peace, economic growth and unity for all.

"Peace is in the DNA of AMANI. The Coalition aims for a consistent, steady annual GDP growth of 0f 0ver 10 per cent to keep Vision 2030 on track and the middle income country dream in sight," he told a rally at the Muliro Gardens.

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