2 August 2017

Kenya: Maasai Community Promises to Support Odinga in Tuesday's Polls

The opposition Nasa got a shot in the arm on Wednesday when the Maasai community endorsed its flag-bearer Raila Odinga.

Thousands of members of the community made the declaration to support Mr Odinga at the historic Suswa grounds in Narok County.

The National Super Alliance leaders were in Narok to rally residents behind them after they had toured Kericho County.

The community assured Mr Odinga of its support in Tuesday's General Election.

The rally was aimed at shielding the more than a million Maasai votes of Kajiado, Samburu, Laikipia and Narok counties from Jubilee Party.

PROTECT FARMERS

At rallies in Kapkatet in Kericho and Kilgoris, Trans Mara in Narok, Nasa pledged to protect tea farmers and pastoralists from exploitation if they take office.

The politicians accused the Jubilee government of bias against South Rift farmers in bargaining for tea prices in the international market as well as writing off their debts.

"Uhuru pushes for better payment for Central farmers and offsets their loans, whereas Kericho and Bomet farmers continue to suffer," said Mr Odinga as he pledged to offset the Sh2.4 billion owed by tea farmers in the region.

On leaseholds by multinational tea firms in Kericho, his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka said their government would stop land grabbers and ensure management of tea estates remains within counties.

Nasa co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, as well as other candidates, were present.

BETTER SERVICES

In Trans Mara, Narok, the leaders said their government would ensure pastoralists' needs were catered for .

"Let us send (Narok Governor Samuel) Tunai and (Kilgoris MP Gideon) Konchella home through the ballot so that Narok County, which has immense resources, develops," said Mr Odinga at Kilgoris.

Accompanied by Narok Chama Cha Mashinani governorship candidate Patrick Ntutu and his ODM colleague Joseph Musuni, the presidential hopeful said Narok should expect better services from a Nasa administration.

Mr Odinga said Nasa will ensure Kenya is at par with developed countries such as China, India and Malaysia.

WASTAGE

Mr Mudavadi said Narok is a Nasa zone and that it would be evident after Tuesday.

Mr Ntutu and Mr Musuni pleaded with residents to vote for them, saying the incumbent was overseeing wastage of county resources.

Mr Ruto said Narok, which borders his Bomet County, was under-developed due to insufficient devolution funds given by the Jubilee government.

Reported by Ruth Mbula, Anita Chepkoech, Joel Reyia, George Sayagie and Joseph Openda

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