Kenya: President Kenyatta Tells Odinga He's Free to Quit Poll

Photo: Capital FM
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.
9 October 2017

Mombasa — President Uhuru Kenyatta has welcomed Opposition leader Raila Odinga's reported plan to withdraw from the October 26 election.

He said Kenyans want the issue of elections done with once for all and if Odinga is not ready to participate in the poll, he should withdraw as soon as possible.

President Kenyatta criticised the Opposition leader for waiting for so long if his only plan for the fresh presidential election was to withdraw at the last minute.

"Kenyans are tired and want to move forward. If you do not want elections, step aside so that the country can move forward," said the President.

President Kenyatta said Odinga has been looking for excuses to withdraw from the poll. He criticised him for waiting until more than Sh12 billion has been spent to organise the election before reaching the reported decision to withdraw.

President Kenyatta said he is ready for the election because he is sure that Kenyans will rally behind him as they did in the August 8 election that was nullified by the Supreme Court.

"We know that we won the August 8 election fairly and that is why we are ready for the October 26 election," said President Kenyatta when he addressed more than 15,000 leaders from the coastal counties who gathered at Serani Grounds, Mombasa.

President Kenyatta spoke after former Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu announced his decision to back his re-election and said the Coast region stands a better chance of realising more benefits under the Jubilee Government.

"We are filling the Jubilee box. Many Kenyans know that the election of August 8 was free and fair. Now we are ready for the repeat election and we are sure we will win with a bigger margin," said the President.

President Kenyatta said he will continue campaigning on the platform of development and plans for a better future for all Kenyans.

Deputy President William Ruto said the coast region has, in the last four years, seen more development than never done before.

He said the Jubilee Government has built many roads in the region, bought new ferries and built the standard gauge railway. He also pointed out why Jubilee scored victories in 44 of 47 counties because of its development track record.

"Four years ago, we decided to change the politics of this country and come up with a national party that brings together all Kenyans. Today we are saying goodbye to the politics of tribalism," said the DP.

Former Governor Mruttu said he came to the event to announce his support for President Kenyatta.

"I have come here to announce that I will vote for the President and seek more support for the Head of State," said Mruttu. "For so long our politics was guided by feelings. We have stopped being led by feelings and we have taken stock of our situation and we are better off with Jubilee."

He said the Opposition, which he previously was part of, specialised in propaganda and does not appreciate those who solve problems through "real actions".

"The problems at the Coast started long time before 2013. What happened in 2013 is that President Kenyatta's government started solving those problems," said Mruttu.

The meeting was also addressed by former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar, who called on Coast residents to elect leaders who have the capacity to understand issues.

He said he will work hard to ensure President Kenyatta wins the October 26 poll with a landslide.

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