By Beth Nyaga
The President said the opposition should wait for 2022 if they feel they are not ready for the 2017 general election instead of using Court cases to undermine the process.
“They should stop playing with the minds of Kenyans. If they are not ready for the polls, let them step aside and allow those who want to participate to do so instead of trying to sabotage the process. Kenyans are ready to go to the polls on August 8 and no one will deny them that right,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta – who was on the campaign trail in Turkana County – spoke in Lodwar town where he addressed a huge and excited rally.
The President said if he wanted to be vexatious he would have used the courts to argue that he has served for only four and a half years instead of a full five-year term.
“But that does not support the spirit of the Constitution. The opposition leaders who are pricing themselves as democrats should know that,” the President said.
The President, accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto and other Jubilee leaders from the county, said it would not be fair to Kenyans for the opposition to scuttle the August polls in the quest of advancing their selfish personal interests.
Deputy President Ruto questioned why judges with relatives in the opposition were appointed to preside over the cases against the IEBC while it was obvious they would be biased.
“Where is the independence of the judiciary when judges who are relatives of those who have cases with us are appointed to preside over the cases. Help us to understand what happens when appointed judges unapologetically show that they are biased?” the Deputy President asked.
The President – who is seeking re-election on a platform of the development he has delivered in all counties across the country – cited his Government’s huge investment that has improved water provision, healthcare, roads, and electricity to homes and schools in efforts whose fruits people are already reaping.
In Turkana County, President Kenyatta said his administration has focused on boosting water provision and promoting irrigation as some of its major interventions geared towards lifting the lives of the residents of the vast county.
The national government has since 2013 invested more than Ksh 1.75 billion on 13 projects that have brought 17,700 acres under irrigation benefitting 10,130 farmers across the county.
President Kenyatta said his administration has also invested in projects to provide water for domestic use in the arid county.
He cited the drilling and equipping of 30 boreholes at a cost of Ksh 71 million catering for 150,000 residents, the expansion of water supply to the resort city of Lodwar at a cost of Kshs 80 million that is at procurement stage, the Ksh 500 million Lotikip Well Field Development Project which is under implementation and the Lodwar Water Project – Napuu Well Field Development which is on going at a cost of Ksh 280 million and targets to benefit 50,000 people.
In March this year, President Kenyatta launched four Government initiatives aimed at cushioning pastoralists from the effects of severe drought.
One of those initiatives is the Ksh 215 million Kenya Livestock Insurance Programme (KLIP) where some 2,502 households in Turkana County have so far been paid full premium by the Government to the tune of Ksh 28.7 million to help them purchase fodder and animal feed supplements to keep their animals alive during the drought.
“The Kenya Livestock Insurance Program (KLIP) – which is the first of its kind in Kenya, East Africa and Africa – will also ensure that pastoralists are able to restock even after they lose their livestock through drought,” President Kenyatta said.
Others were the launch of the new oil-based foot and mouth disease (FMD) vaccine which will protect livestock from the disease, the enhanced Livestock off-take exercise as well as the cash transfer program.
President Kenyatta said the Jubilee Administration has over the last four years invested Kshs 810 million to provide modern medical equipment to Lodwar Level 5 Hospital and Lopiding Level 4 Hospital through the Managed Equipment Services (MES) project.
“This has ensured that Turkana residents can – for the first time in Kenya’s history – have access to specialised health care that was previously out of their reach,” President Kenyatta said.
Under the MES project, Lodwar Level 5 Hospital and Lopiding Level 4 Hospital received theatre, sterilization and surgical sets, renal, imaging and radiology equipment at a cost of Ksh 430 million and Ksh 380 million respectively.
The President urged Turkana residents to come out in large numbers and vote for Jubilee in the August polls for his administration to continue transforming the lives of Kenyans.
Deputy President Ruto pointed out that the Jubilee Government is the first to connect the arid county to the national grid, ensuring residents have access to reliable electricity at affordable cost.
“Before we came to office in 2013, only 2,000 households were connected to electricity. In the short period of four years we have connected 10,000 homes to electricity,” the Deputy President said.
Citing the ongoing road construction across the county, the Deputy President said Turkana County is at the centre of the Jubilee Government’s development agenda and the residents should vote for it in the August polls to continue benefitting from the various projects that are being implemented.
The President and his deputy had started their meet-the-people tour of the county in Kakuma and Lokitaung before addressing the Lodwar rally.
Other speakers included Senator John Munyes, who is also the Jubilee gubernatorial candidate for Turkana, Loima MP Protus Akujah and Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuru who assured the President and his deputy of support from the residents of Turkana.