Kalonzo: I will de­feat Uhuru, Ruto next year

Pres­i­dent Keny­atta says he will tour parts of Ukam­bani soon to seek votes.

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - BYOLIVER MATHENGE @Oliv­erMa­thenge

PRES­I­DENT Uhuru Keny­atta yes­ter­day said he would ac­cept de­feat at next year’s elec­tions as former vice-pres­i­dent Kalonzo Musyoka de­scribed him­self as the best bet for the Op­po­si­tion to beat Ju­bilee.

Uhuru and Kalonzo ex­changed friendly barbs at the Keny­atta Sta­dium, Machakos, at the first Mashu­jaa Day Pres­i­den­tial func­tion to be held out­side Nairobi.

The Pres­i­dent, who had ini­tially said he would not pol­i­tick dur­ing a Na­tional Day event, said he was keen to see peo­ple com­pete with him on a pol­icy ba­sis.

Uhuru pledged to go back to the Ukam­bani area next week, to launch var­i­ous de­vel­op­ment projects in a re­gion that pre­dom­i­nantly voted for the Op­po­si­tion.

Though he main­tained he was not afraid of the Op­po­si­tion, the Pres­i­dent was cat­e­gor­i­cal that political com­pe­ti­tion was not meant to di­vide Kenyans.

“As I have al­ways said, I will ac­cept de­feat if anyone beats me at the elec­tions next year. How­ever, I am hoping that we can com­pete on the ba­sis of facts and truths and not in­sults,” Uhuru said.

He added: “Who­ever is elected next year, the ben­e­fit is to Kenyans and that’s okay. So what is the prob­lem? Should this be the ba­sis of our be­com­ing en­e­mies?”

Kalonzo, who spoke just be­fore Uhuru, said that he was ready to take on the Pres­i­dent at the Au­gust 8, 2017, elec­tions, ex­ud­ing con­fi­dence that he would win.

“I have heard Gov­er­nor Mu­tua say­ing you [Uhuru] will open the dual car­riage­way you launched in the morn­ing. Do not be sur­prised if I open the car­riage­way in 2019,” he said.

He went on: “If they agree that I am the one to send Ju­bilee home, the cor­rup­tion that has been dis­turb­ing you will be a thing of the past. You said that peo­ple should carry heir own cross, but if they know it is your brother Stephen [Kalonzo], they [the cor­rupt] will look for ex­ile.”

The Wiper leader took the op­por­tu­nity to “han­dover” the rebels who de­camped to the Ju­bilee Party to Uhuru, vow­ing that they would lose at the elec­tions.

“Those who defected to Ju­bilee should not give us an ul­ti­ma­tum, they should in­stead be warm­ing up in readi­ness to go home,” Kalonzo said.

The former VP, who was the 10th and fi­nal oc­cu­pant of the of­fice, went on to ex­plain that Cord re­mained united and they were still in a coali­tion ready to take on Uhuru.

“We did not do what you did a few week ago: We did not swal­low each other. We in Cord have no an­i­mos­ity to­wards Ju­bilee, they are our broth­ers and we are in a com­pe­ti­tion of ideas,” Kalonzo said.

“We have no is­sue with those who defected to Ju­bilee, in­clud­ing our host to­day, Gov­er­nor Al­fred Mu­tua. All I can say is that no­body should be sur­prised when lead­ers go home for forsaking their peo­ple,” Kalonzo said.

Uhuru main­tained the tone he had set at the State House Sum­mit on Anti-Cor­rup­tion and Ac­count­abil­ity, where he put the Ju­di­ciary on the spot for de­lays in de­ter­mi­na­tion of scores of cases.

He an­nounced that he had par­doned 7,000 of­fend­ers in a Mashu­jaa Day amnesty who were about to com­plete their sen­tences to “open up the space to jail the big cor­rupt govern­ment of­fi­cers”.

He then went on to tell Chief Jus-

THOSE WHO DEFECTED TO JU­BILEE SHOULD NOT GIVE US AN UL­TI­MA­TUM, THEY SHOULD IN­STEAD BE WARM­ING UP IN READI­NESS TO GO HOME

tice David Maraga to crack the whip on the hun­dreds of anti-cor­rup­tion cases be­fore the courts and jail those he said had been steal­ing from Kenyans.

“Now the new CJ can go for the big guys. The space is there and there is enough beans for them to eat in there,” he said.

On the theme of Mashu­jaa Day, the Pres­i­dent cel­e­brated Kenyans from all walks of life that he said had lib­er­ated the coun­try or worked to re­store its in­de­pen­dence.

He named as Kenya’s he­roes the pre-In­de­pen­dence fight­ers, those who fought against the re­pres­sive Daniel Moi one-party rule in the 1990s, and those that strug­gled for and brought about the 2010 Con­sti­tu­tion.

Next week in Ukam­bani, Uhuru said he would launch a num­ber of projects in the land and wa­ter sec­tors.

Dur­ing the Mashu­jaa Day tour, he launched the con­struc­tion of a dual car­riage­way from Machakos Junc­tion to Athi River.

The 20-km road, which is be­ing con­structed at Sh5.3 bil­lion, is ex­pected to ease the con­ges­tion usu­ally ex­pe­ri­enced on the Mom­basa-Nairobi high­way as it nears the city.

Uhuru, who was on his way to Machakos to lead Kenyans in the na­tional cel­e­bra­tion of the 7th Mashu­jaa Day, re­ceived a rous­ing wel­come from res­i­dents.

He said the ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects go­ing on in the coun­try will boost the econ­omy.

He told res­i­dents that he de­cided to be hold­ing na­tional hol­i­days out­side the cap­i­tal city of Nairobi so as to make all Kenyans feel that they are part and par­cel of the govern­ment.

“My govern­ment wants to see all Kenyans live to­gether peace­fully as broth­ers,” Uhuru said.

He said many young Kenyans will get jobs as the road project takes off.

The Pres­i­dent also un­veiled the late Paul Ngei’s statue at the Machakos Junc­tion, be­fore pro­ceed­ing to Keny­atta Sta­dium for the cel­e­bra­tions. Pres­i­dent Keny­atta launched the con­struc­tion of a dual car­riage­way from Machakos Junc­tion to Athi River.

The 20 Kilo­me­ter road, which is be­ing con­structed at Ksh 5.3 bil­lion, will ease the con­ges­tion usu­ally ex­pe­ri­enced on the Mom­basa-Nairobi high­way as it nears the city.

The Pres­i­dent, who was on his way to Machakos to lead Kenyans in the na­tional cel­e­bra­tion of the 7thMashu­jaa Day, re­ceived a rous­ing wel­come from the res­i­dents.

Pres­i­dent Keny­atta said the ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects go­ing on in the coun­try will boost the econ­omy.

WE HAVE NO IS­SUE WITH THOSE WHO DEFECTED TO JU­BILEE, IN­CLUD­ING OUR HOST TO­DAY, GOV­ER­NOR AL­FRED MU­TUA. ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT NO­BODY SHOULD BE SUR­PRISED WHEN LEAD­ERS GO HOME FOR FORSAKING THEIR PEO­PLE

PHOTO/COUR­TESY

/ COUR­TESY

Cord lead­ers Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses We­tang’ula greet Pres­i­dent Keny­atta and his wife Mar­garet yes­ter­day as Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto looks on at Machakos Sta­dium

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