Kalonzo: I will defeat Uhuru, Ruto next year
President Kenyatta says he will tour parts of Ukambani soon to seek votes.
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
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