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Rare anger as Kibaki moves out to protect his Othaya turf

Posted by Administrator on November 26, 2011

President Kibaki on Saturday tore into an assistant minister and a former MP at a campaign rally for a civic by-election in his Othaya constituency.

The President travelled to Othaya to campaign for the PNU candidate in the Karima ward while he sent a team led by Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi to campaign for the party in another ward in Mathira constituency.

The President attacked Public Works assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri and former Mathira MP Nderitu Gachagua, who have been campaigning for candidates of the Grand National Union in the two by-elections which take place on Monday.

“Some of the people who have been visiting this area with an undisclosed agenda were former MPs, and they lost. If they lost their seat, then what is it that they can tell you and yet they failed?” he asked.

He said some people had bought the constituents motorcycles and were dishing out money, but he urged the voters to take their gifts and deny them votes as they had no leadership to offer.

He urged voters to elect the PNU candidate, Mr Zachary Kiragu, a retired primary school teacher, who he praised as development conscious, saying he had done a lot to improve education standards in the area.

The GNU candidate in Karima ward is Mr George Maina Gichuki.

The President dismissed people he accused of “spreading the politics of hatred at night” and stopped short of naming Mr Kiunjuri and Mr Gachagua.

But his attacks, coming just hours before the by-elections, were only thinly veiled.

“We want politics of truth, but if someone comes here at night and will not show himself and state publicly what he wants in daytime … You should not listen to people who want to divide you,” he told the crowd.

He seemed disturbed by those he termed “intruders,” bent on disrupting development in Othaya.

The rivalry

The vicious battle between PNU and GNU candidates in the by-election seems to be an extension of the rivalry between Mathira MP Ephraim Maina and Mr Gachagua.

The entry of the President into the political fray left residents and observers bewildered.

The campaign tour was preceded by a meeting between local councillors and Mr Kibaki  at his Harambee House office, which Mr Maina attended.

GNU is said to be making inroads in the region and is seeking to test its popularity in Monday’s elections.

Mr Kiunjuri and Mr Gachagua hope to run for gubernatorial positions in Laikipia and Nyeri counties respectively on a GNU ticket.

The campaign, which took the President to Gatugi, Giathenge and Witima markets, seemed important to him as he told people how he had to leave a Heads of State summit  in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at night in order to attend the rallies.

Noting that he could not fly home due to bad weather, President Kibaki told the crowd at Giathenge he had opted to travel by road to be at the rallies.

“They told me the chopper could not fly, I asked where is the car? – so that I could make it to this meeting,” he said.

Local leaders took advantage of the President’s manifest enthusiasm for the welfare of Othaya to give him a long wish list of development projects.

The President directed Roads permanent secretary Michael Kamau, who accompanied him, to ensure the roads that needed to be constructed were completed.

Internal Security PS Francis Kimemia was ordered to send more police officers to the area to fight insecurity.

He also promised an ambulance and renovation of Othaya stadium.

The President said he had a full year to serve as Othaya MP and President and seemed uneasy with people who had swarmed into the constituency trying to discredit his leadership.

“People say I have retired, but I still have a full year to serve, and there is still a lot we have not done which we will continue doing until that time,” he said.

He concluded the tour with a leaders meeting at the Othaya CDF Hall in Othaya town.

The President is expected to attend Mass at the Karima Catholic Church today.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Rare+anger+as+Kibaki+moves+out+to+protect+his+Othaya+turf/-/1064/1279944/-/4oqx53/-/index.html

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