By Bethwel Kaino-DPPS
President Uhuru Kenyatta has told off Opposition leaders for misleading the public on the Galana Kulalu irrigation project in Tana River County for political mileage.
Mr Kenyatta dismissed claims by the Opposition leaders that the irrigation project was a white elephant saying they were now thriving on propaganda and falsehoods with the intention of getting support from Kenyans ahead of the August General Election.
Addressing wananchi in Hola town, Tana River County on Wednesday, President Kenyatta who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto told the Opposition to look for something else to woo support from Kenyans instead of criticizing projects initiated by the Government.
“Opposition leaders should stop misleading Kenyans on the Galana water project that is aimed at addressing food shortage and high cost of essential commodities like unga,” said the President.
Present were National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, Cabinet Secretaries Eugene Wamalwa (Water and Irrigation), Dan Kazungu (Mining) and Najib Balala (Tourism), Governor Hussein Dado (Tana River), MPs Hassan Dukicha (Galole), Ali Wario (Bura), Ibrahim Sane (Garsen), Halima Ware (Women Rep, Tana River), Ali Abdi Bule (Tana River), Juma Wario (nominated) and former CIC chairman Charles Nyachae.
Mr Kenyatta said the Government would expand the irrigation project by 250,000 acres to benefit the surrounding pastoral communities as well as another 100,000 acres for youths so as to engage in farming activities to benefit themselves.
The Head of State wondered why the Opposition leaders were criticizing the Jubilee projects and yet they have nothing to show Kenyans in terms of development when they served in senior positions in the previous governments.
“Those in the Opposition are criticizing our development projects while when they served as Prime Minister, Vice President, Ministers among other positions in previous government they did not initiate any project that Kenyans can be proud of,” said President Kenyatta.
He told residents of Tana River to reject the Opposition leaders at the ballot come August General Election because they have nothing to offer since they failed in the previous governments in terms of development.
The President, enumerated the achievements of his Government, four years in office citing the connections of millions of Kenyans to electricity, increase in capitation fee for primary and secondary schools, relieving parents the burden of paying examination fee for form four and standard eight candidates.
He added that the Jubilee Administration has transformed the health sector citing the free maternity programme for mothers, expansion and equipping of two hospitals to status of referrals in every county.
Mr Kenyatta said the Government’s agenda on promoting development in all parts of the country was on course.
President Kenyatta who also welcomed eight MCAs including Tana River County Assembly deputy speaker Mohammed Salim who ditched the opposition for Jubilee said the Government would waive Shs 80million that farmers in the region owed the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).
“But the Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa will explore ways of solving the Shs 120million that farmers owe the Equity Bank,” said President Kenyatta.
He said Jubilee was committed to ensuring free secondary education beginning next year if it wins during the August elections.
President Kenyatta appealed to Kenyans to use their voting rights wisely by electing responsible leaders who will steer the country’s development to high heights of prosperity.
“Politics of hatred and with hunting is over and it is only Jubilee that has the capacity to unite all Kenyans irrespective of party affiliation, religion or any other social background,” he said.
He said Wardei and Walioana communities in the area would get census code so as to benefit from Government services like the rest of Kenyans.
The President said the construction work on the Garsen-Hola road was on warning that the Government will blacklist lazy contractors.
Mr Ruto said the Opposition was not ready for the August elections saying it demanded for disbandment of IEBC commissioners, went to court to stop audit of the IEBC register and was now giving unnecessary demands to the electoral body.
“If they (Opposition leaders) are not ready, many other parties are,” said Mr Ruto.
The Deputy President said Tana River County had only 1,000 households connected to electricity in 2013 saying the figure now stood at 5,000 barely four years of Jubilee in power.
The Deputy President appealed to wananchi to vote for Jubilee so as to continue realizing meaningful socio-economic transformation.
He urged wananchi to ignore politicians out to fun hatred and division amongst them for self-interests.
Mr Duale told the Opposition to declare that it was not ready for the next elections instead of undermining the work of the IEBC.
He said it was the responsibility of IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati to declare presidential results saying the Constitution does not give powers to other officials to do so.
Mr Wamalwa told Governors to stop politicizing issues pertaining to water.
“Governors should keep off boards inaugurated by the national government simply because they have their own boards at the counties,” said Mr Wamalwa.
The MPs said residents of Tana River would not gamble with their votes saying Jubilee was the only party that has demonstrated its commitment to addressing the challenges facing them..
They said they would continue to support Jubilee because it has the interest of the people of Tana River and Kenyans at heart.
“Jubilee has initiated many development projects in this County especially in the field of health, infrastructure, energy and education among other sectors,” said Mr Dukicha.
Mr Dado said Tana River was a Jubilee zone and was optimistic that out 118,000 votes in the County, the ruling party will garner more than 70 percent come August Elections.
He told Opposition leaders to stop threatening Kenyans that they would boycott the next saying Kenyans would go to the polls whether they are there or not.