MOMBASA, 18 July 2017 (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta todayrejected a sustained opposition campaign to change the elections date from August 8, 2017, while putting jobs on top of his agenda in a campaign blitz on Kenya’s coast.
President Kenyatta told campaign rallies in Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa counties that Kenyans were ready for elections as set out by the constitution, and every attempt to sabotage the law would be roundly rejected.
“It won’t happen,” the President said. “Kenyans are ready and their will will not be subverted.”
The President also said that jobs for youth were on top of Jubilee’s development agenda, and highlighted billions of shillings invested in the ports of Mombasa, Lamu and Shimoni. These investments were key to expanding opportunities for youth and lifting the Coast’s fortunes, President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta and DP William Ruto, told rallies in Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa counties that lifting Kenyans from poverty – not keeping them there – was a major reason they had focused on improving port facilities, as well as expanding energy, healthcare, roads and rail links to Kenya’s tourism capital.
But they added that had the local governors of Kilifi and Mombasa worked more closely with Government, then the residents would have seen more of the direct benefits accruing from the combined investments.
Instead, the President said, the two governors were more interested in abusing him, rather than empowering their people.
“It is all about jobs, and more decent jobs. We have laid the foundations for prosperity. Now it is time to finish the job. We need five more years. Give us more time to finish the job,” President Kenyatta said on a campaign stop in Shimba Hills.
“We have more jobs coming up as part of our investment in the ports. We have more jobs coming up as part of our industrialisation plan. We have more jobs from the Internship programme that will benefit 100,000 youth a year coming from our colleges,” the President said.
“Our agenda is about our youth. The future is about our youth and we must deliver jobs to them,” the President added.
President Kenyatta also emphasised his determination to curb drugs cartels, saying he will not allow them use the port of Mombasa for their illegal business that destroys the future of the youth.
He said allegations by the opposition that the Naivasha dry port will minimize operations at the Mombasa port are misplaced, saying they are afraid that their dubious businesses at the port will close down.
The President said his Administration plans to put up industrial parks at Dongo Kundu, Voi, Konza, Naivasha and Kisumu where goods for export will be manufactured and transported through the Standard Gauge Railway to the Mombasa port for shipping across the globe.
“While we want to move from a consuming society to a producing one to create jobs for the young people, our opponents want to hold us back so that they can continue using the port of Mombasa to import goods without paying tax. That, we will not allow,” President Kenyatta said.
The President also put governors Amason Kingi of Kilifi and his Mombasa counterpart Ali Hassan Joho on the scale, saying they should tell residents where they took the billions of shillings of devolved funds disbursed over the last four years.
He said the two governors should be judged based on their delivery track record – which is lacking – not their rhetoric, propaganda and lies.
Deputy President Ruto told voters in coastal region to make a wise decision and support Jubilee come August 8, because of its commitment to transform the lives of all Kenyans.
He said what Kenyans needed were leaders who were focused on service and not those who were squandering their time on rhetoric and propaganda.
“On August 8, the choice will be between Jubilee’s industrial agenda anchored on construction of SGR, roads, energy, provision of internship programme and construction of technical training institutes that will ensure employment of 6.5 million youths and the opposition that is controlled by tender-preneurs and corruption cartels that will do businesses that will benefit themselves,” said the DP.
The Deputy President said the Government was constructing roads in Mombasa County at a cost of Kshs 60 billion.
He told off Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho for opposing the plans to start a dry port in Naivasha.
“It’s unbelievable for someone to say the Mombasa port will be transferred to Naivasha dry port, how? It’s like moving the Indian Ocean from Mombasa to Naivasha which is impossible,” said Mr Ruto.
“The Governor should stop misleading Kenyans and go to school so that he can know that it’s impossible to move a port like Mombasa to another place. Education is now free,” added Mr Ruto.
The President and his deputy were accompanied by a host of Coast leaders who slammed the opposition for propagating politics of division and discrimination, saying residents should guard against being divided on tribal and religious lines.