Leaders tell the Opposition to stop wasting time asking President Kenyatta to endorse its candidate

Some Jubilee MPs on Sunday dismissed calls by the Opposition on President Uhuru Kenyatta to endorse former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for presidency in 2022, saying its voters who elect leaders.

The leaders told the Opposition to stop wasting time and energies asking President Kenyatta to endorse its candidate, noting that even in Jubilee there will be a democratic process to pick its candidate.

They said election outcomes depend on voters and not endorsements by people perceived to be ‘political kingpins in some quarters’.

Speaking at Chebororwa primary school grounds in Elgeyo Marakwet County, during an interdenominational prayer service, on Sunday, the leaders said elections rests squarely on the decision of registered voters.

They were Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Governor Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet), MPs William Kisang (Marakwet West), Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East), Caleb Kositany (Soy), Daniel Rono (Keiyo South), Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Julius Melly (Tindiret) and Jane Chebaibai (Women Rep, Elgeyo Marakwet).

Deputy President William Ruto was also among those who attended the function.

“It’s the ordinary voters that matter in any election. They are the ones to determine who they want to elect for any seat during general elections,” said Mr Melly.

Mr Murkomen said Jubilee’s frontrunner was clear for now unless more candidates express their candidature to succeed President Kenyatta.

“But what I know is that President Uhuru Kenyatta endorsed William Ruto long time ago for presidency in 2022. He has not changed his word. I am speaking on behalf of the President,” said Mr Murkomen.

Mr Ichungwa said he was optimistic that President Kenyatta lives by his promise to lead the country for 10 years and support the Deputy President for presidency for another 10 years.

“President Kenyatta is a gentleman and not a political conman. He went everywhere in this country telling Kenyans that he will rule for 10 years and support his deputy for another 10 years. Those in Opposition are therefore wasting their time and energy asking for endorsements,” said Mr Ichungwa.

Mr Kositany on his part said in Jubilee Party, leaders were not waiting for endorsements because they understand its Kenyans and particularly voters who elect leaders when time for election comes.

“Some leaders are being scared of William Ruto because he is directly dealing with the people by doing his constitutional duty to help President Kenyatta inspect and launch development projects across the country,” said Mr Kositany.

Dr Ruto told leaders not to be bothered by those engaging in political sideshows and instead focus their energies on serving Kenyans.

He said he would continue doing his constitutional duties of helping President Uhuru Kenyatta discharge his mandate for the country.

“Those in Opposition should do their work and leave us alone. Jubilee party has its own way of serving Kenyans and we will not be cowed from implementing our agenda for the people who told us to unite the country and serve them,” said Dr Ruto.

The leaders at the same time, dismissed planned motion by the National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi to cap harambee donations in Church, saying it was unrealistic.

“We want to dare Mr Mbadi to bring the motion to the floor of Parliament. It will help us differentiate between Christians and those who don’t believe in God,” said Mr Murkomen.

He added: “We don’t give because we have. We have because we give. We are people because of God’s mercy.”

“I want to assure Christians that the motion by Mbadi which is not originally from him will be dead on arrival at the floor of the House. He should just drop it because he will greatly regret about it,” said Mr Kositany.

Governor Tolgos and the Marakwet MPs asked the Government to speed up the registration and vetting of police reservists, saying cattle rustlers were taking advantage of their absence to stage raids in the Kerio Valley.

“We are tired of burying people every week because of insecurity caused by bandits and cattle rustlers along the Kerio valley. Police reservists play a greater role and that they should be given back their guns that were withdrawn as soon as possible,” said Mr Kangogo.

Ms Chebaibai told Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi to do more to protect lives and property along the Kerio Valley, saying he was engaging in more of public relations exercise at the expense of ending insecurity in the valley.

Governor Tolgos said insecurity along the valley has retarded development efforts, calling for integration of all police reservists and be stationed along the border of the counties irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds.

Earlier, the Deputy President said Sh 1 billion has been set aside for counties to embrace diversification of crops.

Speaking at Kondabilet Secondary School after handing over a bus for the institution as well as opening new classrooms, Dr Ruto said its through diversification that the government can provide smallholder farmers with a diversity of diet, improves their income and nutrition security.

He asked residents in the region to embrace diversification of crop production to boost their farming activities.

“We must embrace diversification of crops such as avocado, macadamia, coffee, tea, dairy farming so that we can have continuous source of income for our families,” said Dr Ruto.

He said the Government would continue to focus its attention on the construction of dams across the country to provide water for irrigation purposes.