President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday accused Opposition leader Raila Odinga of resorting to divisive tactics to win support for the August 8 poll. He alluded to alleged hateful remarks made by Raila in Kajiado pitting locals against other communities saying it could stoke acrimony in such neighbourhoods.
Speaking while on charm offensive tour of Kiambu county, Uhuru said the National Super Alliance (Nasa) has failed to galvanise support for their presidential bid because of lack of credible agenda for the populace.
He faulted the Opposition for failing to articulate their ideas to Kenyans and opted to incite them against each other. “They are engaging in tribal competition instead of political contest…we want politics of development not those that divide our people,” said the Head of State.
President Uhuru was accompanied his deputy William Ruto during his meet-the-people tour where he made stops at various centres in the county. His tour of the county started at the St Peter’s and Paul’s Catholic Church in Kiambu Town where he appealed to Kenyans to foster peace and unity ahead of elections.
After church, the President and his Deputy addressed residents of Kiambu town, urging them to remain peaceful as he lambasted the Opposition for frustrating efforts to unite Kenyans.
He criticised leaders of the opposition for trying to divide Kenyans along tribal lines, a tactic they used in the past to fan conflict. “Our priority should be peace and stability because without them there will not be development in our country,” he said.
The President then returned to Nairobi where he joined more than 4,000 Akorino church members who had gathered at the Nyayo National Stadium for a day of prayer for peace in the country.
Ruto was left to lead the campaigns traversing various centres in Kiambu and ended in Thika town where a big rally had been organised. The church leaders blessed the President as the members, clad in white turbans and white plaited dresses for women, danced in their unique styles. The General Conference of Akorino Churches organised the prayer event, held on annual basis.
The Akorino church is an indigenous African Church started in 1920s and currently has a membership of more than 1.5 million people. The Secretary General of the General Conference of Akorino Churches, Prince Macharia, said they prayed for peace and stability in Kenya.
Speaking after the service, the President said all forms of discrimination against the Akorino should be stopped. He said all educational institutions that refuse to admit Akorino students because of their religion will lose government funding and will be prosecuted. “Stop discriminating against the Akorino. Freedom of worship is guaranteed in our Constitution.
You cannot discriminate on the basis of age, ethnicity or religion,” said the President. “Muslims are not stopped from wearing the veil and Hindus are not stopped from wearing their turbans and the Akorinos should not be stopped from wearing their turbans,” added the President.
In Thika Town, the president among other leaders told Kenyans they deserved another chance, having brought profound development in their first term in office.