Uhuru tells Raila: I will not be shaken

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President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday said he was open to dialogue but warned opposition leader Raila Odinga to stop giving him conditions for talks.

The President said he would not be intimidated but welcomed “constructive criticism and not intimidation.”

“Criticism must not tear us apart, but instead it must be a unifying factor.

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I will not allow any acts of intimidation at all,” he told a rally after commissioning the Kipchabo Tea Estate factory in Nandi County.

“I invited him (Odinga) for a cup of tea but he declined. Why don’t you pick up a phone and call me as I have not changed my number instead of making noise?” asked Mr Kenyatta.

He was referring to demands by Cord leaders for national referendum to discuss 13 issues they have identified as major challenges facing Kenya.

The President asked why more than 10,000 police officers had to be deployed to last Monday’s Saba Saba Rally at Uhuru Park when the country had security problems elsewhere.

“We have the Lamu, Mandera and Wajir inter-clan fights and threats of terrorists which have to be tackled collectively,” said the Head of State, adding that the government did not belong to him and Deputy President William Ruto alone.

“As I have said before you are welcome to come and see me over cup of tea if you have anything you want to discuss with me but you cannot keep issuing threats,” he said in Nandi County and added: “Stop threatening me. I am unshaken.”

He continued: “These guys are making us to deploy about over 10,000 policemen to provide security in their rallies when we have security problems in other parts of the country that need attention.”

WEARNED REBELLIOUS LEADERS

During the Monday Saba Saba rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Cord leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula said they would collect one million signatures to push through the referendum on key issues such as security, corruption, cost of living and disunity.

Mr Kenyatta warned rebellious Jubilee leaders, saying they had the responsibility to implement the coalition’s manifesto.

“You were not elected on your own but on a Jubilee ticket, so don’t be a lone ranger.”

The Head of State said Jubilee was determined to implement its pre-election pledges.

“We need to be given a democratic chance to lead since we were mandated by the majority of Kenyans who overwhelmingly voted us for the next five years.”

He again defended the standard gauge railway project, saying it would transform the country’s economy.

He also said devolution was on track.

“Adequate funds have been remitted to county governments to speed up devolution and it is the responsibility of each leader to play his/her role,” the President said.

SUBSIDISED FERTILISER

He announced that the government would procure subsidised fertiliser for tea, coffee and sugarcane farmers.

Deputy President William Ruto called for an end to political bickering among some Jubilee leaders and urged them to serve the electorate.
He said the government has done a lot to resettle internally displaced people.

Mr Ruto asked leaders to focus on issues which can uplift people’s living standard and avoid engaging in activities which hinder the development process in the country.

“All elected leaders have no time for empty rhetoric but to unite the country. This country cannot be developed through sideshows and politics of hatred or demonstrations,” he said.

He stated that the government would not be distracted by those engaging in rhetoric, saying they would ensure they implemented what they had promised Kenyans during the last General Election.

Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale dismissed calls for mass action and demands to disband the electoral commission by the Opposition.

“The much hyped Saba Saba rally was a failure and had no political impact to Kenyans,” said Mr Duale. He said Cord leaders should follow the Constitution in addressing issues.

Senate Majority leader Kindiki Kithure said problems facing the country could not be resolved through mass action.

“Time for demonstrations and rallies is over. It is time to focus on development,” he said.

National Assembly Majority Leader Adan Duale took issue with Cord leaders saying they should follow the constitution in addressing the challenges facing the country.

“If we want some issues solved by the President, we should know that this country is governed by laws which need to be followed.

If there are issues to be solved at the IEBC and devolved system of government, then they can be solved through framework of constitution and nothing short of that,” said Mr Duale.

-nation.co.ke

President Kenyatta (centre) and DP William Ruto (left) listen to Nyayo Tea Zones Managing Director, Peter Korir during the official opening of Kipchabo Tea Factory in Nandi County on July 11, 2014. The President said he was open to dialogue but warned opposition leader Raila Odinga to stop giving him conditions for talks. PHOTO/JARED NYATAYA

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