Stay at home if you don't want election, Uhuru Kenyatta tells Raila Odinga

Monday October 16 2017

Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks to supporters at Garissa Primary School on October 16, 2017. He asked Nasa leader Raila Odinga to let Kenyans exercise their right to vote. PHOTO | ABDIMALIK ISMAIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday told National Super Alliance (Nasa) principal Raila Odinga to let Kenyans to choose their leader at the ballot instead of engaging in destructive streets protests.

Addressing supporters at Garissa Primary School playing field President Kenyatta said every Kenyan has the constitutional right to participate in an election and Mr Odinga should respect the verdict of the Supreme Court that ordered the repeat election to be held in 60 days.


"If you are not ready to participate in this election nobody is forcing [you]. Just stay at home but don't bother Kenyans who went to exercise their democratic right," he said.

The opposition has been holding demonstrations to demand reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that it says will ensure a free and fair election.

President Kenyatta said the Constitution allows peaceful protests but nobody is allowed to destroy another person’s businesses.

The government will deal with anyone interfering with businesses, the head of state added.

Deputy President William Ruto said Jubilee will participate in the election because the party believes in the Constitution, unlike Nasa that is involved in “sideshows and streets protests”.


"They should forget excuses, stop irreducible minimums and prepare for the election, and let Kenyans decide. We are ready to continue working for Kenyans," said Mr Ruto.

He said it seems Mr Odinga wants to run against him for President in 2022 and welcomed him to the contest. Ruto was responding to Mr Odinga's remarks that he was a beneficiary of the 2008 coalition government.

The President and his Deputy were accompanied by Garissa Governor Ali Korane, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale, who is also the majority leader in the National Assembly, MPs Yussuf Hassan (Kamukunji), Abdi Omar Shurie (Balambala), Abdikarim Osman (Fafi) and Dadaab’s Mohamed Dahiye.

Duale criticised Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula for his recent remarks that two Somalis in the IEBC were among those who bungled the elections. He said the senator and Nasa principals are profiling the community.

"We are telling Wetang’ula you cannot profile the Somali community because we have every right to work for the government as people of this region we have decided to vote for Jubilee," he said.

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