NASA presidential candidate today linked the coalition’s promise to deliver an equitable, fair and just society to the eradication of injustices against the poor and marginalised that he said are continuing today despite the government’s efforts at economic development.
The NASA brigade took their campaign to Narok County, addressing several small rallies before gathering at Suswa where Maasai leaders endorsed Raila as the community’s chosen presidential candidate.
Flanked by, among others, Kajiado Governor Dr David Nkedianye, Raila moved the crowds through his promise of economic development targeted at Maa and other pastoralist communities. He said these will include creating employment in the local communities, with county headquarters and other urban areas empowered with services, capital and technical knowhow for industrial development.
But he said that for such a programme to start, the government must give Kenyans a sense of belonging. In this regard, he promised to implement the report of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) regarding exclusion and land dispossession.
“Let’s change the course of the country come August 8 to fulfil the dreams of the founders of this country,” Raila said, adding, “For 54 years since we gained independence, we have been suffering but on 8th in Sinai desert, we will cross the Jordan sea towards Canaan.”
The coalition’s message for historical redress had been initially laid down by NASA principal Musalia Mudavadi who said that abuse of political power was at the root of the grievances Kenyans hold against each other.
He castigated President Uhuru Kenyatta for threatening to sack chiefs in Makueni who are backing NASA, saying that was part of the dictatorship that Kenyans had overthrown through the new Constitution but which Jubilee was forcefully reintroducing in its efforts to stick to power.
Mudavadi expressed disappointment at the fact that Jubilee had failed to implement the TJRC report, which implicates some powerful people in the current government. “Since 2013 when it was given to Uhuru, it is in the store. Once we come into power, we will implement it.”
Speaking before Raila, NASA deputy president Kalonzo Musyoka, who enjoys immense following in the Maa community, recalled his efforts to promote rural electrification in the region when he was vice president.
Kalonzo reiterated NASA’s desire to push through with their Adopt-A-Polling-Station strategy of guarding opposition votes. This strategy by NASA, aimed to ensure a free and fair election, has faced opposition from the government, with even Acting Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, declaring that they would use any means necessary to get the monitors out of the polling station.
At a prayer in a church in Ukambani, Uhuru also warned Kenyans against “hanging around the polling stations” after voting, urging them to go home after voting. Following revelations that the government was planning to use security forces to rig the elections, NASA, which has seen its popularity catapulted to unprecedented heights against an incumbent, has insisted on carrying on the peaceful exercise.
Raila also reinforced the NASA dream of free primary and secondary education program, the building of industrial parks to whittle down the high rate of unemployment in the country and helping single mothers get their footing through handing out of grants for businesses.
Raila urged the Maa to vote for him as they had in the bungled 2007 polls. Back then, the NASA principal had the backing of two departed Maa leaders, William Ole Ntimama and John Keen. In 2013, Raila won Narok County but lost to Uhuru in Kajiado.
Dr Nkedianye, a Harvard-trained scholar who has high chances of re-election in Kajiado, said the Maasai had rallied behind Rala’s banner of reconciliation of Kenyans. He said the Maasai felt safe in the big tent that NASA provided for al tribes to ascend to the country’s presidency.