President Uhuru Kenyatta took his voter registration campaign to Maralal, Samburu County, on Monday and defended Jubilee’s track record in the region.
He assured his supporters that only their best candidates would earn the Jubilee Party ticket.
The president cited improved security and infrastructure development as some of his government’s achievements in the region, promising completion of the Rumuruti-Maralal tarmac road.
“In general security in Samburu has been improved because of the machinery we have put in place,” he said.
The President, who addressed a huge crowd in Maralal town, flagged off trucks ferrying relief food and fodder to various parts of the county and announced a programme through which the government will purchase livestock from pastoralists, slaughter them and distribute meat to locals.
“The meat will not go anywhere else. It will be distributed to you,” he said on his voter registration visit in Maralal.
Earlier, Mr Kenyatta held lengthy closed-door talks with local leaders, discussing the conflict between Samburu and Laikipia over the invasion of private land by herders.
Leaders also raised issues about the drought and asked the President to authorise school feeding and food-for-fees programmes in arid and semi-arid areas so that children can remain in schools.
The president was received by Samburu leaders, led by Governor Moses Lenolkulal, senators Naisula Lesuuda and Sammy Leshore and MPs Lati Lelelit (Samburu West), Allois Lentoimaga (Samburu North) and Raphael Letimalo (Samburu East).
Also present to receive him at the Moi Girls High School grounds was Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and Livestock Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe.
Addressing the crowd, Mr Kenyatta said the government had increased food aid and water to Samburu and other counties seriously affected by the drought.
Further, he said, the government will supply schools that have closed down due to drought with food and water and ordered school managers not to ask parents for school fees.
The President urged voters to exercise their voting rights and elect leaders of their choice, warning that they would have themselves to blame if they do not participate in the polls.
“You are voting not just for the President or the other leaders, you are voting for your life. If you elect a bad leader, you will suffer,” he warned.
He further cautioned local youths against accepting to be misused by politicians who recruit gangs during the electioneering period.
“The campaign period is very hot, leaders come up with gangs of youths to do their dirty work. Don’t be used badly by leaders, if you do, it is you who will suffer. Let the leaders sell their ideologies,” he cautioned.
He added: “The Jubilee Party is a democratic party. I have said everyone who is looking for any elective position on the party’s ticket should fight for this from the voters.”
The crowd that had gathered in Maralal endured over two hours in the scorching sun waiting for the President to address them as he held a meeting with local leaders at the county assembly offices.
This was the first of the president’s voter registration campaign visits in Samburu. He proceeded to Rumuruti, Doldol and Wiyumiririe in Laikipia County.