By Allan Tawai.
NASA on Sunday took its presidential bid to the home territory of Deputy President William Ruto in the course of attempts by Jubilee Party supporters to disrupt the rally.
Before the rally started, police had a hectic time separating the NASA and Jubilee rival crowds during the highly charged meeting at the Kapsabet ASK showground in Nandi County.
The National Super Alliance leaders accused the Jubilee administration of trying to take credit for their plans to introduce free education in secondary schools.
“Most of the programs that Jubilee is claiming as their own, including free and compulsory primary education, were my brainchild while in the Kibaki government and we will do more if Nasa wins the August 8 General Election,” said the Nasa presidential running mate, Kalonzo Musyoka.
The opposition leaders petitioned the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the police to take action against the Jubilee supporters.
The leaders, who included NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga, said the IEBC should act tough and implement the election code of conduct and ensure that the electioneering period is free from any act of violence that can plunge the country into turmoil.
Trouble started when the Chama Cha Mashinani leader, Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, took to the podium to introduce the leaders who had attended the meeting to drum up support for NASA in a region perceived to be a Jubilee stronghold.
NASA and Jubilee supporters charged at each other, forcing the police to create a buffer zone to prevent any physical confrontation.
At one point, the Jubilee supporters, who were waving their party placards and chanting pro-UhuRuto slogans, attempted to force their way to the dais but were repulsed by the police.
Odinga said the NASA government would revamp the economy once elected, alleging that the Jubilee regime had messed up the dairy, maize and tea sub-sectors.
“When we were in the Grand Coalition government, we offered Sh3, 500 to maize farmers but the Jubilee government reduced the price to Sh2, 200. Now it has imported maize from Mexico at Sh4, 600, giving Kenyan farmers a raw deal,” Mr. Odinga said amid applause.
Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka said it was time for a change of guard in the country’s leadership and petitioned the electorate in the region to join the NASA team.