Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke of his government’s economic success and prayed for a peaceful election at the final election rally in Nakuru on Saturday.
The wealthy 55-year-old son of the country’s first president is running on what he presents as his record of aggressive economic development drive, citing new roads, expansion of the electricity grid and a new Chinese-built railway linking the port of Mombasa to the capital city of Nairobi.
“We have started building the railway, it will pass through this country of Nakuru. Here in Naivasha we want to construct an industrial park, a special economic zone that will create employment for our young. You the residents of Nakuru are farmers; before the Jubilee government came to power, a bag of fertiliser was 2,800 Kenyan shillings. Now you can buy a bag for 1,800 Kenyan shillings and at the end of the year a bag of fertiliser will be 1,200 Kenyan shillings.”
Ahead of the August 8 election, President Kenyatta promised to develop the local economy and cut costs for farmers and then prayed for a peaceful election.
Throughout the election campaign, he urged voters and parties to avoid provocation and violence that has marred previous elections.
“I want us to say our last prayer. Oh God, our Father, we pray in great humility in this period as Kenyans. We are going into election period, we pray you grant us peace, that the people will be able to vote in fairness and us the leaders will not incite violence from the people of Kenya.
“We keep the peace. To get their will through the vote, Kenyans shall vote on August 8 next week. We urge you to help us bring Jubilee victory. Amen,” said the President.
More than 1,200 people were reported killed in 2007 after opposition alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga called for protests, following the vote that later degenerated into ethnic based violence.
Opinion polls suggest Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is fighting his fourth presidential election, are neck-and-neck.