We didn’t go to beg for jobs, goodies from Uhuru – Bukusu elders

By The Star

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Bukusu council of elders led by its adviser Augustus Situma address the press at Tourist Hotel in Bungoma town on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. /BRIAN OJAMAA

The Bukusu council of elders has vehemently denied allegations that their State House visit was to beg for jobs and goodies.

The group was hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta on September 11 amid reports they promised to mobilise him votes.

Uhuru is facing a fresh presidential race against NASA leader Raila Odinga on October 17.

But the elders said the media misreported their reason for the Monday’s visit saying it was about issues affecting the community.

Augustus Situma of the council told journalists at Bungoma on Wednesday that they did not go to solicit campaign cash.

“We went to discuss issues pertaining the security and safety of IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba.”

“The two are sons and daughters of the Bukusu community,” Situma said amid criticism from residents and leaders.

He said this followed the state’s decision to pull out the chairman’s security detail. The same was beefed up later on.

“We are shocked by the false information circulating in the media. It is aimed at tainting our image. The council is known to be non-partisan in political matters.”

Situma said their role remains to advise both government and opposition on critical matters touching on the community and its members.

He said that the president assured them that their son’s security will be beefed up accordingly.

“The president assured us that their security will be well taken care of and no need for alarm about their safety,” he said.

Analysts say that history has it that Bukusu council of elders’ endorsement usually come to pass, especially in political matters.

At the said meeting, chairman Richard Walukano said the Bukusu community will back Uhuru owing to the government projects in the area.

The team said they will conduct a door-to-door campaign in Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega and Trans Nzoia counties.

“We are keen on ensuring that Uhuru wins with a bigger margin because we do not want the projects in our region to be derailed.”

Uhuru welcomed the elders’ support and assured them of his commitment to unite the country and accelerate development.

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