President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are Monday intensifying their search for a slice of 1.7 million votes in the Coast with campaigns in Lamu, Tana River and Kilifi Counties.
The UhuRuto duo, who were in Kilifi and Mombasa counties on Sunday, are to tour the insecurity-prone Lamu and Tana River.
The President and Mr Ruto are to start their campaigns with a rally in Kizingitini in Lamu before heading to Mpeketoni.
Lamu residents who were interviewed by Nation in Lamu Town said they expect the President to give a pointer on how the government will deal with insecurity in the area and also give the locals the assurance that the government will protect them and their property.
“We want the President to assure us of our security. Elections are just around the corner and Lamu is very unstable as far as security is concerned.
“We have people in camps at the moment for fear of being attacked by Al-Shabaab in their villages. How are these people going to vote if they are far from their polling stations?
“We need an assurance from the President on how they will end Al-Shabaab [menace] in Lamu. It is getting out of hand,” said Mr Yusuf Omar.
The last time the President and his deputy visited Lamu was on May 24 where he addressed a public rally at the Mkunguni Square in Lamu Island before proceeding to Tana River County.
A communication from State House has already confirmed the President’s tour and said he will then head to Garsen in Tana River before ending his Coast tour in Ganze and Mariakani in Kilifi County.
The tour has also been confirmed by Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri who said all was set for the Head of State’s visit.
The frequent Al-Shabaab attacks in Lamu and the major projects initiated by the government in the area including a port will feature prominently in the vote hunt.
Al-Shabaab have been making frequent attacks in Lamu despite the Linda Boni security operation that begun in 2015. More than 30 people have been killed in last four attacks.
Last Thursday, suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists abducted Public Works PS Mariam El Maawy before she was rescued by security personnel.
Five people including the PS’s bodyguard, driver and nephew were killed in the daring 3pm attack that happened at Milihoi just as Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa addressed a public baraza some 10 kilometres away.
Mr Marwa believes the fresh raids were politically motivated and meant to prevent locals from voting during on August 8.
In Tana River, the Jubilee stalwarts are still celebrating the defection of Governor Hussein Dado and a number of local leaders from Wiper to Jubilee. The leaders are to seek re-election on a Jubilee ticket.
President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are to address a rally in Garsen.
They will later return to Kilifi for another meeting in Ganze and Mariakani.
The two have made more visits to Kilifi than any other county at the coast.
Kilifi is Coast’s most populous county and leads in the number of registered voters.
On Sunday, President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto pleaded with Kilifi residents to vote for them and also reject Governor Amazon Kingi who was elected on an ODM ticket.
Mr Kingi, together with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, are key Nasa point-men at the Coast.
On Tuesday, the Jubilee leaders are expected to take their campaigns to Kwale and Taita Taveta counties.