President Uhuru Kenyatta has said he is engaging Kenyans directly, not through the media, a day after skipping the presidential debate.
He spoke in Mukurwe-ini, Nyeri county, on Tuesday on the first of 400 stops he intends to make in 30 counties before campaigns for the August 8 polls close.
“I am here to talk to you, not through the media but directly, because I want you to understand the foundation we have laid in the last four years,” Uhuru said.
Speaking mostly in the Kikuyu language, he said he has managed to deliver because there are no wrangles between him and Deputy President William Ruto in government.
“You know what that man (ODM leader Raila Odinga) did to (former President Mwai) Kibaki…work could not even be done. We have picked up from Kibaki’s work and will continue to deliver after the elections,” Uhuru said.
“I am sure you want to see progress. So are you going to let that man take over and come spoil things again?”
In his one-man show during the debate on Monday night, Raila noted he and his rivals only jokingly hurl insults at each other.
“If I called Uhuru a drunkard then it was in a light touch … it doesn’t mean he is drunk. They are political jokes,” he said.
“In politics you must have jokes. When Uhuru says I am mad man, I don’t think he means I am ‘mad’.”
Uhuru’s odyssey will take him to Nyeri, Murang’a, Marsabit, Samburu, Bungoma, Kakamega, Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo.
Related: Why President Uhuru quit the presidential debate
He will also visit Embu, Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Kajiado, Nakuru, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Nairobi, Bomet, Kericho, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Kitui, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kisii, Nyamira, Nandi, Garissa, Migori and Uasin Gishu.
In a statement on Tuesday, Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the President and Ruto will take an intense 12-day tour of Kenya.
“This will be a vote-hunt blitz in strongholds, battlegrounds and NASA zones,” he said.
Esipisu further said Uhuru will sit with Kenyans at business premises, farms, markets and other places to engage them directly.
“He will account for his last four and a half years in office and discuss how he plans to transform the country and the lives of Kenyans.”
The spokesman said Uhuru will also speak about his Action Plan to create more than 6.5 million jobs in the next five years.
The President, who is Jubilee Party leader, will once again face his arch-nemesis Raila, in the elections that is 13 days away.
Uhuru is the son of Kenya’s first president and the urbane scion of a wealthy family while Raila is the son of the first vice president and a fiery populist.
The President has been holding live chat sessions with Facebook fans to discuss his Action Plan.
On Sunday morning, he spent a little under an hour taking questions from fans but the session left many disappointed.