NYANZA LEADERS:We are ready for Uhuru Visit
Top on the wish list is the revival of stalled factories and projects
Some leaders have said they wanted to exploit the newfound political love between Raila and the President to improve the economy of Nyanza region
A wind of political change is blowing across Nyanza as President Uhuru Kenyatta plans to visit Kisumu to cement his recent truce with Raila Odinga. The President is expected to make a whirlwind tour of the region where Opposition supporters burnt his effigy during and after the campaigns.
He is expected to address a rally at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports ground. Detailes of the visit are sketchy but local leaders were already preparing the ground for the big function. State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu could not be reached for comment but even security officials in Kisumu who declined to be named, said they had been put on notice and were already gathering intelligence for security arrangements. Orange Democratic Movement Party chairman and leader of Minority in Parliament, Mr John Mbadi yesterday confirmed the visit was on the cards but was hesitant to give specific dates. He said Raila and the President were still fine-tuning the programme.
Mbadi said the two leaders were waiting for the conclusion of what he termed as Kenya Peace Project, being put together by a team of experts appointed by duo leaders after their hand shake at Harambee House in Nairobi. He said the two leaders will not only visit Nyanza but will extend “national healing” mission to other parts of the country. “The President’s planned visit to Nyanza and the rest of the county is under the Peace Project. It is no longer a Raila-Uhuru affair but a national project,” Mr Mbadi said. Last week, Raila visited Nyanza to seek views from his supporters about his “painful decision” to shake hands with President Kenyatta. The Sunday Standard has also learnt that local MPs, women, youth groups and church leaders were already preparing wish lists to be presented to the President when he touches down in Kisumu.
Top on the wish lists is the revival of stalled factories such as the Kisumu Cotton Mills, Fishnet Company and roads and water projects. Some of the leaders who spoke to the Sunday Standard yesterday, said they wanted to exploit the new found political love between Raila and the President to improve the economy of Nyanza region. Mbadi said they are working on a document that will be presented to the President during the visit to help fast track growth. “Inasmuch as development programmes are planned through Parliamentary Budget, several projects in Nyanza have been overlooked for years,” he said. A number of viable economic projects that were started in the region have suffered setbacks. Some are financially limping while others went under. “These are not political problems. They are economic problems that are largely dependent on the good will of the ruling party,” he said.