Ukambani governors craft agenda ahead of Uhuru visit

Thursday, July 1st, 2021 00:00 |
Makueni Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana hosts colleagues Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kitui’s Charity Ngilu at his residence in Wote town on Tuesday. Photo/KNA

Mutuku Mwangangi and KNA

Three governors from Ukambani a held meeting ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s two-day visit to the region scheduled for next week.

Makueni Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana on Tuesday hosted his Machakos and Kitui counterparts Dr. Alfred Mutua and Charity Ngilu at his official residence in Wote, to outline development projects to be presented to the President.

Kivutha noted that the region had lagged behind in terms of development and expressed optimism that the President’s much-anticipated tour between July 6 and 7 would help kick start key projects.

Regional bank

He singled out Konza Techno City, tarmacking of Ukia–Emali road in Makueni as some of the projects that would be presented to President Uhuru for fast tracking.

“We also expect to be given a fully-fledged university and a regional bank,” said the governor.

Kivutha, however, asked other leaders to divorce politics from the tour, saying the visit was purely development oriented.

His sentiments were echoed by Mutua, who said leaders keen on gaining political mileage from the visit were unwelcome.

“We expect the President to bring us a basket of goodies that will benefit our people.

Those who only want to be seen as close to the President without bringing any tangible development should keep-off,” said Mutua.

Ngilu said the region was in dire need of road infrastructure, Universal Health Care and water.

Ngilu underscored the need for the region to realign its development agenda with the National Budget of Sh3.6 trillion.

“Sh3.6 trillion is not a small budget. We have earmarked projects that we would want the President to deliver on,” she said.

But Deputy President William Ruto lieutenants in Ukambani, led by Machakos town MP Victor Munyaka and his Mwala counterpart Vincent Musyoka, have dismissed the visit, terming it as mere political gesture. 

Musyoka has warned the community not to expect too much considering it was coming at the tail end of the President’s term when his final budget has already been drawn.

“It is his (Uhuru) right to visit the region, unfortunately it is a political move other than development. So our people should not be excited in any case,” said Musyoka.

 Recently, Musyoka told Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka to his face that he should work with the DP to save the community from the political cold it has suffered for the last 10 years.

There have also been concerns on Kamba community’s representation in Uhuru’s Cabinet.

Main supplier

 Former Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi, who has been pushing for the clean-up of River Athi, said it should be prioritised otherwise there was no meaning in investing in multi-billion Thwake Dam. 

River Athi is the main supplier for Thwake Dam, which the President is expected to inspect.

 “Our people downstream cannot sell their agricultural products in overseas markets, leave alone consuming the produce due to contaminated water,” said Mwangangi.

 “We want the Nairobi River cleaned otherwise we are poisoning many people downstream. Other cities in the world have clean rivers, why not us”?  he posed. 

The President will also launch construction of Mega Miwongoni Dam.

In Makueni, residents have high hopes that the President will push for acceleration of construction of Tawa-Itangini road, Emali- Ukia, Nunguni-Katuaa road, and Kikima –Kyambalasi roads.

The President is expected to inspect ongoing construction of Konza Technopolis in Machakos and later launch Kibwezi-Kitui road in Kibwezi West.

More on News