President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tour to Luo Nyanza is expected to set a new political milestone among the political class.
Over the recent years, the region (Kisumu and Siaya Counties) has been perceived to be anti-government and a Raila political stronghold.
Many have praised Uhuru-Raila March 9 handshake for pulling Kenya from the brink of an all out political conflict.
The president met his political rivals including billionaire businessman Jimmy Wanjigi who played a crucial role in the 2017 politics that saw Uhuru clinch the seat
Uhuru meets billionaire businessman Wanjigi
As the President arrived for breakfast, he was met by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his elder brother Oburu Odinga, Siaya Senator Jimmy Orengo, Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga and billionaire businessman Jimi Wanjigi.
Uhuru and Wanjigi crossed paths over two years back and another handshake took place on Thursday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta shakes businessman Jimi Wanjigi’s hand at Raila’s home in Bondo.photo.
Wanjigi has been accusing President Uhuru Kenyatta of prosecuting him for backing Raila Odinga in the 2017 General Election.
Wanjigi, a man who was once spoken about in hushed tones dominated news headlines for months and he showed that he wouldn’t take whatever the government brought to him lying down.
The nightmare for Wanjigi, and the soap opera for Kenyans, began after a multi-agency team drawn from the elite Flying Squad, Special Crimes Prevention Unit and General Service Unit (GSU) stormed his palatial Muthaiga home and laid siege for two days and nights.
The siege saw police recover seven guns and 600 rounds of ammunition, five pistols licensed to Mr Wanjigi, one shotgun and a military grade M4 assault rifle.
After the police left, Wanjigi resurfaced and addressed a press conference where he maintained his innocence claiming the accusations leveled against him had been fabricated to persecute him over his political stand.
He was charged with 11 counts of importing and being in possession of illegal firearms in a Nyeri court. The drama netted even his aging father also over illegal firearms possession but the case was later thrown out.
Just like a good Hollywood drama, there was a major twist in the Wanjigi drama when he bizarrely appeared in the obituary section of the leading newspaper in the country.
The high stakes drama saw Government spokesperson Eric Kiraithe label Mr. Wanjigi a nefarious criminal.
The police are doing a very simple task, which is not politically motivated. The raid on Wanjigis home means we have a nefarious criminal in our midst, who has been uncovered, period , said Kiraithe.
Looks like all that is probably behind Mr. Wanjigi and the President and they are back to being good friends. Or maybe there was never a problem to begin with.
Uhuru meets Luo Nyanza elected leaders
The President hosted Luo elected leaders at the Kisumu State Lodge on Thursday evening after presiding over the launch of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) pilot project at the Mamboleo showground.
The head of state also presided over the ground breaking of Ahero interchange and inspected Sh7.6 billion Kakamega-Kisumu Road works at Mamboleo junction.
The meeting was closely guarded that even elected leaders from Kisii were asked to excuse themselves as the Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga met purely Luo Nyanza elected leaders.
Mkarimu could not immedeiately confirm the agenda of the meeting.
On Friday, the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) honoured the President and Mr Odinga with honorary degrees because of their peace initiatives following their March 9 deal.
The two leaders were conferred with the degrees at the universitys main campus in Bondo, Siaya County.
Prof Stephen Agong, the vice chancellor of JOOUST said they are honouring the two opponents for their peace initiative following their March 9 handshake that ended weeks of political turmoil after the disputed 2017 Presidential election.
Nyanza benefits from presidents tour
The leaders discussed implementation of the budgeted projects, new projects and revival of those that have stalled. Other key issues the head of state stressed on included uniting the country.
Some projects the leaders wanted given priority included the revival of Kisumu Cotton Mills, the sugar and fishing industry, and maritime transport.
Uriri MP Mark Nyamita and his Awendo counterpart Walter Owino said the meeting gave them a platform to dialogue with Uhuru on development projects. We thank the President for his tour and for launch projects in the region. These projects will go a long way in improving the lives of our people, Owino said.
Nyamita said Uhuru urged leaders and Kenyans to shun divisive, bloodshed and tribal politics, which hurt development.
The president urged us to continue spreading the spirit of handshake to unite Kenyans, he said.
Nyamita said the President pledged to look into the sugar sector to make it more productive.
Nyanza region hosts Sony, Miwani, Chemelil and Muhoroni sugar factories. They are state-owned companies. These millers are facing numerous problems, including financial woes and obsolete machines.
On reviving the ailing sugar companies, the President said he is waiting for the sugar task force report to guide on best course of action.
On construction of Muhoroni-Mamboleo C674 road, formerly the C34, which is a key road to Kisumu, Nandi and neighbouring counties, Uhuru said the tender had been awarded.
We have the outcry of the people using the road. It is going to be constructed with the tender already given out, the President said.
SOURCE: MKARIMU MEDIA AND NEWS AGENCIES