The Star (Nairobi)

3 January 2013

Kenya: Government to Build Sh100m Cultural Centre in Sio Port

THE government will build a Sh100 million cultural centre in Bumbe, Local Government minister, Paul Otuoma said on Tuesday.

The minister said the new centre once completed will store all Samia artefacts and will be part of Western circuit tourism.

Speaking during the Samia United Cultural festival in Sio Port, Otuoma said the government had already allocated Sh40m towards the art project.

"The centre will spur the East African Integration process," Otuoma told participants drawn from Kenya and Uganda.

Otuoma said it is a pity that the community is divided by an imaginary border, even though they are one people.

Samia Bugwe South MP in Uganda, Julius Maganda said Samia elders are playing a critical role in talking peace to the cross-border community.

Maganda said the community boasts of 380,000 people in Uganda and 150,000 in Kenya. Other members are found in Katonga, Zambia and Kagera in Tanzania.

He said the Samia community is in talks with the Ugandan government to be given a green light to have their own Kingdom.

Maganda exuded confidence that President Yoweri will approve their request to have autonomy of a Kingdom.

"We have had no King for nearly six decades since Nabongo Omumia of Wanga's reign came to an end," he said.

The MP said there was need to train fishermen from the community and to open up the roads connecting the two border towns.

Amagoro MP Sospeter Ojaamong lauded the Samia community their strong cultural ties and appealed to other cross border communities to follow suit.

Aspirants for governor in Busia County Ojaamong, Kizito Wangalwa and Francis Oyatsi used the occasion to campaign ahead of their ODM nominations on January 10.

Ends

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