Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Kisii Leaders in Rare Unity Ahead of Uhuru Visit

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled to visit Kisii region on Monday, during which he is expected to inaugurate various developmental projects after talks with leaders who are understood to have set aside their differences to focus on the region's economic development.

Sources familiar with the visit have told Capital FM News that the Head of State is expected to announce the elevation of Kisii Level Five to the next level, making it the country's third referral hospital.

He will also inaugurate various road projects in Nyamira and Kisii counties, after holding a meeting with both elected and non-elected leaders.

Governors from the two counties James Ongwae (Kisii) and John Nyagarama (Nyamira) have been holding meetings with other elected leaders and professionals, including Information Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'I, who is instrumental in planning the visit, to discuss key developmental projects in the region.

Senators Chris Obure (Kisii) and Mong'are Okong'o (Nyamira) have also played a key role in the president's trip planning, as well as bringing together warring MPs from the two regions, some of who have been hostile to the Jubilee government.

Some of those who spoke to Capital FM News said the leaders have resolved that the president's visit to the region for the 80 years' celebrations for Kisii High School will be largely on economic development rather than politics.

"We are tired with politics, this time we want to engage the Head of State more on how to improve the region's infrastructure and other development projects," one leader involved with the preparations said, "it is not time for politics that is why leaders have agreed to come together regardless of their party alignment."

The leaders have already lined up an elaborate agenda for their talks with the president, which will mainly be about ways of improving the region economically.

"It will be a meeting where all the leaders will have a chance to tell the president matters to do with development, it is not about politics," one of the Kisii MPs said.

When reached for comment, the Information CS who is said to enjoy close working relations with the Head of State said there was nothing peculiar with his engagement with elected leaders for economic development purposes.

"The President works with the entire cabinet to spur development across the country, this Kisii trip is not exceptional," Matiang'i said.

The president's itinerary available at the county level shows the President will hold a meeting with leaders in Borabu on arrival before heading to Kisii town after addressing a series of roadside rallies on his way.

He will also hold another meeting with leaders in Kisii after the celebrations before addressing a series of other roadside rallies on his way to Suneka from where he will fly back to Nairobi.

Organisers of the meeting have confirmed that both Kisii and Nyamira leaders are united in ensuring they drive one agenda of economic empowerment and development for the two regions.

"There is no political infighting at all, leaders are united because it is for the benefit of the entire region," one MP said.

Political Communications Consultant Dismas Mokua said the unity leaders will display prior and during the president's visit is likely to determine the future of development in the region.

"Kisii are known to be capitalists, with a high appetite for economic development and the president's visit is a key plank for their success," Mokua who is also the deputy president of Sadiki East Africa said. "Dr Matiang'i has created the opportunity for their engagement."

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