Nasa pledges to turn around fortunes of western region

The National Super Alliance on Saturday unveiled its blueprint to turn around the fortunes of western Kenya as it sought to consolidate their support ahead of the August 8 elections.

Dubbed the Western Region Investment plan, the blueprint is similar to another one launched seven years ago by the grand coalition government.

Unveiled by Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi during the launch of Nasa presidential campaign in Kakamega town, revamping the region’s agricultural sector, according to the plan, will be given precedence.

Their focus is the ailing Mumias Sugar Company that has been closed for three months for maintenance. The alliance also has major plans to revive the struggling Nzoia Sugar Company. 

Apart from reviving struggling factories, other agricultural based ones will be established to spur the region’s economy.

“We have an agenda and we will implement it. We are not just politicking,” said Mr Mudavadi.

He added: “This blueprint was compiled by our own people and launched by Raila Odinga when he served as Prime Minister but Jubilee had placed it under the carpet. We aim at turning around the economy of the western region.”

Nasa, he said, will also set up a dry port in western Kenya and create market linkages between the region and the rest of the country.

‘FACILITATE ACCESS’

Said Mr Mudavadi: “We will facilitate access to credit and financial services and cancel the financial burdens on the community by Agricultural Finance Corporation loans and others.”

This may come as good news to most farmers who are struggling to pay huge loans against unpromising returns. The most affected are farmers in the sugarcane industry as well as tea, maize and livestock farming. The farmers relied on AFC loans to improve on the dwindling sectors.

Mr Mudavadi said the plan that could serve as the hope for the Luhya community was conceived in 2009 by professionals from the region.

The master plan is also recognised by the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) that falls under the Ministry of Planning.

The Nasa leadership accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of failing to implement the plan when he served as the Finance Minister by denying KenInvest the budgetary allocation.

While affirming that his government would implement the blueprint, Mr Odinga said: “We have come up with our economic blueprint for western. We will implement it. Jubilee gave people many promises in 2013 but they have not fulfilled them. They are now coming up with new promises.”

This is the second plan Nasa launched. This follows another one last week for pastoralists that will be implemented in 29 counties.

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