Deputy President William Ruto on Monday drummed up support for Jubilee Party in Bungoma County where he dismissed Nasa forays into the region.
The DP, who unveiled the new Tongaren sub-county at Ndalu, told off the Opposition over claims that the Jubilee government had done nothing for the western region.
“They were here with a lot of empty rhetoric but failed to spell out what they have done for you.
Unlike our opponents, Jubilee government has a clear development agenda for this region,” said the DP.
He renewed his criticism of Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga over his plans to legalise chang’aa if the opposition clinches power.
“Ile Canaan anafikiria ni ya chang’aa na busaa, (the Canaan he is thinking about is where busaa and chang’aa is legalised) is that the Canaan we want when our youths’ lives have been destroyed by illicit brews?” asked the DP.
Mr Ruto said the Jubilee administration has done a lot for western region, noting that the road network amounting to 200 kilometres has been opened up in the past four years. He cited the Turbo-Ndalu-Kimilili Road.
Mr Ruto said that Sh300 million has been set aside to pay farmers of the troubled Nzoia Sugar Company.
The new Tongaren sub-county was hived off Bungoma North sub-county.
MOVE COUNTRY FORWARD
The DP announced that the new sub-county commissioner, Mr Martin Riung’u, will report to his work station on Tuesday.
“We are ready to work with Western so that we can move this country forward. Gone is the era of zoning regions. Who said western is an opposition zone?” asked the DP.
He said that the Jubilee government has connected 65,000 households with electricity in Bungoma, up from 25,000 in 2013.
The DP also told off Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi over his remarks that the Jubilee government was connecting electricity in grass thatched houses. “It is not a must that the houses should be skyscrapers. Even the one living in a grass thatched house is a Kenyan,” he said.
Mr Ruto took the opportunity to drum up support for all Jubilee Party aspirants in the county, among them area Governor Ken Lusaka, urging locals to vote for them in August.
He urged aspirants not to engage in ‘sibling rivalry’ to increase chances of the party winning more seats in the region.
“Those who will lose in the elections will be accommodated in Jubilee government,” said the DP.
Mr Ruto was accompanied by Mr Lusaka and MPs: Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), Reginalda Wanyonyi (Bungoma County woman rep), John Waluke (Sirisia) and Boniface Otsiula (Bumula) among others.
Mr Waluke said western Kenya has been in opposition for many years, adding that the region will only prosper if it works with the government.
Mr Lusaka called on the government to address the plight of squatters in the region.
TOP GOVERNMENT POSITIONS
Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa dismissed claims by the opposition that top government positions are held by two communities, saying that more than 10 ambassadors from western Kenya have been appointed by the government, among other top positions.
The DP later flew to Kapsokwony, where he announced the creation of the new Kopsiro sub-county.
He pledged Sh5 million in the next two weeks for building dormitories at Kapsokwony Primary.
Mr Ruto also announced that Integrated IDPs in the area will be compensated in the next two weeks.
And speaking at Malaha market in Mumias East, the DP asked the new Mumias Sugar Company chief executive Nashon Aseka to act firmly against managers engaging in suspected corrupt deals.
Mr Ruto said former managers at the sugar factory had frustrated efforts by the government to turn around the fortunes of the cash-strapped miller after the release of Sh3.4 billion bailout.
President Kenyatta, while touring Kakamega County last month said the government would release an additional Sh500 million to pay cane farmers after the appointment of Mr Aseka as the new chief executive.
“This time round, we want you to take action against the cartels involved in frustrating efforts being made by the government to revive the company,” said the DP.
Mr Ruto said communities in western would have a bigger stake in the next Jubilee government if they supported President Kenyatta’s re-election.
“In 2013, the Luhya community supported the Opposition but Jubilee appointed Water CS Eugene Wamalwa and his Environment counterpart Judi Wakhungu to serve in senior positions in government,” said Mr Ruto.
Reports by Wycliff Kipsang, Titus Oteba and Benson Amadala