Kenyatta, Ruto on two-day Western tour, bearing gifts

President Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy William Ruto arrive in western Kenya today for a two-day tour of the region.

During the tour, President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are expected to launch several infrastructural projects in a bid to woo voters to Jubilee Party in next year’s General Election.

“Everything is finalised, we are going there,” Mr David Mugonyi, Mr Ruto’s communications director, told the Nation on phone yesterday.

Jubilee’s de facto leader in the region, Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka (above), separately confirmed that President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto will be in the region to launch development projects today and tomorrow.

“The trip is definitely on,” said Mr Lusaka. “The region is ready to welcome the President and his deputy.”

According to Jubilee legislators in the region, President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto will tour all the three Luhya counties of Bungoma, Kakamega and Busia.

Mumias East Member of Parliament Benjamin Washiali said the two leaders will start their tour in Mt Elgon Constituency, Bungoma.

They will launch several water and road projects before heading to Webuye to switch on the revived Pan Paper factory.

They will then head to Kakamega to commission medical equipment at the Kakamega Level 5 Hospital and Navakholo Sub-County in the afternoon to launch Sifwe Road.

“We call upon residents to come out in large numbers and witness the projects being launched,” said Mr Washiali at a Kakamega hotel.

Mr Washiali was accompanied by MPs Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), David Were (Matungu) and Malulu Injendi (Malava), among others.

Tomorrow, President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto will launch the tarmacking of Navakholo-Shianda Road then head to Mumias to launch Mumias Water Supply project, according to Mr Shinali. In the afternoon, they will travel to Busia to commission medical equipment at Busia County Referral Hospital and launch the tarmacking of the Busia-Malaba Road.

“We thank the President in advance for opening the projects in the region, which will go a long way in improving the lives of locals,” said Mr Shinali.

He added that the Jubilee administration will pump Sh500 million into the Kakamega Airstrip to ease transportation.

This will be the President’s fourth tour in the region since his election in 2013.

He visited last month when he presided over the Kibabii University graduation ceremony in Bungoma.

It comes amid growing excitement in the region following unity talks between Cord co-principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula and Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi.

Closing ranks

The four heavyweight opposition leaders are on the verge of closing ranks under the National Super Alliance.

The region’s 2013 votes were split between Mr Odinga, the Cord presidential candidate with Mr Musyoka as his running mate, and distant third-placed United Democratic Forum flagbearer Mudavadi.

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