Nasa plan string of rallies to lay out agenda

The opposition National Super Alliance will on Saturday unveil a basketful of goodies for the populous western region when it holds its first official campaign rally in Kakamega town.

The Nasa team, led by its presidential candidate Raila Odinga, is expected to unveil the Western Region Investment Conference, an investment plan outlining several programmes geared towards empowering the four western counties of Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga and Busia as well as Trans Nzoia economically.

Saturday’s rally to be held at the Bukhungu Stadium will kick off the first phase of the opposition alliance’s official campaigns to wrestle power from the Jubilee coalition.

It will be followed by rallies in Kapsabet on Sunday and Machakos on Monday.

The Nasa brigade will take a break on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Coast region on Thursday.

On that day, the Nasa brigade will split into two groups, one covering Lamu and Tana River counties and the other covering Mombasa and Kilifi.

On Friday, the Nasa team will be in Taita Taveta before winding up the first phase of its campaigns in Makueni County next Saturday.

At each of the rallies, the team will unveil economic blueprints developed specifically to address the economic needs of the regions in question and will be implemented if the opposition alliance forms the next government.

The blueprints, including a marshal plan for counties in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (Asal) regions, are contained in Nasa’s manifesto, which is scheduled to be launched on June 19 at a venue yet to be agreed on.

A detailed investment plan targeting the western bloc promises the establishment of a full-fledged commercial bank, promotion of the development of a private university, opening up of tourism sites and the development of hydro and wind power plants.

“Western is 95 per cent Nasa. It is only fair that we launch our national campaign there. We know that without Western, there is no Nasa and we want to tell them as much,” Suna East MP Junet Mohamed told the Nation.

Mr Mohamed, a member of the Nasa campaign team chaired by Premier Cabinet Secretary-designate Musalia Mudavadi warned the Jubilee Party not to expect any votes from the region, blaming it for the high poverty levels in the region.

“It will be foolhardy for Jubilee to bank on Western for any votes. There won’t be any. And if they are expecting any, they are daydreaming,” Mr Mohamed, a close ally of Mr Odinga, said.

The investment plan, according to the Nasa campaign team’s chief of liaison Kibisu Kabatesi was developed in 2011 by the Kenya Investment Authority in conjunction with politicians and professionals from the region with a view to addressing the economic needs of the five counties.

“It was never implemented because the then Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was not for it. If it had been implemented, we would not be experiencing the current problems affecting the region like the collapse of the Mumias Sugar factory,” Mr Kabatesi said.

“On Saturday, we will revive it and implement it once Nasa takes over power,” he added.

The five western Kenya counties, as well as Nyanza, Coast and Lower Eastern are viewed as extremely critical to the Nasa “10 million strong push”.

Strategists in the Nasa fold are working towards completely locking the rival Jubilee Party out of the regions, which collectively boasts of close to eight million votes.

But it is the western region that the opposition alliance appears to be more interested in netting first, despite spirited efforts by the Jubilee Party.

It is also running a well-oiled campaign team led by Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka and Mumias East MP Ben Washiali whose efforts are also being complemented by Ababu Namwamba’s Labour Party of Kenya, which is supporting Uhuru’s re-election.

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