President Uhuru Kenyatta (right), with Nairobi governor aspirant Peter Kenneth lead other leaders during the burial of the late Gatuhi Murathe, father to former Gatanga MP David Murathe. [Photo: John Muchacha/Standard]
Uhuru will be in Kisumu on Tuesday to host a gala for this year’s winners of the National Drama Festivals at State House, according to his Spokesman Manoah Esipisu.
Although the tour is not a political visit, the President’s allies say he is likely to take the opportunity to reflect on how to better the lives of residents, including reviving the port, and potential value addition in the fisheries sector.
Shared a podium
“The President is going for the national drama festival. He may have other meetings but definitely will not address roadside rallies,” Esipisu said when asked if Uhuru will address the public.
This is the sixth time President Kenyatta is visiting the lakeside city following his ascend to power in 2013.
Uhuru first toured the county in April 2013; 10 days after he was sworn in as President to attend the burial of the Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General David Okuta Osiany in Nyando.
He shared a podium with the Opposition chief and used the opportunity to urge Kenyans to put aside their political differences.
In April 2015 the President was accorded a warm reception in Kisumu during the second devolution conference.
Two months later, Uhuru and Raila once again shared a podium while attending the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Archdiocese of Kisumu under Rev Zacchaeus Okoth at Uzima University College.
In February last year, the Head of State was in the lakeside city for a fifth time where he presided over the official opening of Western Kenya Union Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Mamboleo.
The President is also likely to review the work of NYS cohorts; 5,000 of whom are deployed there attending to chores like removing the hyacinth. The hyacinth has been a problem in this part of the country for the last 15 years and has been an invasive species, which implies that it grows exponentially.
Consequently, it has been a problem getting rid of the plant and its growth is exacerbated by the effluent going into the lake.
The Ministry of Environment, together with the Lake Victoria Environment Management Programme is working to get rid of the hyacinth. Equipment is currently being purchased that will harvest the hyacinth. Additionally, NYS cohorts are currently working to harvest the hyacinth.
The hyacinth has a number of uses; key among them is the making of packaging material as we move from plastic bags as well as in the generation of electricity.
Last month, Uhuru sent top government and Jubilee officials to Kisumu to fight claims he had abandoned the region as he kicked off his re-election campaign.
The delegation led by Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju included Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and his ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru, Sports PS Robert Okudo, Youth and Public Service PS Lillian Omollo and Youth Enterprise Development Fund board chairman Ronnie Osumba.
“President Kenyatta is perturbed by reports in the media with respect to the irony that the fish business is poor due to imports from China, which is an economic tragedy,” Tuju said while fighting claims that the State has allowed cheap Chinese fish imports to kill the Nyanza fishing business.