Raila defends mega projects established in Kisumu after the handshake
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 3-day tour of Nyanza counties was characterized by a flurry of mega projects launch
The multi-billion shillings projects seen as Kenyatta’s bag of goodies for his handshake partner, and a stamp of appreciation for standing with him after the acrimonious Jubilee administration fallout pitting the president against his deputy William Ruto.
Rehabilitation of the Kisumu port, revamping the Nakuru-Kisumu meter gauge railway line, roads construction and water projects sparking murmurs among a section of Western Kenya leaders, who accused Odinga of channeling the handshake goodies to his political bedrock.
In a statement, Odinga defended the multi-billion shillings projects, terming them a national investment, and not a Kisumu County or Nyanza region affair.
According to the Orange party chief, the revamped meter gauge railway for example, would snake into Butere, Kakamega county while another line would run from Nakuru to Uasin Gishu, to supplement another one that would cut across Bungoma and Busia counties.
Rehabilitation of the Kisumu port by Kenya Defence forces was a major talking point during Kenyatta’s Nyanza tour.
In a bid to assuage his Western Kenya supporters, Odinga dismissed claims of hoarding the handshake goodies, pointing that the port would boost the larger region’s economy, with the benefits extending to the East African, great lakes and Horn of Africa through River Nile.
In a direct jab aimed at Western Kenya leaders critical of the projects’ distribution, Odinga cited the bag of goodies, among them partnership to construct Bukhungu stadium and a referral hospital, that Kenyatta handed Kakamega county last year, when it hosted Mashujaa day festivities in 2018.
The odm leader took exception to the portrayal of Madaraka day events in Kisumu and the projects launched as a favour, terming the view retrogressive, divisive and dishonest.
With president Kenyatta accused by some critics of skewed distribution of the national cake , Odinga cautioned against setting up communities against one another, on account of where projects had been established.