Coastal leaders reject political incitement
Taita Taveta county leaders have Thursday said they have no time for empty talk and would rather work with the central government for the development of the region.
For over fifty years, said the leaders, they have been promised a raft of projects which were never implemented.
Led by their governor Engineer John Mruttu and Taita Taveta MP Dr Naomi Shabaan, the leaders said they fully support key infrastructural projects that traverse the six counties that constitute the coastal region including the Standard Gauge Railway and the Lapsset project.
“The construction of the Mwatate-Taveta Road, the Standard Gauge Railway and other infrastructural projects will create wealth and opportunities for our people”, said the governor.
He said the leaders of the six counties have decided to partner with the national government to spur economic growth by contributing to projects which will bring prosperity to the coastal region.
Dr Shabaan said the people of the coastal region can now differentiate between action oriented leaders and those whose pre-occupation is only empty rhetoric.
Urging the locals to support the government, Dr Shabaan said national leaders reciprocate the honour given by their people.
Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime said the inauguration of Taveta-Mwatate road works is a dream come true for the locals.
“Politics are long gone. Now it’s time for development”, said the MP.
“This is a historical moment for us. For many years, we have waited patiently for the tarmacking of this road and now we are witnessing its development with our own eyes” said Taita Taveta women Representative Joyce Lay.
Other leaders drawn from across the country castigated former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for seeking cheap publicity by fomenting trouble through either calls for demonstrations, mass action or the current calls for referendum.
They were speaking during a public rally at Sowene Primary school in Taveta town which was also addressed by President Uhuru Kenyatta who had earlier commissioned several projects including the Taveta-Mwatate road which is being constructed by the China City Construction Company.
The leaders asked President Kenyatta to ignore the political rambling from Cord leaders and concentrate on his government’s development agenda.
President Kenyatta said his government will serve all Kenyans equally irrespective of their political affiliation or whom they had voted for in 2013.
He said the Standard Gauge Railway which starts in a few months will benefit the coastal people in a big way because key components to build the railways will be produced within Taita Taveta besides the jobs local youths.
He said two of the major stations and other 13 closing stations of the SGR will be within the Taita Taveta County.
“My desire and goal is to ensure that with the projects being undertaken, Kenyans will improve their livelihoods.
On other projects in the region, the president said Ksh 50 million has been set aside to upgrade Ikanga airstrip in voi and Ksh 2 billion for the rehabilitation of the Voi –Mwatate road.
Other roads to be rehabilitated in the current financial year include the Voi-Mwatate Road and the Taveta-Loitokitok road.
The president said there is need to build new towns across the country so that Kenyans can stop relying on a few cities like Niarobi and Mombasa while seeking for jobs.
He hailed the county leadership of Taita Taveta for coming up with a masterplan for the county’s development.
“If you follow the masterplan, then this town will be the envy of many in the East African region”.
Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu said she will next month issue 21,000 in Taita Taveta on top of the 23,283 titles released last year.
She said her ministry will issue over 140,000 title deeds as compared to 100,000 issued last year in the coastal region.
She castigated her predecessor, James Orengo for doing little during his five years tenure at the ministry.