President Uhuru Kenyatta Monday said the Jubilee Administration has delivered more development in the Coast region than any other previous regime, citing the expansion of the port of Mombasa that is aimed at making it a net exporter of goods manufactured in the country as an example.
The President said contrary to allegations made by the opposition, the Jubilee Government intends to create jobs for all Kenyans by opening up industrial parks across the country where goods are manufactured and transported to the port for export.
“So we want Mombasa to become a central point where all goods manufactured across our country arrive and are exported to the destinations in the rest of the world as opposed to Mombasa being purely a port where we just receive goods for our people to consume,” said President Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta was speaking at State House, Mombasa, during an interview with journalists.
He said allegations by the opposition that the Naivasha dry port will minimize operations at the Mombasa port are misplaced, saying they are afraid that their dubious businesses at the port will close down.
The President said his Administration also plans to put up industrial parks at Dongo Kundu, Voi, Konza, Naivasha and Kisumu where goods for export will be manufactured and transported through the Standard Gauge Railway to the Mombasa port for shipping across the globe.
“The difference between us in Jubilee and our friends, whom you know their businesses here, is that we want to build an industrial base in Kenya where we export what we produce as opposed to consuming what others produce,” said the President.
The President said the Government is extending the Standard Gauge Railway to Naivasha where an industrial park will be built to utilize the geothermal power to manufacture goods for export.
He said the same will be done in Kisumu where another industrial park will be setup to be used to produce goods for export and also be an distribution point for oil products to neighbouring countries.
“What we are doing will in fact increase job opportunities to the port of Mombasa, as there will be a lot of goods for export coming from our industrial parks to be exported to other countries,” said the President.
The President said the Government has also initiated many development projects in the Coastal region aimed at creating jobs and business opportunities for residents.
He singled out the ongoing construction of the Dongo Kundu bypass, where the Government intends to put up an industrial park, Shimoni Port where fishermen will be able to process their fish products for export and the Lamu port construction which will be opened next March.
“We are constructing another port in Shimon and we will be sending customs and immigration officials to help our people conduct legal business. In March 2018, the first ship will dock at the Lamu port, all these projects are aimed at improving the livelihoods of our people,” said the President.
President Kenyatta emphasised that he wants to work with all leaders to improve the lives of Kenyans instead of politicking which adds no value to citizens.
He said the Jubilee Administration has implemented many development projects in the Coastal region than at any time in the country’s history but more could be achieved if local leaders were supportive of the initiatives aimed at improving the lives of residents.
For instance, the President pointed out that his Administration is the first to come up with an answer to the land question and has issued more title deeds to residents than ever before.
“We have settled landless people in the Coast by issuing them with title deeds in Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Taita Taveta and even today we will be heading to Manda in Lamu to issue the residents with title deeds,” said the President.
He said the previous governments were unable to sort out the issue of Waitiki farm but the Jubilee Government took deliberate steps and solved the problem.
President Kenyatta also singled out the construction and the improvement of the road network in the region, saying currently the Government is constructing a 45 Km Bachuma Gate-Maji ya Chumvi road among others.
Other infrastructural projects include, the 35 km Kaloleni-Mavueni road at a cost of Kshs 2.3 billion, the 45km Mariakani-Bamba road being tarmacked at a cost of Kshs 2.1 billion and the 117 km Malindi-Sala Gate road also being tarmacked at a cost of Kshs 4.1 billion.
The President also said the Government has boosted Mombasa port container handling capacity by increasing the number of berths.
He said expansion of the port project includes the Kshs 2.7 billion Port Reitz/Moi International access road, a crucial link that will provide the necessary connection to the newly constructed second container terminal.
“Here in coast we have more than doubled residential power connections compared to before 2013. We have also put up street lighting in Mombasa old town, Mtwapa, Kilifi and Malindi town,” said the President.
The President said those saying Jubilee has done nothing are just spreading propaganda as they have nothing to show for the time they have been in office.
“Our Constitution is clear, we have two levels of Government – the national and the county governments. However, one cannot expect the national Government to do everything when those in charge of the counties do nothing,” said the President.
He said businesses and tourism cannot flourish in Mombasa and other Coastal towns if those tasked with the management of county units continue with negative politics.
“You cannot say you will improve business and tourism environment when the city is not clean, no improvement of residential areas and one cannot even set aside land for putting up industries,” said the President.
The President pointed out that unlike in Mombasa and Kilifi where their governors keep on politicking at the expense of development, there is accelerated progress in Kwale County where Governor Salim Mvurya has decided to work with the national Government to improve the livelihoods of residents.
“We have worked together with Governor Mvurya and as you can see there is a lot of infrastructural and social projects going on. We have for the first time been able to install modern medical equipment and ICU through Managed Equipment Services (MES) in Mswabweni level 5 hospital apart from road construction projects,” said President Kenyatta.