Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has called on the political leadership of the larger Western Kenya region to unite in order to achieve faster development.
Mudavadi made it clear that no meaningful development will be realized if leaders drawn from the counties of Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia don’t unite and work towards achieving a common goal.
He lamented that the region has lagged behind as a result of unending differences among leaders.
“Poverty in Western Kenya region is now at an alarming stage. The Kenya National Bureau Statistics tell a sad story. Recently, I realized that poverty in Western Kenya is now visible from the skies as compared to our neighbors. This is a serious issue that requires collective attention and interventions,” said Mudavadi who spoke in Busia during an elders consultative meeting held Friday at the home of Mzee Philip Masinde who once served as a Cabinet minister during the late retired President Daniel Arap Moi’s tenure.
The meeting was attended by over 500 stakeholders and elders drawn from the region under the umbrella of the Western Kenya Region Council of Elders.
Mudavadi appealed to communities from Western Kenya to take stock of where they want the region to be in the near future on matters related to economic growth and sustainability.
“Politics and resource allocation go hand in hand. This calls for a mechanism on how to use political influence to manage resources and advance development projects for any region. We need to ask ourselves as a people, what is our vote in parliament during the budget making process. If our votes are scattered, how do we expect to reap maximum results when the national resources are being shared? It is time we join hands and rally together as a region.” added Mudavadi who called for unity of purpose among area leaders.
Busia Governor Dr. Paul Otuoma echoed Mudavadi’s sentiments and decried the much time taken by leaders to put aside election differences for the sake of development.
According to him, poverty index in Busia County stands at 0.04%.
“We need to streamline our programmes that are development oriented. We have to begin coming up with programmes that will rally this region together bringing on board all the communities to speak in one voice. I am ready to work with the government through the stewardship of our elder brother the Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi to come up with ways that will ensure economic revival of the Western Kenya region.” Dr. Otuoma said.
During the meeting, it was resolved that the bottom-up model be adopted in tackling challenges facing the region economically, with the elders suggesting that opinions, proposals, ideas and findings from the basic level of representation at the grassroot be integrated systematically to the county and national level when key policies and resolutions are being made for the development agenda of the region.
“We need to speak in one voice for us to see to it that Mumias Sugar Company and the ailing Nzoia Sugar Company are back to full operation. Our cotton factories should be revived as well as our agricultural sector. All these will only be achieved if we purpose to work with the administration that is in power, through the support we give to our senior leaders in government led by Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula,” said Mzee Masinde.
Mudavadi at the same time noted that time warned those hellbent on engaging in unnecessary politics that time for politicking is over.
“It is time for Kenyans who are still living in the past memories of the 2022 elections to wake up to the reality, it is time we move on and rally together as a region and as a nation. Let us learn to accept the reality in two ways; We defeated you, let us come together and move forward and you defeated us, we are ready to join hands and work together.”
The meeting that was attended by several leaders from the region saw Mudavadi crowned a member of the Executive Council of the Western Kenya Region Elders Council.
Additional reporting by Humphrey Odhiambo.