By Calvin Osiemo
Kisumu residents on Tuesday this week gave President Uhuru Kenyatta a warm welcome in a region considered to be CORD’s turf zone. This was the first official tour President Kenyatta has made to the lakeside city as Head of State since his election in 2013. The President was in Kisumu to launch the National Youth Programme similar to the upgrade that was done in Kibera and Mathare slums in Nairobi. Thousands of residents gathered at Nyalenda slums which will be a beneficiary of the program supported by the Devolution ministry.
While addressing residents at Oboch market, President Kenyatta assured them that he is willing to work with anybody as long as it is for the purpose of national development and will not reject anybody who is like minded.
“We said that as we are here, we must come to see you; because we believe Kenya is one. It is the right of Kenyans to elect us and therefor it is our work to serve them in the same breath that they have elevated us. Kenyans did not elect us to exchange words” Mr. Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta said for poverty to end in Kenya, the only solution is to take services to the people in the grassroots and the national government is committed to that by working closely with the county governments.
“We cannot do that if we don’t come to you at your door steps. The only way to end poverty and bring development is not to take you away from here but to bring the things closer to you. That is the reason we brought NYS here as an indication of our unity with the national government. We hope that the County of Kisumu will add some resources for growth and expansion of these projects,” he said.
President Kenyatta went ahead to say all the government is doing is not for political reasons because every Kenyan deserves to live a better life and benefit from the government. The youths will benefit from the program as it will involve 4000 youths from the city to help in constructing 23 police posts, 23 public toilets, 23 health centres, clean sewerage systems, and tarmacs access roads. The President was accompanied Devolution CS Ann Waiguru, Governor Jack Ranguma, Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura and members of the county assembly.
Addressing the gathering, Obura urged the residents to cooperate with NYS to achieve the dream behind the mission.
“The Sacco’s that we will form here are the only way to go for ending the poverty that we have been slaves of for a long time,” said Mr. Obura
Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma welcomed the initiative as it will benefit the residents.
“We have our partners who are keen on making the slums habitable. The initiative will be a great blessing to us as residents and since you have a bigger pocket, we extend our gratitude to this gesture,” Mr. Ranguma said.