Kenya PM leads ministers in rare people meet

July 13, 2009 12:00 am

, KISII, Kenya, Jul 13 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday led a section of the Cabinet to Kisii to expound on what their ministries are doing in delivering service to the local people.

In a rare engagement, the government officials answered questions publicly giving an account of development projects their individual ministries were undertaking in the larger Kisii district.

Once again, the Prime Minister stated that there was synergy in the coalition government and dismissed the notion that coalition partners are working at cross purposes.

Speaking at a leaders’ meeting at St Vincent Catholic Centre, the Prime Minister said the coalition government was now more accountable to the people who are the tax payers and would encourage more such interactions so that the public are informed about how their taxes are used.

Said the PM: "We have indeed changed the way ministries are run and now ministers must account for their work to the people publicly."
The Prime Minister pointed out that with focused leadership, Kenya had the potential to be a newly industrialised country as envisaged in Vision 2030.

"We should not compare ourselves with failed countries in this region since we have the potential to be among the best in the world," he emphasised.

The Prime Minister said it was unfortunate that Kenya’s economy had retrogressed rapidly since independence when it was at par with countries like South Korea whose  economy he said,  is now forty times Kenya’s.

Mr Odinga pointed out that the recent Budget where funds were devolved to the grassroots was meant to empower communities economically and called on those entrusted with disbursement of the funds to ensure that they were well utilised for the benefit of the people.

"We want contracts for all government projects to be given to the local people so that money can circulate among the people," he said.
The Prime Minister also talked of reforms reiterating that the reform agenda was on course in the electoral process, the judiciary, the police and the constitution.

He singled out reforms in the police saying the committee appointed to look into police reforms would hand over its report next month.  "Those who will be found wanting in the report will be sent home."

Speaking at the event, Roads Minister Franklin Bett announced that Sh180 million had been allocated for construction of roads in 13 districts in the Gusii region this financial year. "This has raised the money allocated to every constituency from Sh17 million last financial year to Sh18 million this year," the minister added.

Mr Bett further said construction work on the Daraja Moja Bridge on the main road to Kisii town will commence soon to make it less dangerous to motorists and pedestrians.

Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey said pineapple and banana factories would be built in Kisii town to enable farmers to add value to their products for export. "We are also looking into the possibility of putting up a soapstone factory in this area," he said.

The Minister for Water and Irrigation Charity Ngilu disclosed that Sh170 million had been set aside to improve the water project in Kisii Town. "This will entail the construction and expansion of Bunyunyu dam on river Gucha to increase water supply to this town," she said.

She asked the public to uproot blue gum trees planted along the river beds saying the tress took in a lot of water drying up the rivers.
Medical services Minister Anyang Nyong’o said the Kisii district hospital will be upgraded to a referral hospital while sub district hospitals to district hospitals.

Mr Nyong’o who is also the secretary general of ODM said the party had not chosen any candidate for the forthcoming by-election in Bomachoge constituency and that the party candidate will be elected democratically by members next week.

Mr Chris Obure of Public works said his Ministry will build new offices in all the 13 districts in Kisii beginning this financial year.

Fisheries Minister Paul Otuoma said the government had set aside Sh1 billion for fish farming in the country.  He said the 10 constituencies in Kisii will get Sh8 million each for fish farming.

The Minister for Regional Development Fred Gumo asked the youth to take their rightful place in the society saying they should not expect to be given responsibilities on a silver platter.


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