, KONZA, Kenya, Dec 15 – Deputy President William Ruto has asked the leadership of Makueni and Machakos to stop the turf war over the Konza Techno City project saying it had the potential of scaring away investors.
Noting that 345 investors were queuing to invest in the project, Ruto said the disagreements by local leadership in the two Ukambani counties over its location was a major disincentive to the investors and must come an end.
“We expect Sh100 billion investment from the investors for this project, and they cannot make that kind of investment if you leaders are disagreeing over something mundane as in which county this project is based,” Ruto said Monday when he commissioned access roads and basic infrastructure at the Konza Techno City site.
Emphasizing that the Konza Techno City project was a national project, Ruto urged the leadership of Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado counties to work together to ensure its success saying the boundaries between the counties were for administrative purposes only and not meant to divide them.
At the same time, Ruto allayed fears that the government was not committed to the success and completion of the project, saying such fears were misplaced as the government is totally committed to its completion.
Noting that it was a key plank in the government’s plans to turnaround the economy, the DP stated that it was a perfect home for innovators and would create jobs for thousands of Kenyans apart from stimulating other business activities in the area.
He said:” If there is any doubt about our commitment to this project, let me allay those fears, our commitment is solid.” And added, “none other than the President and myself have a finger on what is happening here as this is a signature project that will be a game changer for Kenya.”
In this regard, Ruto said the government had increased budgetary allocation to the Konza Techno City from Sh500 million to Sh900 million this year adding “we have further instructed the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication, Technology to consult with his counterpart in the national treasury to work out how they can bridge any gaps in the budget for this project.”
The DP expressed confidence that at the end of phase one of the project in 2018, it will be able to inject some Sh3 billion in the Kenyan economy accounting for 2pc of the GDP.
“Those doubting that Silicon Valley project will not work have no idea what technology can do, it will create thousands of jobs for our youth and reinvigorate the economy of this area,” he added.
Once again Ruto said the government will work with all Kenyans irrespective of their political party affiliations noting as per the jubilee manifesto they would deliver development to all corners of the country as promised.
He said: “Let us put politics aside when it comes to matters of development, Kenya is ours and we have a responsibility as leaders to bring all Kenyans together for the sake of development.”
The DP acknowledged that terrorism and insecurity were posing challenges to the government’s development plans but assured that appropriate action was being taken to address general insecurity in the country adding investors had nothing to fear.
Speaking at the function the Cabinet Secretary for Information Communication and Technology Fred Matiang’i said work on the bill to operationalize Konza Techno City has been completed and was waiting to be taken Parliament.
Reiterating that 300 investors were interested in the Konza project Matiang’i said his ministry was almost signing leases with the investors to begin work at the site.
Local leaders who included Governor Kivutha Kibwana, Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Housing Charity Ngilu expressed their support for the project saying they could not be party to activities that were deemed to be frustrating its completion.
They noted that Konza Techno city project was a national project adding the country’s resources were the property of all Kenyans and must be used by all without discrimination.
The MP for Machakos Victor Munyaka and his counterpart for Mwingi Joe Mutambo pledged to support the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill saying matters security were so grave that they were not negotiable.