, MERU, Kenya, Apr 23 – President Mwai Kibaki’s two-day tour of Meru, which would have kicked off on Friday has been cancelled after area MPs differed over the projects he would have launched during the visit.
Seven legislators from the region, who met at Ambassador Francis Muthaura’s office on Thursday, were informed that the projects to be launched would not be taking off soon.
Four MPs who spoke to the Capital FM confirmed that the meeting resolved to suspend the President’s visit after it emerged that the projects, mainly roads, had not be allocated any money and could not take-off.
The legislators said that they had been informed by the Roads Permanent Secretary (PS), who was present at the meeting that was chaired by Meru parliamentary group chairman and Imenti North MP Silas Muriuki, that the projects which were to be launched by the Head of State had not been allocated any money.
Mr Muriuki said that they had shelved the meeting after legislators complained that the projects in Tharaka-Nithi and South Imenti were not ready.
An MP from the Imenti region said the Roads PS had revealed that all roads in key markets along the Chuka-Meru-Maua highway which were promised financing by the President during his 2007 visit, had not been allocated any money.
“We were concerned that the President’s tour could be purely cosmetic and thus agreed to cancel it”, said a PNU MP.
The meeting was attended by Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi, assistant ministers Kilemi Mwiria, Kareke Mbiuki and Peter Munya.
Also in attendance were Igembe North MP Mithika Linturi, Tharaka legislator Mr Mburi Muiru (Tharaka) and Agriculture PS Romano Kiome.
An MP from Meru North said that the contract for a multi-billion road to be funded by the German government to be built along the Meru South-Imenti tea belt had not yet been tendered.
Last weekend, when he hosted Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka in his constituency, Mr Murungi had hinted that the President would launch the construction of key Meru roads.
The various councils had already mobilised workers to cut bushes along the Meru roads in anticipation for the trip.
This was to be President Kibaki’s first visit since he was re-elected in 2007.[cresta-social-share]