KISUMU, Kenya, Aug 15 – Kisumu City has hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta for three occasions since he assumed power in 2013 but his visit to the lakeside city on Friday left many guessing.
President Kenyatta arrived in Kisumu to a heroic welcome and was driven straight to Kisumu State Lodge where he performed a state function during the National Music Festival gala.
Thousands of Kisumu residents lined up along the major streets, cheering and singing as his convoy snaked through State House.
A sizeable crowd followed the convoy up to State Lodge but was locked out due to space constraints.
In the afternoon, a crowd started building up along the streets as residents again came out to bid the head of state goodbye on his way to Kisumu International Airport.
This time, President Uhuru stepped out of his official vehicle as locals demanded an address from him.
“Come out, come out,” rented the air as his convoy reached Oginga Odinga Street.
He obliged, stepped out of the vehicle and started waving to the crowd. The President was overwhelmed with the enthusiasm of the residents who were willing to greet him.
After walking for close to 200 metres, President Uhuru got back to his vehicle and talked to the residents from the roof top of his vehicle.
He promised to extend the National Youth Service work to Manyatta slums.
“I am told about Manyatta and I want to tell you that we will bring that NYS project there so that the youth and women will be recruited into the project,” he said.
Local residents said the walk was very significant.
“I am happy that President Uhuru Kenyatta can walk on foot along Kisumu streets within the Central Business District,” said John Ochieng, a cobbler.
Ochieng said Kisumu is feared politically for no apparent reason noting that Kenya has leaped a head and the local residents will not engage in activities that does not benefit them.
For many years, Kisumu and the Luo community have been in the opposition and always turn wild on the government of the day.
The National Alliance Party Secretary General Onyango Oloo, a native of the city, said times are changing and the people of Nyanza region are seeing the light of the day.
“The people of Luo Nyanza are gearing up for the change that is beckoning, the people have realized that there hopes, dreams and wish that the leadership of ODM gets the leadership of this country seems to be a pipe dream and they are beckoning to get into government ad work with the government,” he said.
Oloo said President Kenyatta went back to the Capital City a happy man with the kind of reception he received.