Photo/OJWANG JOE.KISUMU, Kenya, April 17- All is set for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Kisumu County where he will attend the National Drama Festival and meet local leaders to discuss development issues.
State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu on Monday told a news conference that President Kenyatta’s tour is not political, but will be used to highlight some of the key development projects the Jubilee Government has initiated since taking over power four years ago.
“The President will be here at State Lodge to preside over the 9th Music Festival Gala…as you know the culture and art is an integral part of this administration priority areas and is an integral part of Kenya’s economic asset,” he told journalists.
Preparations were underway at the Kisumu State House lodge on Monday ahead of the Tuesday visit, with thousands of seats being transported to the meeting venue where a large tent was set up.
Esipisu, who is part of the President’s advance team to the lakeside city, said the Head of State will focus on upgrading the Kisumu port and potential value addition in the fisheries sector which is the region’s economic backbone.
The government has already set aside funds through the Environment Ministry to tackle the Water Hyacinth menace affecting Lake Victoria.
“NYS cohorts are involved in the cleaning of the Hyacinth from Lake Victoria and in a fresh bid to get this work done more quickly, registration has been completed for more cohorts; 500 of them in Ugenya, 500 in Bondo and 700 hundred in Rarieda. These young men and women will be involved in a number of projects including the removal of the water hyacinth,” he said.
To empower them economically, he said, the youths joining the National Youths Service will be remitting a section of their wages to Sacco’s.
“Sacco’s are an important element of sustainability of youth empowerment. In Kisumu for instance, the remittances to these Sacco’s stand at Sh90.8 million and the youth can draw from these funds to try and their own businesses,” he stated.
But even as Esipisu insisted that the president’s visit to Kisumu is not political, observers see it as crucial to assuring the Nyanza people of his government’s commitment to inclusiveness since the area is largely seen as an Opposition backyard that heavily supports ODM leader Raila Odinga who is aiming at the final stab for the Presidency in the August elections.