NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 9 – President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday held talks focusing on development and the ‘building bridges’ initiative with leaders from five counties in Western Kenya as well as leaders from the Wiper Party.
The separate talks were attended by two principals of the National Super Alliance (NASA), Kalonzo Musyoka who is the leader of Wiper Party and Moses Wetangula who heads Ford Kenya.
President Kenyatta first held lengthy discussions with leaders from Western Kenya where talks focused on the road map for the realization of the Big 4 Agenda, the fight against corruption and the building bridges initiative.
The Western Kenya leaders who attended the meeting included current Governors, Senators and MPs.
Also in attendance were former Vice President Moody Awori, former Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende , former Minister Cyrus Jirongo and two current MPs from Nairobi, Tim Wanyonyi (Westlands) and George Aladwa (Makadara).
NASA co-principal and Amani National Congress party Musalia Mudavadi sent his apologies through Wetangula who is also the Senator for Bungoma.
The leaders said they would support the government in achieving its development goals and in the ongoing fight against corruption and economic crimes.
The revival of sugar companies in Western Kenya was top of the agenda with President Kenyatta giving a one month deadline to a team working on a revival plan for Mumias and Nzoia sugar mills to complete their assignment and present the way forward.
“I am certain that within one month, we shall have the way forward on how to revamp the sector and where to invest more money,” said President Kenyatta.
He said the government cannot continue pumping more money to these companies because the money goes to endless pits.
“We need a revival plan that works. We also need regulation that work. We cannot continue pumping money to the companies that goes to endless pits,” said the President.
President Kenyatta said the report on the revival of the sugar sector will provide a clear position on how to move the sector forward and how to assist sugarcane farmers.
“It is our own mismanagement that has resulted in this,” said the President adding the only intervention the government will address itself to urgently is the payment of farmers.
Former VP Awori said corruption was the main reason for the collapse of the sector in the Western sugar belt.
Wetangula called for a firm government policy that checks on imported maize and sugar to ensure cheap imports do not destabilize local production.
Later in the day, President Kenyatta hosted talks attended by all Wiper Party leaders led by Musyoka.
Wiper Party leaders who spoke at the meeting said they fully support the President’s ‘Building Bridges Initiative’ which seeks to unite all Kenyans.
Musyoka said the party leadership had passed a resolution to work with the Government.
The Opposition leader said Wiper is the third largest party in the country and has resolved to work closely with the President in the achievement of the Big 4 Agenda.
He said the party is also fully behind the President’s fight against corruption.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr said Kenyans fully appreciate the government’s development agenda as illustrated through the Big 4 Agenda including efforts being made towards the realization of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
In his remarks, President Kenyatta said his building bridges initiative is helping detoxify the politics of Kenya.
“Our politics has been toxic and poisonous for far too long. We want to have competitive politics but we want to detoxify the politics,” said the President.
President Kenyatta said unity is required to achieve the country’s socio-economic goals and thanked Wiper Party leaders for joining hands with him to drive forward Kenya’s development agenda.
The President said the Jubilee Government supports the idea of inclusivity of all Kenyans because unity is the best platform for a stronger nation.