President Uhuru Kenyatta landed in Mombasa on Wednesday afternoon and went straight to open a new wing of the Kongowea Market.
He was welcomed by Governor Hassan Joho and Nyali MP Hezron Awiti.
It was a significant departure from last year, when the governor stayed away from presidential functions on the island.
President Kenyatta and the governor, accompanied by other politicians, walked together for 500 metres from Kongowea to the Kengeleni Junction as they waved to cheering crowds.
The governor, who was not accompanied by any of his political allies in the county, had waited patiently to welcome the President to open the market’s new wing.
The market was built by the national government at the cost of Sh400 million.
President Kenyatta ordered the market’s refurbishing in August last year.
The two leaders inspected the new wing together before they later addressed hundreds of traders and residents.
They then drove in separate vehicles to the historic Mackinnon Market, which President Kenyatta had ordered refurbished.
At both markets, President Kenyatta said he was excited to be back in Mombasa and urged leaders to shun divisive, quarrelsome politics, hatred and hypocrisy.
He said he had no grudge against anybody, irrespective of their political affiliations.
“We must not engage in politics full of nonsense. What we need to do is to work together as leaders and provide for our people, create jobs for our youth, promote unity and develop our country so that Kenya becomes better for everybody,’’ he said.
“We have to respect each other and focus on development, he said.
“And that is the agenda of my government,” he added.
“I do not want politics of quarrelling, hatred and abuse. What we need is to develop our country, create jobs for our youth and develop our country. This is all that matters, the rest is foolishness,” President Kenyatta added.
For his part, Mr Joho said his government was not in competition with its national counterpart but was playing its role as required.
“We are not and cannot be in competition with the national government because we are all serving the same people. We must continue to talk for the betterment of our country,’’ said the governor.
He also called for cooperation between the two governments.