PHOTOS:Uhuru and Ruto woo Coast lawmakers


Coast MPsSixteen Coast MPs on Thursday met President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto at State House as the Jubilee coalition sought to win the hearts of voters in the hitherto opposition region.

The session to woo the MPs to join the Jubilee Party came hours after President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto had hosted 87 MCAs from Kisii and Nyamira counties, signalling an onslaught of regions which predominantly voted for the opposition in the last elections.

Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro, who led the Coast delegation, said the meeting discussed the projects which the Jubilee leadership will launch when they visit the region later this month.

“This is a meeting to engage with the government. Our agenda is to fast-track development for our people. We left that other camp (ODM) because we did not want mere rhetoric and lies to our people, we chose development,” he said.

The meeting, which was attended by Cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries, also discussed the political direction of the region and the need to be part of the next government.

President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto have targeted the region and the impressive votes the Jubilee Alliance Party candidate garnered in the Malindi by-election in March appear to have oiled their hope of reclaiming the region, which is an ODM stronghold.

“From this month, we shall launch massive projects. We are not like our friends in the opposition who only talk, talk, talk and give nothing,” said Mr Mung’aro.

He listed tarmacking of the 100km Malindi-Sala Gate Road, Voi-Taveta Road, Garsen-Witu-Lamu Road, Mariakani-Mavueni and Samburu-Kinango-Kwale as some of the projects to be launched.

Hundreds of title deeds will also be issued during President Kenyatta’s visit, which he will also use to officially open this year’s Mombasa International Agricultural Show.

The Coast region has 33 MPs from six counties, with majority elected on the ODM ticket.

However, Mr Mungaro, Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga), Zainab Chidzuga (Kwale), Gonzi Rai (Kinango), Peter Shehe (Ganze), Masoud Mwahima (Likoni), Mustafa Idd (Kilifi South), Harry Kombe (Magarini) have shifted allegiance to Jubilee Party.

Others who attended the meeting were Shariff Athman (Lamu East), Julius Ndegwa (Lamu West), Ali Wario (Bura), Sane Ibrahim (Garsen), Naomi Shaaban (Taveta), Emma Mbura (Mombasa nominated senator), Kisasa Mshenga (Kilifi) and Senator Abu Chiaba (Lamu).

Earlier, President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto hosted Gusii MCAs, where they emphasised their desire to work with leaders from all parts of the country regardless of political affiliation for the benefit of all Kenyans.

“I am convinced that majority of Kenyans want peace, stability, development and unity. That is why, as leaders, we must walk the path that will unite the country,” he said.

“We would like to work with you for the benefit of the people of Nyamira and Kisii.”

Of the 87 MCAs, 58 were from Kisii while 29 were from Nyamira.

The President marketed the yet to be launched Jubilee Party, saying it was meant to unite all Kenyans.

The President cited roads, hospital and dams as some of the ongoing projects that have been fast-tracked in the two counties, saying Sh400 million has been set aside for Nyamira Level Five Hospital upgrade while Sh380 million will go to Keroka Hospital.

Led by Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi and Nyamira County Assembly Speaker Joash Nyamoko, the MCAs assured the President and his Deputy of their support.

President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto will visit Kisii next Tuesday.

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