IS ‘RAILA FACTOR’ REASON BEHIND UHURU’S SHELVED TOUR OF NYANZA?
After the meeting between the Office of the President (OP) and the Kisumu County delegation to plan for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tour of Nyanza region at Harambee House on Monday, varied reasons have emerged for the postponement of the trip.
Kisumu MPs, it is understood, asked for more time to make ‘necessary’ arrangements.
Those who attended Monday’s meeting were Kisumu governor Jack Ranguma, MPs Ken Obura (Kisumu Central), Olago Aluoch (Kisumu West), James Nyikal (Seme), and Onyango Oyoo (Muhoroni).
Others were Fred Outa (Nyando), Aduma Owuor (Nyakach) and Kisumu County Woman Rep Rose Nyamunga.
“It was resolved that the trip be rescheduled to facilitate further consultations between the Office of the President and the leadership of the county,” Ranguma said, adding that the visit would “likely be next week”.
But the area MPs have since given opposing reasons for the postponement of the visit, some pointing at behind-the-scenes political intrigues that marred the planned visit.
They attributed the postponement to the need for “more consultations” and that some MPs had complained about “late invitations”.
Some of the legislators, it was claimed, were not comfortable with the timing of the visit, especially when their party leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, was out of the country.
“We did not want speculation that the President is coming to Nyanza when Raila is away,” Outa said.
He added: “Raila is a very senior leader of Nyanza and it would be good if he is around when the President is coming so that he can join the team.”
By Wednesday, when Uhuru was to begin his tour of the region, Raila was in Mozambique where he was leading an observer team for the elections there.
Other than the Raila factor, the legislator explained: “We saw it fit that we consult within Kisumu County leadership to come up with development initiatives for him (Uhuru) to implement. We, therefore, asked for one more week.”
Earlier, some of the legislators had expressed their discomfort following the ‘rare’ visit, and had even threatened to snub the event.
Outa had claimed that Uhuru’s trip was not likely to spur any development in the region.
Unlike in the Migori visit where President Kenyatta personally met the delegation led by Governor Okoth Obado, in the Kisumu case, the team was met by Uhuru handlers, a likely indication that the disquiet had got into the ears of the President.