Kidero urges Homa Bay residents to turn in large numbers to receive Ruto
Former Homa Bay gubernatorial candidate Evans Kidero has welcomed President William Ruto to the county ahead of his tour in the region.
The Head of State will be visiting Homa Bay county on Friday, January 13, to launch various projects in his second tour of the region since assuming office in September last year.
In a statement on Wednesday, Kidero said the President's planned tour is a "clear demonstration of his love and affection" for the residents and his desire to incorporate locals into his government.
The former Nairobi governor urged locals to turn up in large numbers to receive and welcome the Head of State into the county.
"It is my humble request to the people of Homa Bay to once again turn up in large numbers to receive and welcome the President to Homa Bay County. His visit is of great significance to Homa Bay and the entire Nyanza Region as it opens the taps and channels for accelerated development that we so require," Kidero said.
"It is important that we as a community appreciate the President’s kind gesture and join other Kenyans to work with the government for the sake of accelerated pace of developments," he added.
He said the residents, who overwhelmingly voted for Ruto's main rival Raila Odinga of the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition in the last election, had moved on and embraced the President's Kenya Kwanza administration.
"I must appreciate that the people of Homa Bay came out in their numbers to receive the President and welcome other guests despite the short notice when he last visited. The people of Homa Bay and by extension the entire Nyanza Region moved on after the elections and even outsmarted their elected leaders by opening their hearts to embrace President Ruto and the government," he stated.
"That thousands of ecstatic residents thronged the streets of Homa Bay and the Church where the President had a function to interact with him was a confirmation that the region is thirsty for development."
He said there is a need to show the President that there is a "complete change in thinking from the old traditional behaviour which portrayed the people of this region as irrational, hostile, and ungovernable."
Kidero noted that the region has lagged in terms of development due to lack of focused leadership and coordinated approaches to investments and government involvement in development.
According to Kidero, the National Housing Scheme Program that the President is expected to commission during his visit will offer opportunities for cheaper housing and job opportunities to the residents.
"He will also be commissioning a project in Oyugis town among other engagements. These are serious programs that we cannot achieve as people of Homa Bay without forging a working relation and engaging constructively with the government of the day," he added.
He urged President Ruto to consider several other development projects in the county during his visit for funding and timely completion to facilitate growth of the economy and generation of employment opportunities for the youth.
The projects include Oluch-Kimira Small-Holder Irrigation Project, the hot springs at Homa Hills which has potential for geothermal power generation, the fishing industry, sugarcane industry, cotton industry, tourism industry, horticulture, deepening of Mbita Causeway, the Link Road and development of Tom Mboya University with satellite campuses in various parts of the county.
"These developments are critical to the economic turn-around and will completely open the region for business," he added.
"It is important to demonstrate that the people of Homa Bay have outgrown tribal and sectarian political ideologies that can only serve to relegate them to plying the second fiddle in national leadership."
Kidero, who ran as an independent candidate, lost to Gladys Wanga of ODM party in the last general election. He disputed the outcome of the poll and filed a petition in court. The case is ongoing.
The politician is among leaders close to Raila who have warmed up to Ruto after his narrow win over the former Prime Minister in the last general election.
During his visit to Homa Bay in October, President Ruto promised to complete projects in the region and to revive key sectors that are on their knees.
He committed to work with leaders from Nyanza and pledged that no region across the country will be left behind, regardless of political affiliation.
“I want the people of Homa Bay and Nyanza as a whole to understand this government is theirs. I am going to serve you and ensure that this region is not left behind when other regions are developing,” Ruto said.
Ruto promised to commission a mega housing project for 5,000 low-cost houses in the county as well as revive the cotton sector.
“I am coming back to Homa Bay next month to launch the first phase of the low-cost houses construction project where 400 houses will be built. The remaining houses will be built in other phases until the project is finalised,” the President said.