Ruto returns to Raila’s backyard on projects tour
President William Ruto will this week tour Nyanza counties in what is seen as a sustained effort to turn the tables on the region’s kingpin, opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Ruto is scheduled to start the visit on Friday, with the first stop in Homa Bay county where he is expected to commission several projects before moving to Migori, Kisumu and Siaya counties.
During his last tour of Homa Bay in January, the President launched an affordable housing project in Homa Bay town.
The President also pledged to revive cotton farming which he said was a key economic activity in the area before it collapsed.
His government, he pledged, would introduce BT Cotton seeds which he said was best suited for the county.
Ruto also promised to complete the more than 200 kilometers of road projects in the county initiated by his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.
The roads include Mbita-Kiabuya-Magunga-Sori road which covers Suba North and Suba South constituencies in Homa Bay and Nyatike constituency in Migori.
Others are Kanyadhiang’-Pala-Kandiege-Kadel road in Karachuonyo constituency, Junction Karabok-Adiedo Road in Kasipul and Karachuonyo constituencies.
During the visit on Friday, the President will commission the rehabilitation of Homa Bay town pier.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo, Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo and Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga inspected the site on Saturday.
Speaking at the weekend, Owalo urged Nyanza leaders to put aside their political differences and welcome the President to the region.
“We appeal to our people to accord President William Ruto a warm welcome during his tour of Nyanza. Our leaders should engage him in development matters,” said Owalo.
“During the tour, the President will launch projects in the roads, blue economy and information and communication technology sectors across the four counties,” he said.
Owalo added that in the spirit of effective coordination and interdependence between the two levels of government, county government officials will be expected to join the President in the tour.
He made the remarks during a meeting at his rural home in Rarieda where the Principal Secretary for Interior Raymond Omolo revealed that in Siaya County, the President will visit Rarieda, Bondo, Ugenya and Gem constituencies to commission development projects.
Homa Bay residents have also presented a wish list to the Head of State ahead of the tour.
UDA officials led by Homa Bay Town constituency Secretary Erick Osoro, Youth Secretary Calvins Ouma and members Juma Awuor, Tanitha Nyandiek and Dorothy Oguttu said the county lacks several amenities, a situation which they hope the President will address.
Osoro said their wish is for President Ruto to uplift small-scale traders in Homa Bay. He said the county has the majority of its youths in the boda boda sector who should be supported.
“Plans to have youths use electric motorcycles will solve tough economic challenges faced by riders,” Osoro said.
He also asked the President to elevate one of the vocational training institutes in Homa Bay town to a technical training institute to support job creation through technical training.
Osoro urged county residents to join the party and support the Kenya Kwanza government.
Awuor said visits by the Head of State should not be politicised. He referred to past instances where political leaders in the county boycotted presidential events. Nyandiek said UDA officials were ready to welcome Ruto.
“Besides visiting us, the President has appointed government officials from this region. This is despite the region not voting for him,” Nyandiek said.
Oguttu asked Ruto to support agriculture through irrigation and establishment of processing factories.
She said pineapple farmers in Homa Bay were not earning enough because of lack of value addition machinery.
“We have the ability to produce horticultural crops through irrigation. But this is possible if we get support from the government,” Oguttu said.