Inside Politics

Uhuru: Handshake has helped deliver projects

Friday, August 5th, 2022 03:30 | By
President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses Mombasa residents after opening the Sh40 billion offshore Kipevu Oil Terminal (Kipevu II) at the Port of Mombasa, yesterday. PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU
President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses Mombasa residents after opening the Sh40 billion offshore Kipevu Oil Terminal (Kipevu II) at the Port of Mombasa, yesterday. PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday sustained the onslaught against his deputy William Ruto who he accused of thriving on falsehoods.

He dismissed Ruto’s claims that the two fell out because of his Handshake with Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

The President, who was in Mombasa to launch several development projects, defended his handshake with Raila saying it had helped him deliver on most of the Jubilee government’s promises to Kenyans after Ruto allegedly abdicated his duties.

“There are those saying that we have done nothing since the Handshake, that’s what they have been saying, these projects, including the Makupa Causeway, that we started in 2020, are part of the handshake projects,” he said.

Uhuru urged Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza brigade to shelve their ambitions, maintaining that he was firmly behind Raila’s presidential bid.

 “Lies and chest-thumping can’t bring leadership, let them wait first, let them allow Raila to lead us, the rest can slow down their ambitions and slowly they will get there,” he said.

Uhuru, who was accompanied by Mombasa governor Hassan Joho, lauded Raila for supporting his government’s development agenda and asked residents to be wary of leaders who propagate lies to gain political mileage noting that only a Raila presidency will build on the gains made by his government.

 “We ask you to elect leaders who are development-oriented, not leaders who propagate hate and tribalism. I want to ask you, people, to join me in drumming up support for Raila Odinga because he has shown the will to lead with peace,” the president added. Ruto has repeatedly maintained that the Handshake between Uhuru and Raila derailed several projects the Jubilee government had lined up after the president shifted focus to pursue the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) campaign.

Yesterday, the president commissioned a series of key legacy infrastructure projects in Mombasa ahead of the end of his second term in office.

New bridge

He launched the groundbreaking of the Mombasa commuter railway, the Sh85 billion Changamwe interchange and the Mombasa Kwa Jomvu road and the Sh4.5 billion Makupa Bridge.

“Today marks a historic moment for the Coastal City of Mombasa as we restore the City to its true island status. Over the years, traffic volumes have grown significantly beyond the design capacity of the causeway and have made it a major bottleneck in the entry and exit from the Island. To address congestion and restore Mombasa to its island status, the government has built a new bridge to replace the causeway. According to Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, the Makupa Bridge which stretches 457-metre took a record time of 17 months to complete.

Yesterday, the president also launched the new Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT), a state-of-the-art facility that has enhanced the Port’s capacity to discharge oil products in a timely and efficient manner, significantly easing the pressure aggravated by increased demand in the region.

Joho assured the president that they will vote for Raila come Tuesday.

 “The Coast remains a stronghold of Raila Odinga, and we are optimistic that we will deliver victory to him on Tuesday. If there is a time we will work for the people seriously, it is when we form the next government,” said Joho.

Jomvu MP Badi Twalib expressed optimism that a Raila presidency will spur development in the coastal region, including completing projects initiated by Uhuru.

“The legacy the president has left for us, can only be continued by Raila Odinga, the people of the coastal region are ready to ensure Raila captures the power and succeeds Uhuru,” said Twalib.

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