Rift Valley leaders want stalled projects revived

By Mourice Seretta

Politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto are calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure resumption of all projects that have stalled in his deputy’s backyard.

A Group led by Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok says while it appreciates the projects being launched by the head of state in various parts of the country, it wants those in hometuff that have since come to a halt revived.

Addressing the media after a consultative forum bringing together leaders from the Rift Valley, they singled out the various dam projects that had been initiated in the region that need to be completed for the benefit of the residents.

“What the President has done in terms of projects in Nyanza is good and we support. But again, water remains a cardinal need for the people of Rift Valley. When it comes to Arror, Kimwarer and Itare, even those projects were stopped. They are still a priority to the people of Nakuru and Elgeyo Marakwet.” Nanok said while updating the country on their deliberations during Monday’s Rift Valley Leaders Caucus.

The caucus leadership endeavored to follow them up to ensure they are done even it it means pushing the next regime to complete them.

“As leaders we are saying we are committed to that these projects be seen through.

If it is going to go to the next government, which I believe we are going to be forming, so be it it is still going to be our priority, we would want that government deliver.” Nanok added

Apart from the stalled projects, the leaders who included Governors, Senators, MPs and MCAs from the vote-rich region made it clear that they have issues that are so pertinent to the region and need to be addressed by the government to be formed after the next election.

The group which included opinion leaders and professionals from various sectors says issues brought to the fore will define the leadership and processes of government.

“It’s not going to be about tribes or individuals. Issues which as leaders from Rift valley we believe government must tackle.” Nanok said

Nanok disclosed that the leaders have agreed to form a committee of 14 to work on the details of the issues, especially those of economic nature. The committee that draws membership from every county in the Rift Valley will be working closely with technical experts from different sectors in drafting the issues.

“They have a two weeks time frame to work on this to be able to come up with a draft blueprint, where we will meet again and eventually go down to the people and collect more views and within not more than 3 or four months we’ll have had issues we think are going to be critical to Rift Valley to push for.” The Turkana Governor said

The Patron of the Rift valley elected leaders Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri said the draft is crucially important given that even though the Deputy President hails from the region, “we don’t want to assume that if Ruto (our Presidential candidate) was to win, he understands all our problems. We are drafting issues that are specific to our region.”

“As President, he will be dealing with so many issues affecting other parts of the country,” Ngunjiri said

The Bahati lawmaker maintained that no one can incite those who have undertaken to back Ruto’s bid for the presidency to withdraw their support.

After the meeting, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkonem took to his social media platforms where he posted, “The future is for those who plan for it. As leaders from the Rift Valley we met today in Kajiado County to reimagine the beautiful Valley we want in our great nation. We are preparing our economic blueprint in the upcoming Hustler Administration. Today we established a steering committee to consult, collect and collate the issue we want to negotiate with the Presidential candidate of the Hustler Nation. The committee is mandated to consult widely before presenting the report back to us. We shall thereafter traverse the entire Rift Valley to engage our constituents on the said draft document. We are not taking anything for granted regardless where the Presidential candidate is emanating from.” Murkomen posted.

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