President Uhuru Kenyatta promises to address all Coast land problems

The President said this will end the trend of using land issues as a political tool.

Tuesday January 19 2016

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa during the commissioning of Baricho Water Supply project at Lango Baya, in Kilifi County. Mr Kenyatta launched the Sh572 million project on January 18, 2016.  PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa during the commissioning of Baricho Water Supply project at Lango Baya, in Kilifi County. Mr Kenyatta launched the Sh572 million project on January 18, 2016. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NJERI RUGENE
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By MATHIAS RINGA
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that his administration will deal with the thorny land problem in the Coast once and for all.

Speaking Monday at Lango Baya in Kilifi County, the President said his government would tackle the contentious issues of land in the coast and hopefully put to an end the use of land as a political tool by leaders.

"We have just started. In the last General Elections we said we will resolve all the land problems in Lamu, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River, Taita-Taveta and everywhere across the region," he said.

"We were told that we were not going to do so but we have to deal with the problem so that those who have been using it as a political tool in the region do not have that opportunity," the President told a rally at Lango Baya Primary School in Kilifi.

He addressed the rally after officially launching the Sh572 million Baricho water project which currently serves at least 200,000 people in Kilifi and Mombasa counties.

The President said the project would be ready by June 2017 and water supply would increase by 22 million litres a day from the current 90 million litres.

This will help alleviate the water shortages in Kilifi, Malindi and Mombasa.

Mr Kenyatta also announced that the tarmacking of the Malindi-Sala Gate road would start in two months with floating of tenders being done in February.

The President promised personal intervention to ensure that the work is done and within the given time.

BOOST AGRICULTURE, TOURISM

"This road has stalled development and it is important we open up development for the people to benefit by boosting agriculture and tourism.

“That is why I am assuring you that tendering will be done in February and in two months the project will start and I will ensure that this happens," the President told the meeting attended by local MPs, senators and four Cabinet secretaries.

Addressing the first public rally in Kilifi County since visiting the Coast on December 23, 2015, the President said the Ministry of Education would fund the construction of a dining hall, library and a dormitory at Kakoneni Girls Secondary School.

His first stop in the morning was at Weru Technical College in Malindi which is under construction.

He announced that it would be ready in June, together with 60 others, to give vocational training to the youth.

Mr Kenyatta also directed Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, who was present, to ensure that locals whose land was acquired for the Galana-Kulalu irrigation project are compensated as soon as possible.

UNITE THE PEOPLE

The President thanked local opposition politicians who have agreed to support and work with his government saying unity of the people and non-partisan politics was the way to go.

"We are not saying we do not want opposition. But we are saying that we should have two or three strong parties which can unite Kenyans so that we are competent on policies as opposed to cheap politics," Mr Kenyatta said.

He defended the appointment of leaders from the Opposition into his government saying he was doing it to unite the country.

He singled out Mr Dan Kazungu, the former Malindi MP who was recently appointed to the Cabinet saying "the government is for all people."

"I wish we can bring to an end retrogressive, divisive politics and put our country first where as leaders we cooperate in development to help our people live better lives," he said.

"But I am very hopeful that we will get to that stage when a certain generation of politicians leave (the political scene), " he told the crowd which burst into applause.

President Kenyatta appealed to Coast people to reject leaders he said were preaching hatred, ethnic and religious divisions.