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Raila in low-key inspection tour of development projects

Friday July 5 2019

Raila Odinga visits Kisumu dry port

ODM leader Raila Odinga (in a hat) when he toured the Kisumu dry port on May 13, 2019. He has been touring a number of development projects in Nyanza. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JUSTUS OCHIENG'
By JUSTUS OCHIENG'
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RUSHDIE OUDIA
By RUSHDIE OUDIA
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Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga Thursday began a private inspection tour of development projects in Kisumu to monitor the progress and plan for that revival of some stalled industries ahead of the planned August launch of other projects.

Mr Odinga made a low-key tour of the Kisumu port, the Marine School and the dry dock where the giant mv Uhuru is berthed.

REVIVING PROJECTS

His visit to the port follows another low-profile visit with President Kenyatta last month, during which journalists were kept at bay by security officials.

He later visited the collapsed Kisumu Cotton Mills (Kicomi), whose revival is in the pipeline.

The government has so far injected Sh500 million in the port's facelift and promised another Sh2.5 billion this financial year.

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Mr Odinga has, since his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 9, 2018, reduced political activity and embarked on development projects.

It was a beehive of activity at the port, with sources indicating that contractors were working to beat strict deadlines since the President is set to commission the harbour in August alongside his Uganda counterpart Yoweri Museveni and the DRC’s Felix Tshisekedi.

The government plans to revamp the port, once used by big ships like the SS Usoga, SS Nyanza, SS Ukerewe and mv Victoria.

KISUMU SGR

The 1,000-tonne and 91-metre-long mv Uhuru cargo carrier is also expected to roar back to life as the dredging of the lake will make it possible for big ships to dock.

Mr Odinga and some Cabinet secretaries have in the recent past made several trips to Kisumu and other parts on Nyanza to follow up on development projects.

Last week, four CSs met a delegation of Nyanza MPs to look into ways of fast-tracking key development projects in the region.

The meeting was chaired by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, who was accompanied by his counterparts George Magoha (Education), Keriako Tobiko (Environment) and Joe Mucheru (ICT).

Sources at the meeting held in Dr Matiang’i’s office in Nairobi, said the extension of the SGR from Naivasha to Kisumu, the improvement of lake transport, the revitalisation of the Kisumu port and the improvement of roads and infrastructure are to be implemented in the next year.