President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will next month tour the counties of Vihiga, Busia, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia in western Kenya as they seek to win the region’s support for 2017 elections.
Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said the much awaited visit that has been in the pipeline for four months will result in launching of ‘development projects’.
Speaking in Vihiga County on Saturday evening when he addressed a conference of spiritual leaders belonging to the African Divine Church, Mr Wamalwa said the President and his Deputy will launch development projects and award university charters to two universities.
The much publicised trip has been pending for over four months as it had earlier been scheduled to take place in August.
During the five-day tour that will begin in Vihiga County on December 15, a university charter will be awarded to Kaimosi Friends University College in Vihiga and Alupe University College in Busia County.
"The President will launch development projects in the water and education sectors. He will officiate at the re-opening Pan Paper Ceremony in Webuye, Bungoma County," said Mr Wamalwa.
Mr Wamalwa dismissed sentiments made by ODM leader Raila Odinga that the paper miller ran down following refusal by Mr Uhuru to inject funds into it when he served as the Finance Minister in the Grand Coalition government.
"We don't want blame. We will be here to re-open Webuye Paper Mills," said Mr Wamalwa.
The CS regretted that many Kenyans were rendered jobless when the miller closed at the watch of Mr Odinga, who was at the time the Prime Minister.
“I am your representative in the government. I keep telling the president about your needs. Jubilee has been in the process of helping western region and has not sidelined it," he said.
In Vihiga, Mr Wamalwa said, the Head of State will launch a Sh1.7 billion water project that is being co-funded by the Kenyan and Belgian government.
The government will also upgrade another water project, Sosian water project, at Nyang'ori in Vihiga at a cost of Sh15 million beginning next month.
Mr Wamalwa urged the Luhya community to support the government as it implements its election pledges and remined the region's voters that it is Mr Uhuru who has the keys to the country's stores.
The visit by the Head of State comes at a time Mr Odinga is fighting to sustain his grip on the region which voted for him in the last election but which is under intense pressure by local leaders to abandon him.
On Friday, Mr Odinga ran into a hostile crowd in Mumias making it difficult for him to address the victims of brutality by the police who are searching for stolen guns and ammunition.
In July, while making forays into the western region, Mr Odinga accused the Jubilee administration of reneging on ts promise to construct several kilometers of roads.
At the time, the opposition leader sited the Busia-Malaba Road he said he initiated when he was Prime Minister and said Jubilee wants to take credit over the same.
Besides Mr Odinga, other senior politicians such as Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, have been rallying the Luhyia to abandon Mr Odinga and vote for one of their own.