New twist as Nyanza residents accuse President Uhuru of failing to address key concerns days after Kisumu visit

President Uhuru Kenyatta

Days after visiting the region in gracing the 58th Madaraka day celebrations, a section of the Nyanza residents have attacked President Uhuru Kenyatta of failing to address key issues despite being in the region for 3 days.

This is after the region’s fishermen, farmers and small scale traders attacked the Head of State of focusing on the launch of major projects, while sidelining the basic needs of the county dwellers.

The residents alleged that Uhuru failed to address the rice sector that continues to face stiff competition from the imported cheap rice, crippling the market for farmers in the region.

The also accused the President of not talking about the cotton sector, and the revival of Kisumu Cotton Mills (KICOMI) a major employer in the region that is a former shadow of its former self.

According to his itinerary from the state house, President Kenyatta was supposed to launch over 15 projects that never happened due to lack of time.

The President thereafter pushed the rest to be launched sometime in the cause of the year, promising the locals that he would return for the remaining.

Kenya Sugarcane Growers Association (KSGA) official has since revealed that companies like Nzoia, Sony, Muhoroni and Chemilil Sugar are in serious debts, owing famers in the neighborhood of Ksh1 billion.

KSGA secretary general Richard Ogendo said that the expected the President to talk on the issues, granting the factories acquisition of new machines, with the cane farmers also expecting grants that never happened.

File Image of the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, Kisumu
File Image of the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, Kisumu

“We expected the president and Mr. Odinga to address this issue. The farmers cannot pay, their children’s school fees. We have nothing to celebrate on this Madaraka Day or on the president’s visit,” Ogendo was quoted as saying.

Fishermen from the region also expressed concerns on the shortage of processing plants and modern fishing equipment, further claiming that they face multiple cases of harassments from Ugandan and Tanzanian officials a thing not addressed.

Their sentiments were also reiterated by politician Eliud Owallo who noted the President Kenyatta’s visit of the region was more political than economic.

“President Kenyatta should have used the visit to espouse the realistic and feasible policy framework that facilitates a tangible development agenda for the region,” Owalo stated.

“I expected the president to outline a clear matrix for desirable development and revitalization programmes in the sugarcane, fishing, cotton, tourism and other industries,” Owalo remarked.

“They should be backed up with adequate financing and tied to specific timeframes and performance indicators. Anything short of this is nothing but a political gimmick,” he added.

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