President Uhuru Kenyatta last weekend used his tour in Bungoma County to hit at the opposition over its unending criticism of his administration and engaging Kenyans in politics around the clock without giving chance to development and other agenda on the Jubilee government’s manifesto.
The president who started his tour in the county at Lwakhakha border point had the same message all through his stop-overs and meetings that culminated in the awarding of a charter to Kibabii University College that is now a fully-fledged university after the colourful ceremony held at the university.
His message at Lwakhakha, Sirisia, Chwele and finally at Kibabii was similar as he told the opposition who were represented by one of Cord’s principals who is also Bungoma senator Moses Wetangula, the fierce critic of Jubilee administration Kakamega senator Dr. Bony Khalwale and a host of MPs from Ford Kenya that they should give Kenyans chance to be served by the government of the day.
“We cannot be engaged in politics throughout the five years after elections yet Kenyans want development and other services by the government of the day. We cannot be getting insults from the opposition and unnecessary criticism as if the insults can add a plate of food on the table of any Kenyan,” said the president as he addressed a huge crowd at Kibabii University.
At Chwele market while addressing a huge crowd he told off senators Wetangula and Khalwale to stop hurling insults at his government and called for respect among leaders regardless of the political divide they originate from.
“I would like to ask my friends senators Wetang’ula and Khalwale here that Kenyans do not eat insults that they always hurl at me and my administration, we should learn to respect each other as leaders,” he said as he addressed the crowds at Sirisia town and Chwele whereby the opposition leaders had also arrived to join his entourage as he moved from Lwakhakha to Kibabii.
The opposition leaders were not given chance to address the crowds along the way until in Kibabii where the last ceremony was held.
When they were given chance to speak as hosts Wetangula made a brief statement in his speech insisting that as the opposition they will not relent in criticizing the government of the day.
“We know that we have been critical of your government and we shall continue being so, but not because we hate you or your government but every time we say something has not been done right, we intent to make you do it better,” said Wetang’ula as he was cheered by the crowd.
The senator further pointed out sentiments by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s predecessor retired president that he (Kenyatta) should listen to the opposition by embracing dialogue.
“We want to take it from your predecessor Mr. President that dialogue can enable this country move forward and we hope that you will embrace it,” said Wetangula.
When he spoke in his off-the-cuff remarks after reading his official speech, the president seemed to be answering Wetang’ula’s sentiments on dialogue saying that he has and will always be ready for dialogue and criticism if at all it is constructive and devoid of insults.
“You know that I am always ready for dialogue but the dialogue and criticism should be constructive and add value to the lives of Kenyans but not criticism and dialogue that is full of insults. If that is the dialogue and criticism that you want me to engage in then let it be,” said Kenyatta.
The head of state had who was accompanied by his deputy William Ruto, earlier on affirmed the government’s support for the peace keeping Kenya Defense Forces – KDF in Somalia as he faulted leaders from the opposition who had accused the troops for allegedly being involved in charcoal business in Somalia.
“Everybody here in Kenya whether a leader or an ordinary mwananchi should be proud of our troops for keeping peace in neighboring Somalia and in the country especially as we fight terrorism but I wonder if anybody with his normal mind can start accusing our forces falsely yet they are maintaining and stabilizing peace in the region. I think that is nonsense and I will not cow out to withdraw the KDF forces from Somalia,” he said at Lwakhakha, Sirisia and Kibabii.
In what seemed to be his response to the accusations of his government over its borrowing spree that includes the much policized and publicized Eurobond whereby he asked the crowd if it was wrong for the government to borrow money and use it for development.
On his side Ruto challenged the people of Bungoma and the former Western province if they still wanted to follow an opposition that has nothing to deliver or support the government that is committed to deliver development and many other services lined up on its agenda.
The president launched several projects right from the border town of Lwakhakha where he officially opened the new offices of the Immigration and Kenya Revenue which he said shall enhance the country’s revenue collection and business across the border.
While at the same point he also officially launched the tarmacking of the Chwele-Sirisia – Lwakhakha road which he said construction shall commence from next month although in his speeches at Lwakhakha, Sirisia, Chwele and even at Kibabii he did not divulge the details of the road in terms of the cost and the duration of construction.
He further noted that the construction of the road shall enhance business and ease transport between the neighboring countries of Kenya, Uganda and even Southern Sudan.
Kenyatta revealed that president Yoweri MUseveni of Uganda had also confirmed that he had also started tarmacking the road from Mbale to Lwakhakha to join with the Kenyan one and ensure a smooth operation in terms of business and transport.
“Soon we shall, be coming back here to open this road jointly with president Museveni who is also tarmacking the road from Lwakhakha to Mbale on his side.” He said.
At Sirisia he also launched a multi-million water project that is being funded by the Italian government that is tapping water from Chesikaki area in Mt. Elgon constituency to increase the supply of clean water to the people in the area and neighboring Sirisia constituency and its environs that have been facing an acute shortage of clean water.