Deputy President William Ruto on Thursday met leaders from Kakamega, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties to discuss matters of development and explore ways of addressing challenges facing residents in their respective areas.
The leaders from Jubilee and Nasa coalitions discussed among other issues expansion of Kakamega airstrip, improvement of roads, the revival of industrial projects with Mumias being top of the list, initiation and improvement of projects in the fields of health, water, education and administration among other areas.
The legislators included Eseli Simuyu (Tongaren), John Waluke (Sirisia), Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza), Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi), Janet Nangabo (Women Rep, Trans Nzoia), James Lusweti (Kabuchai), Catherine Wambilianga (Women Rep, Bungoma), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) and Moses Mabonga (Bumula).
Others were Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Justus Kizito (Shinalu), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Tindi Mwale (Butere), Christopher Aseka (Kwisero), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo), Malulu Injendi (Malava), Johnstone Naicca (Mumias West), Elsie Muhanda (Women Rep, Kakamega) and Justus Murunga (Matungu).
The legislators said they have resolved to put aside their political differences and take a common stand in addressing problems facing the people. The MPs mainly from the Opposition said they were eager to work with the Government on development matters.
Mr Ruto said political competition is not enmity, saying it happens in a season and should not hinder leaders from serving Kenyans.
The Deputy President said time was politics was over and it was now the duty of those elected to team up with others to develop the country.
The Deputy President said political competition should not be used to create enmity among Kenyans but should be viewed as a uniting factor of all the Kenyan ethnic communities.
Mr Ruto urged Kenyans to discourage politics of animosity.
“Even as we do politics, we should respect one another. We should discourage politics of enmity if we are to attain a united nation,” said Mr Ruto.
“We should know that leaders come and go but development is there to stay. This is why we should make use of our opportunity as elected leaders to engage in activities aimed at uplifting the peoples lives,” added Mr Ruto.
Addressing the MPs at his Karen office, Nairobi, Mr Ruto said the Government will work all leaders in accelerating its development agenda across the country irrespective of their political standing.
He said the Government does not view criticism, as enmity but as a means of correcting the areas it has gone wrong.
“We are ready to receive constructive criticism but you should not also hesitate to commend us for the areas we have done better on matters of development,” said Mr Ruto.
The leaders said they would work with the Government to address the challenges facing the people.
“This is our ideal opportunity to build bridges of friendship and brotherhood for the sake of the development of our people,” said Mr Wamunyinyi, the Ford Kenya MP for Kanduyi.
“Our political differences are not permanent. We differ on issues at times but not all the time. We can differ on some areas but we have the same goal of serving the people,” added Mr Wamunyinyi.
Dr Eseli (Ford Kenya, Tongaren) said he will partner with the Government in addressing challenges in the field of health, security and water among other areas.
He urged the Government to consider establishing a Medical Training College in Ndalu sub county, saying he was ready to allocate Sh 15 million from Constituency Development Fund kitty.
“I am ready to work with the Government on issues affecting my constituents especially in the sectors of water, security and health,” said Mr Eseli.
Mr Kizito (Shinyalu, ODM) said they have resolved as leaders to put behind issues of the last General Election, saying it was now time to focus their energies on development.
“We thank you for uniting us as leaders so that we can have a common agenda for our people. Time for politics is over and what’s remaining is for us to unite our people and serve them,” said Mr Kizito.
Mr Washiali said leaders from the Luhya community were now more united in addressing challenges facing the people.
Mr Naicca (ODM, Mumias West) said it was only Jubilee that had the capacity to address problems facing residents of Western Kenya.
“We are grateful that we are now reading from the same script on issues of development. We will work together to ensure the success of the Governments agenda in our region,” said Mr Naicca.
The Deputy President, at the same time, assured the people of Western Kenya that the Government was committed to solving problems facing the Mumias Sugar Factory once and for all.
He said the management of the sugar factory has been asked to come up with a proper master plan in the next three weeks that will turnaround the factory, once the plan is executed.
Mr Ruto said the Government has injected more than Sh 4billion to Mumias factory but its results were still dismal.
“We have asked the management of the factory to come up with a proper plan for Mumias. We can’t continue pumping lots of money with no results,” sad Mr Ruto.
“This is why we have told the management to come up with a turnaround plan in the next three weeks so that we can come up with a lasting solution to the problem,” said Mr Ruto.
He said the Government would improve roads in town areas like Kakamega, Bungoma and Kitale.
Mr Ruto said plans to relocate Kitale Town Prison for the expansion of the town were also on course.