Reuben Mwambingu and Murimi Mutiga @PeopleDailyKE
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday took on Governor Hassan Joho accusing him of allegedly using the Port of Mombasa to smuggle drugs and other contraband goods into the country.
Addressing a mammoth crowd in Frere Town area of Nyali constituency, the President and his deputy William Ruto said Joho’s resistance to the creation of inland ports and industrial cities around the country is informed by his interest in illegal deals which will cease with the establishment of the dry ports.
“Today I will tell you the real truth as to why your so-called Sultan (Governor Joho) here is bitter about the establishment of the Naivasha inland ports and other dry ports around the country.
By claiming that the government is transferring the port functions to Naivasha, he is just being economical with truth because, deep inside he knows that soon we are going to establish industrial cities and his business of smuggling drugs and habitual tax evasion through the port of Mombasa will come to an end,” the Head of State told the charged crowd.
Uhuru dismissed Joho as a “failed leader” who had nothing to show for the people of Mombasa in terms of development, adding that it is against this backdrop that the governor is attempting to seek popularity by insulting him.
“Let me tell you, you can call yourself sultan and insult me from dawn to dusk but that won’t shake me an inch. I will never have a sleepless night because of your insults because I have a duty to serve the nation.
If you want to be seen and praised by your people then serve them better by giving them the required services like cleaning the city and improving their livelihoods,” said the President.
He reiterated his government’s commitment to turn around the country’s economy by transforming Kenya from a consumer society to a producing society. “The billions we have pumped into infrastructure around the country like the expansion of the port of Mombasa and the railway are aimed at improving the livelihoods of Kenyans.
But your governor here wants you to remain a consumer society so that you can exalt him and go cup-in-hand to him for handouts,” he said. The President who also campaigned in Shimoni, Ukunda and Mtwapa asked Coast people to vote for the Jubilee Party so as to “liberate” themselves from poverty that has been aggravated by politics of “lies and propaganda” by the Opposition.
Uhuru said the August poll will provide an opportunity for the people of the Coast region to chose between Jubilee’s “development agenda” and “retrogressive and divisive politics” advanced by the Opposition.
He said his administration has not engaged in blame games but has been steadfast in bringing solutions to problems facing Coast locals and was committed to ending squatter problem in the region which has over the years been used as a campaign tool by politicians.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya asked coast people to support Uhuru because of his development track record. Speaking in Shimoni in Kwale, Uhuru directed Kenya Revenue Authority to lift a ban on import and export of goods from Shimoni port to the Tanzanian Island of Pate to improve the economy of the local community.
He said the government plans to build the largest modern fishing port in Eastern Africa in the area. At Ukunda, the President said the area has benefited immensely from his administration’s development programme despite having voted for the Opposition in the 2013 elections.
Citing distribution of more than 40,000 title deeds, he said his administration had performed much better than any other administration since independence, adding that in Coast alone more than 300,000 tittle deeds had been issued to squatters.