Supremacy battles among Kamba leaders have triggered the postponement of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s trip to the region, barely a month after Uhuru hosted the leaders at State House.
On Monday, July 5, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua announced the postponement of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s two-day state visit to Ukambani indefinitely.
Although reports from the State House yesterday indicated that the President had postponed his visit due to fears of a surge in COVID-19, it has emerged that the tour was put on hold due to political wrangles among Kamba leaders.
It is believed that a group led by Wiper Democratic leader Kalonzo Musyoka failed to agree with three other Ukambani governors on how the President’s tour should go about.
While the governors were said to be advocating for a pure development visit to showcase their development projects, Kalonzo’s handlers on the other hand were pushing the President to use the tour to endorse the Wiper leader for the 2022 presidential elections.
Furthermore, while Wiper leaders insisted that Uhuru’s visit was a result of a good relationship between Uhuru and Kalonzo, Governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) maintained that no party should take credit for the President’s visit.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was scheduled to tour Makueni and Machakos today before moving to Kitui tomorrow to finalize his two-day visit to the Ukambani region.
He was to begin his tour at the Konza Technopolis in Machakos before proceeding to inspect the progress of the Thwake dam project in Makueni County and later launch the Kibwezi-Makueni road.
However, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua while acknowledging to have received a notification of the postponement of Uhuru’s visit, told the People Daily that the tour was canceled after local leaders failed to agree on how long the Head of State should take.
He said whereas it was planned to take two days, a section of the local leaders was pushing the President to spent three days in Ukambani.
“The initial program was that the tour takes two days but there are those who feel it should take three days. Then there is the issue of which projects the President should launch. Those are basically the issues to be looked at,” Wambua said as quoted by the People Daily.
Kibwana, who recently said Raila was to support Kalonzo in 2022 only if he won further accused the presidential hopeful of attempting to own President Uhuru’s tour.
He welcomed the state’s decision to postpone the visit saying it will give leaders in the region an opportunity to align development expectations to the national budget.
“More stakeholders such as the clergy and the business community should be involved in the future,” he said.
Kitui governor Ngilu regretted that the cancellation was due to unnecessary political bickering and push by Wiper leaders to make trip a narrow political affair instead of focusing on wider development concerns of the region.