Uhuru's Meru trip a big success
02 March 2015, 17:17
Nairobi - When he left for Meru County, President Uhuru Kenyatta knew what he needed to do to make it a succesful trip and he did it well and delivered.
The president was quick to first address a topic of major concern in the region, the issue of Miraa.
He stated equivocally that the government will do its best to ensure that Miraa is reinstated as a major crop in the country as it used to be before its European ban.
He said the National Assembly passed a Bill categorizing miraa as a cash crop.
" The Bill is now in the Senate for approval before presidential assent," President Kenyatta said.
The President was addressing a capacity-packed Maua Stadium in Maua town before he issued title deeds to residents as he concluded his two-day working visit in Meru County. Maua is the largest town in the Nyambene region, the epicenter of miraa growing in Kenya.
The crop has recently faced challenges, especially following its ban in the European markets. But President Kenyatta said the Government is committed to assisting miraa farmers, including looking for markets in other regions.
He also said that the Government has no problem lifting the ban on transporting miraa at night so long as it is not used to reduce crime.
" Those transporting miraa at night must assure us that they will not use it as a channel to traffic illicit weapons and bring in illegal immigrants," President Kenyatta said.
The President directed the Ministries of Infrastructure and Water – whose Cabinet Secretaries were present – to set aside funds in their budgets to upgrade Maua town. He said expansion of the town will attract more investors and create employment for the youth.
" A title deed for your land is your right," President Kenyatta – who had earlier in the day issued title deeds at Mutuati in Igembe North and Maili Tatu in Igembe Central – told the jubilant land owners.
The President’s message at the various stops he made to acknowledge greetings from thousands of waving citizens was development outlining roads, health, electricity, irrigation, water and education projects.
President Kenyatta said insecurity along the Igembe North/Isiolo border will be resolved as surveyors have been sent to the area.
“More police officers will also be posted along the common border where communities have been fighting for several years leading to death and disruption of economic activities. The conflicts also contributed to cattle rustling,” President Kenyatta said.
The President was accompanied by Governor Peter Munya, Senator Kiraitu Murungi and local leaders who called for construction of roads and dams to promote economic activities in the region.
And after all that, he quickly called on the region, which has had cold feet over joining the newly formed Jubilee Alliance Party and said that the region would gain exponentially from moving in that direction.
" I ask you to support us. You can see that we have a plan and we have the interest to build the country. Join us in doing so," he added.
Analysts expect Meru to be fully behind the Jubilee party but the president all the same will not have done badly in going out there.
" Everyone likes goodies and the president will have added much needed good press for the government with his visit," political analyst Michael Njenga says.
" It was a succesful visit and he will have gone home happy. Actually, everyone will have gone home happy after that visit.
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