After failing to win the hearts of the Akamba in his last visit to the area, President Uhuru Kenyatta cut short the visit and left in a huff, abandoning many projects listed for initiation, and baffling many people.
But according to his spokesman, Manoah Esipisu, the projects were not yet ready for rolling. That is why the President is now returning to Ukambani to continue his tour. But the question is: Will he manage to turn around the Kambas this time round? His campaign team would say “Yes”, because the President is carrying with him a variety of “goodies” that should warm the hearts of the community.
In Kitui for example, he will launch the construction of a road that for 54 long years has been in the minds and the hearts of the people there. That road starts at Kibwezi on Mombasa-Nairobi road and runs through the heart of Kitui County to Kitui town where it opens to Nairobi. The first phase will cost Sh23.5 billion while entire road project is expected to cost Sh50 billion. When complete, it will be a major part of the Northern Corridor, opening the area – and in deed Kenya – to that side of world.
According to reports, the road is the only one in class B in the country without tarmac despite it being part of the Northern Corridor and Jubilee’s number one pledge during the 2013 presidential campaigns.
Other goodies include:
- Sh52 billion Thwake multi-purpose dam at the confluence of Athi and Thwake rivers, the biggest dam ever conceived in East and Central Africa.The mega dam – a Vision 2030 flagship project, will generate 23 megawatts of hydro power, supply piped water for domestic use, serve the Konza Technology City and adjacent towns, irrigate 4,000 acres of downstream land in both Kitui and Makueni counties – both in Ukambani. The government is finalizing compensation and resettlement of hundreds of families living at the project site to pave way for the construction of the dam, predicted to create a vast reservoir spanning 10,276 square kilometers once completed.
- The President will also launch the Masinga-Kitui Water and Sanitation project, which will provide water for 180,000 residents of Kitui town and connect 60,000 people to the sewerage system and commission the Kiambere-Mwingi water project as well as check progress at Yata canal.
- Four campuses of Kenya Medical Training College in Mutomo, Makindu, Mbooni and Wote each estimated to cost Sh370 million and whose construction is already going on. President Kenyatta will inspect the work, thus showcasing and publicizing the projects.According to KMTC board chairman, former Kibwezi MP Prof Philip Kaloki, in just four years, the government had established eight new functional campuses in the three Kamba counties of Machakos, Makueni and Kitui, bringing to 10 medical colleges in the region. Prof. Kaloki saud that the President will officially open the Wote and Makindu campuses where equipment worth Sh1.3 billion has been installed. “We’ve secured more than Sh2 billion worth of health projects including construction of KMTC campuses and equipping of hospitals,” Prof Kaloki told journalists.
- Other road construction projects around Ukambani, include the tarmacking of Sh1.7 billion Machakos-Kikima-Mbooni road, Sh800 million Kasikeu -Kilome road, Sh890 Tawa-Itangini–Mbooni road and the Sh800 million Thwake Bridge, Machakos–Lukenya-Kenani-Athi River, Kasikeu-Upete, Kautadini-Mavia-Kimakiu-Salama bridge and Tawa-Nguluni-Itangini.
Kamba votes totaling 1.3 million made the difference in the election of re-election of retired President Mwai Kibaki. And they can do the same for President Kenyatta in his bid for re-election in August 2017. The challenge is to wrestle the community from the stronghold of Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Movement Party which is one of the three key opposition parties making the powerful Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD).