What Ukambani Region stands to gain if Azimio wins August polls

POLITICS |

Makueni County Governor Kivutha Kibwana, his Kitui counterpart Charity Ngilu and Machakos Governor aspirant Nzioka Waita during a press conference at Semara Hotel in Machakos town on May 17, 2022. [John Muia, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja alliance has made a number of promises and pledges to the Ukambani Region should they win the presidential election come August 9. 

The promises were made during the continuous negotiations that brought together leaders from different regions in the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition. 

A set of documents from the Azimio meetings and which The Standard has seen reveals that the Ukambani region had been promised the chief minister position, four cabinet slots (20 per cent) and another 20 per cent of all other government appointments. 

In an interview with The Standard Kitui, Governor Charity Ngilu said the Chief Minister's position that Azimio flagbearer offered Kalonzo in his Monday announcement is in fact for the region which implies that even after Kalonzo turns it down it will go to another individual from Ukambani 

The region is also poised to reap big in the area of development projects 

In terms of infrastructure, the region stands to get an additional 1, 500 Km of roads (500km per county) should Raila become president. 

The Ukambani region consists of three counties: Machakos, Makueni and Kitui. 

The promises Odinga made to the region range from water supply, healthcare, infrastructure, urbanisation, security, housing, lands, agriculture, youth and sports, education and ICT, manufacturing, curbing human-wildlife conflicts and rehabilitation and upgrade of natural physical features. 

For instance, in Machakos County Raila has promised to increase water supply, upgrade Machakos Stadium, build a police training facility and new NCPB silos, construct a level six hospital as well as fund coffee farmers with Sh 1 billion. 

“This includes: rehabilitation of Athi and Thwake Rivers, construction of a water pipeline at Masinga Dam to serve residents of Yatta, Masinga and  Mwala, the establishment of a police Training Camp in Yatta, upgrade of Machakos Stadium to international athletics and football standards, construct new NCPB silos in Yatta, upgrade the Yatta Canal” the document read in part. 

Azimio has also promised to improve infrastructure in Machakos by extending the Northern Collector to serve Mavoko, Matungulu & Kangundo as well as the extension of Mombasa Road Dual Carriageway to Konza Technopolis. 

The infrastructure upgrade will also include the construction of a dual Carriageway from Kyumbi to Machakos Town and from Ruai to Tala Town. 

Despite the region’s possibility of enjoying the Azimio’s bag of goodies leaders in the region are now worried that the goodies might escape their bag, as a result of Kalonzo’s exit from the coalition 

According to Governor Charity Ngilu, the choice of running mate was a non-factor to Kalonzo’s exit. 

‘Kalonzo knew from the word go that it would go to Mount Kenya if Kenya Kwanza Alliance would settle for one from the region, he cannot say he did not see it coming, he needs to be honest," said Ngilu. 

The former vice-president switched allegiance to the coalition and instead launched his separate bid for the presidency and unveiled his running mate. 

He held a parallel meeting from Azimio’s KICC event at Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka command centre, where he announced severing ties with the Odinga-led team. 

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