|President Uhuru Kenyatta flanked by his Deputy William Ruto (right) and Land’s Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu (left), examines one of the 60,000 title deeds to be issued to landowners starting Friday. [Photo: Maarufu Mohamed/Standard]|
By Standard Reporter
Mombasa, Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta told his critics to limit time spent on competitive politics and allow his government to concentrate on development.
Addressing the Mombasa International Trade Fair for the first time as President, Kenyatta asked the opposition, CORD, to stop preaching politics and wait for the next elections.
In an apparent reference to calls for a referendum by CORD, President Uhuru who was flanked by his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni said too much politics undermines development and economic growth.
“We need to be focused as a country to create wealth instead of embracing all-time politics. We should engage in politics when the season comes,” Uhuru said.
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There was colour and pomp as the President and his Deputy William Ruto spent hours at the showground with their Ugandan guest.
The three leaders addressed a huge crowd in Kiswahili during the official opening of the fair. Uhuru said the Jubilee government was determined to facilitate commercial farming through provision of subsidised fertiliser, introduction of large-scale irrigation, value-addition of produce and improved marketing to spur economic growth.
He explained that the planned issuance of thousands of title deeds at the Coast was part of efforts to encourage commercial farming to create wealth in the region.
“The government is ready to work more closely with counties to boost agriculture, ensure food security and lower food prices,” he said.
Saying that the East African Community integration was on course, President Uhuru said an expanded common market would create investments and employment.
“The borders with our neighbours were drawn by the Europeans and do not help us, they only serve as a source of conflict. Time has come to remove the barriers for the benefit of our people,” he said.
He said Kenyans would soon use their national identity cards to freely travel in the EAC region while Ugandans would use voter’s or students card to tour Kenya.
“Free movement in East Africa will promote trade, investment and tourism and hence uplift the living standards of the people. Foreign nations will respect us once we create a strong market,” he said.
Ruto said irrigation of one million acres will mostly benefit the Coast region, adding that the Government was determined to end perennial famine.
He said the Government will build a fertiliser factory to boost food production. Ruto said the Government would launch the construction of a standard gauge railway from Mombasa to Malaba before the end of this year.
“People and cargo will be moved from Mombasa to Malaba in just a few hours instead of several days,” Ruto said.
Mining Cabinet Secretary Mr Najib Balala who represented his Agriculture counterpart Felix Kosgei said the Government would soon buy 10,000 tractors to modernise agriculture in the country.
He announced that Mr Kosgei was in Brazil to facilitate negotiations for the purchase of the tractors at Sh6 billion.
“Agriculture is going to be modernised and commercialised when the tractors finally arrive in the country,” he said.