By Rawlings Otieno and Maureen Odiwuor
Kenya: A group of professionals from the Meru region has thrown their weight behind the appointment of former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura as chairman of the Lapsett project.
The group under the banner of Meru Professionals Association led by its chairman Prof Erastus Njoka, supported Muthaura’s appointment, describing him as an experienced man with a vision for the country.
“We are grateful to the President for appointing Muthaura. The project was the brainchild of visionaries and leaders like him,” said Njoka.
Speaking during a press briefing in Nairobi Friday, the group said that Lapsett is an international project with Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi set be major beneficiaries.
“It is our carefully weighed and considered view that he is one among the best Kenyans suited to head the project giving guidance in the development of the project in its crucial formative stages,” added Njoka.
This comes after calls by some Meru politicians to President Kenyatta to rescind the appointment of Muthaura. (See another story page six)
Last week North Rift MPs also differed on the appointments of heads of parastatal by the President.
Some of the leaders want a degazettement of the 26 individuals appointed in December, saying that the individuals are old guards being brought back into the government.
The calls by the North Rift lawmakers was reinforced with similar calls by two Coast MPs who also registered their displeasure over the appointments.
Kwale county women’s representative Zainab Chidzuga and Ganze MP Peter Shehe said the replacement of Abdulrazak Shauka by Muthaura is a big blow to the Coast region.
The Jubilee government has been lauded for considering Nyanza region in the recent parastatal appointments.
Former assistant minister Zablon Olang’ Friday said Mr Onyango Oloo’s appointment as the Lake Basin Development Authority chairman was a show of goodwill from President Uhuru Kenyatta for the Nyanza people.
“Despite the fact that the Jubilee got minimal votes from the region, this is a show of goodwill from the president for the people of Nyanza,” he said.
Olang’ who served as LBDA chairman said with Oloo’s legal and political experience, he will be able to steer the LBDA to higher heights as it strives to deliver its mandate of enhancing socio-economic conditions of the communities within the Lake Basin region.
He said this region covers the whole of Nyanza and Western, as well as parts of Rift Valley.
“I know that given proper support from the parent Ministry and by the board and management of LBDA the dreams from which the parastatal was established will for sure be realized,” he said.
He called on Oloo to use his connections to invite the president to visit the area for development purposes.