Senator Boni Khalwale has accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of launching ‘ghost’ projects in Western region when he toured last month.
Dr Khalwale claimed that a month after Uhuru reopened the Webuye Pan Paper Mills, the factory has not begun operating.
“Webuye remains a ghost town because the factory is not working. The President lied to the community. He switched on the factory, which later went dead,” said Khalwale.
However the Kenya Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Manufacturers was quick to dismiss the allegations.
“Where was Khalwale when the factory collapsed and rendered hundreds jobless? What moral authority does he have to now speak about the factory when he did nothing when people lost jobs?” said the union’s national vice chairman, Steven Watiti.
Mr Watiti said the factory has been operational since it was reopened by the President.
“We have been producing 10 tonnes of paper per day. Doesn’t that means the factory is working?”
Watiti further noted that 1,000 locals had been employed at the factory since its reopening.
Khalwale had also dismissed the launching of the construction and upgrading of six roads, saying the projects were yet to take off.
“I have been to Navakholo where the President launched the tarmacking of the Lurambi-Navakholo-Musikoma road. There is nothing going on. Not even a wheelbarrow on the site,” he said.
However, Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe defended the projects, saying the contractor awarded the job was busy mobilising resources.
Mr Wangwe said Uhuru had promised to personally follow up the road project to its completion.
“The President promised to ensure that the road is tarmacked. He said he would supervise the road to its completion because Jubilee was determined to improve the road network,” Wangwe said.
The MP accused Khalwale of playing politics with the road project.
“President Uhuru does not owe Khalwale any explanations about the road,” he said.