Uhuru backs Joho's plan for Kibarani, as governor signs pact with Balala

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala (left) and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho yesterday.[Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]
Governor Hassan Joho and his erstwhile political nemesis, Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, have agreed to work together on a number of projects.

Mr Joho and the Tourism Cabinet secretary were joined by Environment CS Keriako Tobiko in signing a partnership that will see the county support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda.

Later, President Uhuru Kenyatta met Joho, Mr Balala and Mr Tobiko and ordered that land allocated to private developers next to the Kibarani dumpsite be repossessed.

Uhuru also agreed to a request by Joho to work together on the coastal city’s regeneration programme to enhance infrastructure and service delivery.

SEE ALSO :Kenya needs new tourism infrastructure, says Balala

Joho and Balala also agreed to work together to promote the county as a tourist destination.

The pledge by the two leaders, who have previously differed politically, especially in the run-up to the 2017 elections, was reminiscent of the handshake between Uhuru and Opposition leader Raila Odinga on March 9.

Good legacy

Under the new partnership, the county and national governments will cooperate to support President Uhuru’s Big Four agenda.

The Government will also assist the administration to improve infrastructure in the county.

SEE ALSO :Half-year tourist numbers drop slightly to 921,000

Speaking after the launch of the partnership yesterday, Joho said it would help him leave a good legacy at the end of his second term in office.

“I partnered with the Government so that I can also implement some projects for my legacy in the town for future generations,” said Joho.

The governor said his pet project was beautification of Mombasa city, which is now being supported by the national government.

Balala announced that all Government offices in Mombasa would be painted white and blue, as directed by Joho.

The CS also said the Government would introduce buses to ease congestion in the city.

SEE ALSO :Balala: KWS institute to be upgraded to research centre

He announced that the Government would spend Sh600 million on the beautification of Mama Ngina Drive and Jomo Kenyatta public beach as part of the campaign to promote tourism.

“Sh400 million will be used at Mama Ngina waterfront and Sh200 million will be used at Jomo Kenyatta Beach,” said Balala

He commended Joho for being firm about the Kibarani garbage dumpsite and asked him to ensure the grabbers did not interfere with the area by reclaiming land from the sea.

Tobiko assured Joho that his ministry would support him in the conservation of Kibarani and that dumping of garbage would be relocated to another place after its closure.

Critical intervention

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“We need critical intervention at Kibarani, which must be decommissioned so that the area can be preserved for future generations,” said Tobiko.

The governor asked developers allocated land in the area to return the title deeds.

“If you are holding any title deed for any plot at Kibarani you should return to the nearest Government officer,” he said.

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Najib BalalaGovernor Hassan Johohandshake