Uhuru meets Coast leaders over fears on economy

President Uhuru Kenyatta gives his remarks during a meeting with elected Coast leaders at State House, Mombasa.

Coastal lawmakers yesterday met President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss revival of the region’s economy, adversely affected by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

The leaders attended the day-long meeting at State House Mombasa to address growing fears that the SGR has adversely affected the economy of the Coast region.

Uhuru met the region’s six governors, a host of MPs and senators on concerns that the SGR freight services had brought down the region’s economy.

He outlined a marshal plan to revive the economy, saying his administration will ensure all ongoing roads, water and other infrastructure developments are completed.

He said the projects such the various roads, the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zones and the Port of Lamu are aimed at opening up the region to more investments.

“The issues revolved around how to revive the coast economy, which has collapsed due to recent government policies. Notable MPs who did not attend the meeting are Mohamed Ali (Nyali) and Aisha Jumwa (Malindi),” said Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho said the government should fast track implementation of Mzima Springs II pipeline project and Mwache Dam project to address chronic water shortages in the six counties.

“Joho told the President the economy cannot be revived without water for our people,” said Faki, who added that the President committed to implement the two projects.

All the six governors addressed the meeting, with Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, his counterparts Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), Fahim Twaha (Lamu) and Dhadho Godhana (Tana River) also underscoring the government need to hasten land reforms in the region.

Uhuru reiterated that the handshake between him and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was aimed at uniting all Kenyans and boosting the country’s development.

“The essence of the handshake is not about who will be where and who will have what position, but how can we as Kenyans not live in the past but learn from it,” the President told the leaders.

All the leaders who spoke at the consultative meeting said they supported the President’s development agenda and the Big 4 blueprint.