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William Ruto meets Nassir, Mung'aro as he courts coast region

President William Ruto chats with Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir during the launch of Mtwapa Kwa-Kadzengo Kilifi road, Mtwapa, Kilifi County. [PCS]

ODM leaders at the coast have declared support for President William Ruto who they hailed as an economic liberator following the return of port services to Mombasa.

Yesterday, Ruto toured Kilifi County and promised to complete development projects and revive the economy that had been affected by the transfer of port services to Nairobi and Naivasha.

Politics dominated the second day of the President's tour of the coast, where the leaders revived their quest to unite the region behind one party.

Ruto said he held talks with governors Abdulswamad Nassir (Mombasa) and Gideon Mung’aro (Kilifi) who agreed to work with him. The two are ODM members.

The President said he had already shown the people at the coast he was trustworthy after returning port services to the region as he had promised during the campaign period.

“When I put down the bible after being sworn in, I ordered the return of port services to Mombasa. I will continue investing in this area for the benefit of our people,” said Ruto.

The president yesterday was in Dabaso, Kilifi, where he attended the burial of Mzee Silas David Mweri, the father of Kilifi North MP Owen Baya. Mzee Mweri died last Monday.

On Saturday, Ruto toured Kwale and Mombasa counties and promised to unlock all the stalled road projects in January next year.

In Mombasa, Ruto witnessed the issuance of licences and permits to Nassir for the Miritini Industrial Park by the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA).

“We are cleared to commence the construction of the SEZ that is expected to create 10,000 jobs for our people,” said Governor Abdulswamad Nassir.

He said the project will be done through Public Private Partnership arrangements. “I take this opportunity to thank President Ruto for fast-tracking this process,” he said.

In Kilifi, Ruto launched the construction of the Sh7 billion Bagamoyo- Kilifi highway and said the government will also invest in the Dongo Kundu economic zone that will create 100,000 jobs.

“You see I was with you and President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2017 but the people you are with told me to move to this side. They have now left me but I want to tell them that I will work with you,” said Kilifi Governor Gideon Munga’ro about his 2017 defection from Jubilee to ODM.

Mr Mung’aro thanked Ruto for appointing area leaders in his administration including Cabinet secretaries Aisha Jumwa and Salim Mvurya and also for the election of Amason Kingi as Senate Speaker.

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi urged area residents to prepare for the 2027 general elections to avoid being outside government.

“It is saddening that Coast MPs and Senators sit on the opposition benches in the national assembly and the Senate; it is a painful experience to be outside government,” he said.

Ms Jumwa asked three petitioners who are challenging the election of Mung’aro to withdraw the case since the elections are now over.

“It is a fact that our President is William Ruto and our governor in Kilifi is Gideon Mung’aro. I am calling on those three young men being used by our competitor to challenge the election of Mung’aro to withdraw the case,” said Jumwa.

She also said that her failure to clinch the governor position was a blessing in disguise. “After he floored me, I fell on a soft spot. Everything has a purpose,” she said.