Pres Ruto skips Russia-Africa summit, to start Coast tour today

President William Ruto during the official opening of the Africa Heads of State Human Capital Summit in Dar Es Salaam,Tanzania. [PCS]

President William Ruto on Wednesday said he would not attend the Russia-Africa leaders' summit but instead will today begin a five-day working tour of the Coast region.

State House Communication Director Hussein Mohamed said the President will inspect blue economy projects at Mkowe in Lamu.

Mr Mohamed also denied reports that Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu had come to Kenya some two weeks ago to negotiate a truce between the President and opposition chief Raila Odinga.

"There are established protocols by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Heads of State visiting Kenya. These visits are documented,” said the communication chief.

He, however, said that the President of a foreign nation cannot come as a tourist for a holiday. “Ask whoever made the claims to substantiate it,” he said.

On the President's tour, Mr Mohamed said President Ruto would visit Tana River, Kwale and Mombasa to inspect development projects.

“As part of the tour, President Ruto will focus on inspecting projects in the blue economy and fisheries sector, at Mkowe in Lamu, Ngao in Tana River Ukunda in Kwale and Mombasa county,” said Hussein.

On Sunday, Ruto was in Taita Taveta for an interdenominational prayer meeting. 

The President will also issue Sh552 million in grants to common interest groups in the four counties.

He said the Head of State would also commission a fish landing site in Kilifi as part of efforts to advance development of the blue economy.

In Tana River, the President will commission the rehabilitated Sailoni rubber dam. He will also inspect the Tana Delta irrigation project.

He said the President was keen on an irrigation project in Tana River, to be executed under a public-private partnership framework. About 12,000 hectares are to be put under irrigation with a target of producing 84,000 tonnes of rice a year.